Hardware Makers, You're Losing Up To Half Your Potential Customers By Shipping Old FirmwareS

We often fall in love with new smartphones only to be shattered when we discover that they'll ship with old firmware. A lot of shoppers feel the same—and it might be costing hardware makers half their potential customers.

Last week we discussed the phenomenon of new devices shipping with outdated firmware—a pattern particularly evident with recently announced and released Android devices—and asked Gizmodo readers an important question: How much does outdated smartphone firmware matter to you?

The general feeling was clear pretty quickly: Nearly half of the readers would not want to purchase a device unless it was shipping with the latest firmware and about a third of the readers could be swayed with promises of quick updates. The message in the comments of the post was pretty firm though: No one likes to wait for new firmware when holding a shiny new device.

Now with this data and the overwhelming commenter response in mind, we repeat our suggestion:

Hardware manufacturers, once a new firmware is released, stop churning out old phones and get what's already on the market updated asap. Stop putting crazy skins on top of Android that do more harm than good and slow the update process. And—especially when an Android update has been in the open for a few months already already—take the time to incorporate the latest and greatest firmware onto your handsets so that your customers know exactly what they're getting. It's time to get serious about hardware/software synchronicity.

Chart by Christina Bonnington

Update: As clearly stated above, the poll used for this data focused on Gizmodo readers who are often better informed than their less gadget-obsessed counterparts, but it's important to keep in mind that those same readers frequently influence those around them by contributing to reviews and making recommendations to friends and family. That said, the results of any online poll come with a hefty serving of salt.