By April 20, 2007

HTC to pressure operators over WM6?

Although I guess by now this is old news, HTC have formally announced that a selection of their own branded devices WILL be eligible for a free Windows Mobile 6 upgrade.

“HTC is also offering WM6 upgrades for the most popular devices in its current range. This includes recently launched “messaging” products, which will enjoy the greatest benefits of Windows Mobile 6, such as the HTC Advantage, the HTC TyTN, the HTC S620, and the HTC P4350. The upgrade will also be available for the award-winning HTC P3300, plus some of our operator-branded devices.”

This is the first time any operator, or device manufacturer have bothered to even consider an upgrade – let alone a fee-free one.

There have, of course, been close calls – I’d bet there’s still a vast majority of C500’s knocking about running the MS test builds of WM5. Very little on the right side of the law though.

Putting aside the praise that should be heaped on HTC for the announcement alone, I believe the upgrades could cause problems for the network operators.

In the UK, I reckon Orange would have decided against an upgrade a long time ago. The problem with the Windows Mobile community is that the vast majority ARE techies, and most will be well aware that the HTC upgrade will work fine on all the operator branded handsets, and know full well how easy it is to flash it to their device.

Once again, the network operators have to weigh up the cost of providing the upgrade, against the cost of answering calls from customers with ‘bricked’ devices. This time, thanks to HTC, they may also have to consider the image their company portrays by refusing an upgrade, made freely available by the device manufacturer.

Posted by: Mark

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Posted in: Phones

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