AT&T yesterday confirmed that all Android smartphones purchased in 2011 will receive an upgrade to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
Phones officially slated for the upgrade include the HTC Inspire 4G, LG Phoenix, Motorola Atrix 4G, Pantech Crossover, Samsung Captivate and Samsung Infuse 4G.
The carrier said delivery methods for the upgrade will vary by device but that whenever possible the upgrades will be delivered over-the-air (OTA). However, in some cases the size of the file needed to install the update will require the user to connect via Wi-Fi or connect the phone to a PC to install the update.
As of yesterday, Motorola Atrix 4G users already were being prompted to install the update. AT&T also confirmed that HTC Inspire 4G users will be notified that the update is available and can be downloaded some time in August.
The announcement is significant in that a lack of promised upgrades to Android devices in the past has been a point contention for users who expected they would be receiving the latest iteration when they purchased their phones.
Discrepancies in which devices get the latest Android OS and when is seen by many as a symptom of the platform’s ongoing fragmentation problem.