Following a recent interview, Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, has found himself in a war of words with Google regarding the thorny issue of Android devices being slow to receive updates. Stephenson stated that Google is responsible for the slow updates to Android-powered phones, causing increased fragmentation of Android devices.
"Google determines what platform gets the newest releases and when," Stephenson said. "A lot of times, that’s a negotiated arrangement and that’s something we work at hard."
The statement came in response to a question which asked Stephenson why some Android devices don't receive updates as quickly as others.
Google provided a statement to 9to5Google disagreeing with Stephenson's statements, with harsh words for the CEO.
Mr. Stephenson’s carefully worded quote caught our attention and frankly we don’t understand what he is referring to. Google does not have any agreements in place that require a negotiation before a handset launches. Google has always made the latest release of Android available as open source at source.android.com as soon as the first device based on it has launched. This way, we know the software runs error-free on hardware that has been accepted and approved by manufacturers, operators and regulatory agencies such as the FCC. We then release it to the world.
Stephenson's remarks follows a number of other questionable quotes from the same interview, such as stating that he wished AT&T had never offered an unlimited data plan. The company stopped offering unlimited data after 2010.
AT&T recently introduced a cap for data usage on mobile devices; after hitting the cap, users will see their bandwidth throttled to a fraction of its standard speed.