No more updates for T-Mobile's year-old Lumia 810 Windows Phone

One of the greatest frustrations of having a smartphone tends to surface a year or two into ownership, when manufacturers and carriers alike begin to resist calls to continue updating devices with new operating system versions and firmware. Users may reasonably expect their handsets to receive updates for a couple of years after purchase, but OEMs and network operators frequently disagree.

One such carrier is T-Mobile US, which has apparently ended its update support for its exclusive Windows Phone 8 handset, the Nokia Lumia 810. The 810 was announced in October 2012, and went on sale solely through T-Mobile shortly afterwards. Just six months later, in April 2013, the handset was removed from sale, leaving the entry-level Lumia 521 and higher-end Lumia 925 as the only Windows Phones in the carrier’s range.

As WMPowerUser spotted, on Nokia’s software update pages, the Lumia Black update – which includes Windows Phone 8 Update 3, along with Nokia’s own firmware and software enhancements – is listed as “not available” for the Lumia 810 on T-Mobile. This status appears to indicate that the Black update is not even in the works for this handset, as other statuses reveal the gradual progress being made in preparing the update for other devices.

There is further evidence too. In a post on Reddit, one handset owner shared an email that had apparently been sent by T-Mobile support. In it, the company said that it “will not be providing updates for the Lumia 810”, adding this is “a normal part of the handset life-cycle, and in this case, it’s unavoidable.”

That would appear to suggest that not only will the 810 not get the Black update, but it will also not receive the Windows Phone 8.1 update that is due out later this year. Microsoft has previously stated that all Windows Phone 8 handsets will be eligible for the update, but its distribution to devices still relies on approval from carriers and manufacturers.

Given that the Lumia 810 is just sixteen months old – and that those who bought it long after its launch will still be holding on to handsets as young as ten months – you would be forgiven for being surprised by T-Mobile’s decision to end its mainstream support so soon. But this isn’t the first time T-Mobile has done something like this – last year, the carrier refused to update its Lumia 710 to Windows Phone 7.8. 

Source: WMPowerUser | image via Nokia

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I was looking to buy a Lumia 520 myself, but I'm totally new to this "carrier has a saying" stuff. Is it the same in Europe? If a phone is listed on eBay (or other auction service) as "no SIM lock" does it mean it's safe to buy it and not be bothered with this carrier crap?

Any suggestions? Thanks.

This is exactly the reason I hate carrier exclusive phone and updates. The carrier can pick and choose what and how they will update. I wish Microsoft / Nokia would realize this and stop giving into carrier exclusivity, its only going to harm them down the road.

Man do I hate T-Mobile. My father and I both got the 810 during fall of 2012 I believe, and we thought it was a great mid-range phone. Little did we know they'd drop the phone buy-in price to $0 for 2 years not too long after we bought it, and then it would disappear from sales not long after that. Costco (where we purchased it) didn't even promote the phone; I had to specifically ask the guy to show me a non-working model stuffed in a drawer with other model phones.

I wasn't too familiar with WiFi calling/messaging back then, which apparently is much needed as T-Mobile's spectrum is way too low and I have a lot of issues with some buildings or parts of buildings at my university. T-Mobile was a bit of a bastard in not supporting WiFi calling/messaging for the 810 though it does for Android phones and in a way the HTC 8X.

When my friend (who has a Samsung Galaxy S3 on T-Mobile) suggested I turn on WiFi calling, and I told him I couldn't, he thought it was a limitation of the Windows Phone OS (which he frowned and probably dissuaded him from considering the platform anytime soon) when it was really T-Mobile's fault. He was considering a WP prior to it, and found Strava (who are also bastards despite a big community demanding it) wasn't available on it.

Obviously, right now I'm not a fan of T-Mobile, particularly regarding their treatment of the 810.

This is where Apple shine. You don't need the approval of any carrier to have iOS update.

Carrier stupidity could be enough to kill any chance for Microsoft WP to gain marketshare.

TruckWEB said,
This is where Apple shine. You don't need the approval of any carrier to have iOS update.

Carrier stupidity could be enough to kill any chance for Microsoft WP to gain marketshare.

Anyone who actually cares can update their phone today to GDR3. It's really a non-issue.

I keep hearing that every WP8 phone will get 8.1, in this case Tmobile could just be deciding to skip right to 8.1 and nothing else.

George P said,
I keep hearing that every WP8 phone will get 8.1, in this case Tmobile could just be deciding to skip right to 8.1 and nothing else.

This is what I was thinking. Perhaps they don't want to go to the expense of testing this update on a device they no longer carry because another update will be launching fairly soon and they know ignoring that update will result in a backlash at the very least. I'm sure Microsoft is pushing everyone to get 8.1 out to all phones timely as well.

LOL, how naive... They ceased support. Completely. Period. There is no such thing as "skipping this 1 update and deliver the next update". Its game over, simple as that.

I wonder what route the updates have to go if the device isn't tied to a carrier.
I bought my Lumia 920 from my carrier at full price. There is no carrier specific information on the phone or on Nokia's update page. All it says is Sweden, which is where I live.
Does it have to be approved by government watchdogs that make sure that the devices play within allowed spectrums and that they follow the standards?
I'm worried that I'll stop receiving updates before Nokia stops making updates.

Radium said,
I wonder what route the updates have to go if the device isn't tied to a carrier.
I bought my Lumia 920 from my carrier at full price. There is no carrier specific information on the phone or on Nokia's update page. All it says is Sweden, which is where I live.
Does it have to be approved by government watchdogs that make sure that the devices play within allowed spectrums and that they follow the standards?
I'm worried that I'll stop receiving updates before Nokia stops making updates.
If it is an unbranded handset then it only needs Nokia to test. They tweak the handsets for each market and thus test them all individually. You should be pretty safe.

I seem to recall Joe Belifore stating during the Win Phone 8 Launch that Windows Phone 8 Devices will be supported for a minimum of 18 Months (To avoid another outcry as with Win Phone 7), therefore a couriers choice to cease support goes against Microsoft's policy / promise to it's customers. Check the net for the archive footage or Tweet Joe, he listens to concerns / criticisms.

Max

Actually, Windows Phone device support now runs to 36 months http://www.neowin.net/news/win...tended-from-18-to-36-months

But as we reported back then, carriers and OEMs still have the last say regarding distribution. MS said: "The mobile operator or phone manufacturer may control the distribution of these incremental updates and update availability may also vary by country, region and device hardware capabilities."

MS may make the update available for a particular device, but it's up to manufacturers and operators to decide whether or not to distribute - and, more importantly, support - it.

And that IS the biggest Problem Microsoft is facing with the update politics. There should simply be no reason for a Carrier to have a saying in that. They just remove features of WP(Data sense, NFC Payments) and don't update phones. When I Get my upgrade usually the only thing that changes is the About page with the carrier support number and the bloody Favorites with readded carrier stuff.

Typical story for the "devices-from-provider". I just do not buy such stuff... Only free phones, for a full price.

As others will be saying, just install the updates through Microsoft. Either through the developer program (which is free) or through the Microsoft download repository.

Any Nokia specific features won't be included, but possibly by the time 8.1 hits, there won't be any Nokia specific features.

Even with black, this is all the users will miss out on - (Glance Update, Beamer, Storyteller) The 810 doesn't have a Pureview camera, so the camera optimizations aren't available in Black.

...and two of these features are already known to be rolled into WP8.1


This is a 'meh' story at best.

You don't need Black for Storyteller, it ran perfectly fine on Amber. Also Black introduced improved imaging algorithms for the whole Lumia lineup, not just pureview based phones. Even on my 520, pictures are much better and noise is almost nonexistent now.

AsherGZ said,
You don't need Black for Storyteller, it ran perfectly fine on Amber. Also Black introduced improved imaging algorithms for the whole Lumia lineup, not just pureview based phones. Even on my 520, pictures are much better and noise is almost nonexistent now.

You are correct about Storyteller, but it does need GDDR3 if I remember right, which is what I am confusing.

I also didn't realize the non-pureview got the camera improvements, thanks for fixing that.

rfirth said,
Pretty sure I remember people reporting that Glance worked without Black too.

Glance was added with Amber and GDD2, the notifications aka 'Glance Update', are added in Black.

psreloaded said,
I think subscribing to developer early access could allow them to get GDR3 and 8.1 No firmware revision though

Yes, that should still work and it's not hard to do.

rfirth said,

Yes, that should still work and it's not hard to do.

True... for, how can I say, more technical oriented people like us. Average users would be intimidated by words like "Developer" and signing for accounts though. Just check what happened with W8.1: just because it was in the Store and not, literally, pushed to computers its adoption rate is low. It is a shame that carriers can dictate if and when updates are made available.