Google is expected to introduce the next version of Android, 4.4 KitKat, sometime this month. That will happen alongside the launch of the LG Nexus 5, which will be the very first phone to be powered by KitKat. But what about other handsets?
Well, they’ll need to be upgraded to this particular version, of course. This is a process that will take mere days for other Nexus devices. But it usually takes many months for any other smartphone or tablet. Recently, the trend among Android device makers has been to put out updates to the latest version of the OS around three to six months (for the most expensive and most recent models from the more well-behaved makers). But the whole thing could even take a year or more. And there’s also the possibility that your hardware will simply never receive Android 4.4 KitKat officially. While device manufacturers invent many ‘explanations’ for why these things take that long, the short answer is that they’d much rather you bought a new handset or tablet. New devices you must buy, hence they make money. Free software updates only cost money and resources. It’s that simple, unfortunately.
Over the past few years, one of the worst offenders in terms of delivering updates has been Sony. The situation is improving though, however slowly. Yet one rumor now claims that Sony will one-up everyone else and release a KitKat update first. Not only that, but this will happen extremely close to the KitKat launch moment.
Plausible? In a word, no. The unconfirmed rumor claims that the Sony Xperia Z1 will be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat on November 7. That’s probably going to be only a week or two after the official presentation of this version of the OS. Has something like this ever happened before? No. Has any manufacturer, not just Sony, ever had an update ready so soon for a non-Nexus device? No. Will this happen? No.
You’ll most likely have to wait a few months for Android 4.4 to reach the Z1. What could happen in November then? Well, the Xperia Z1 may very well be getting updated, but to Android 4.3. See, the handset is currently running version 4.2 of Google’s mobile OS. This would make a lot more sense, since the last version of Jelly Bean has been around since July.
It seems obvious that Sony would update the Z1 to 4.3 first, given that a leaked document from French carrier Free shows that it will roll out an Android 4.3 update for the Xperia SP sometime in December. That would fit with a timeline of 4.3 updates starting in November with the Xperia Z1, then continuing with other Sony smartphones. The Xperia SP is still stuck on Android 4.1, so in this scenario it would jump a version.