Today, Motorola just floored users with an unprecedented offer: if you bought a phone from Motorola that launched in 2011, most of you will receive an upgrade to Jelly Bean. If, however, you're using a phone that Motorola decides will have a degraded experience, you will receive $100 in credit towards an upgrade. This may mark the first time that a manufacturer has broadly promised compensation for a lack of updates for all of its devices.


Your eyes aren't deceiving you, though. Yes, there's a third promise on that screen. Motorola is promising "developer editions" of their phones to allow users to "enable modifications of the Android code." This doesn't exactly sound promising for average consumers who want to avoid locked bootloaders, but we'll see how Motorola implements the program. If consumers can buy subsidized developer editions of handsets alongside regular versions, it may be a distinction without a difference.

Update: It looks like the $100 credit would only apply to users who are upgrading to select Motorola units, including the devices announced today. So, no, you couldn't get $100 from Motorola to go spend on a Galaxy S III. This is unsurprising, but also just mildly disappointing. What if I wanted to get the previous RAZR MAXX, Moto? ...Haha, just kidding. The worse news is that you'll have to trade in your old phone to get the credit. So, it's less of a generous consolation prize and more of a trade-in program. Which may or may not actually get you what your phone is worth. For more info, head to the sign up page here.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Sunghwa-Woo/542631978 Ray Sunghwa Woo

    My Droid X will get JB? wow

    • http://twitter.com/gelu Ryan Ball

      Droid X was released in 2010, sorry man

    • Mike

      The original X was released in 2010. The X2 was released in 2011.

      Semantics aside, they'll probably deem it a degraded experience.

    • Knlegend1

      Doubt it, because of the word "MOST" not all.

  • http://twitter.com/TheJauntyJester Jaunty Jester

    $100 in credit towards an upgrade? Gotta admit, I wish more manufactures would do that... Wonder how hard it will be to get the credit though.

    • btod

      yeah, and don't kid yourself, they said all phones will receive jellybean, they didn't say when or give themselves a deadline. So that atrix 4g could be getting jellybean next fall for all we know...

  • varun

    Well, the Atrix 4G counts as a 2011 phone, right? We're still waiting on ICS for that, though supposedly, that's right around the corner ... le sigh.

    • mark

      as a Bionic owner, I know that feel

    • ElfirBFG

      I just want video recording. I love CM10, but no video since I've had ICS builds has been brutal. Here's hoping.

  • Isidhu

    Hope that included the Photon 4g

  • Aku

    Exciting times....iPhone 5 on the 12th then something new from Moto on the 18th - but all in all Samsung was disappointing!

    • Aaron

      uh....they just announced the note 2 a few days ago? And the s3 is still new.

  • adauth

    Awesome. So the Razr line will be getting JB!

  • Paul_Werner

    I hope this will become huge and the non-Google-owned manufacturers catch on

  • Knlegend1

    Moto is really trying to do something positive. Kudos to them. However I think my next phone is still a Nexus none of those devices were sexy enough for me.

    • moelsen8

      agreed. unless the developer edition situation somehow knocks our socks off. which i doubt, since "developer edition" even exists. why not just make all normal phones unlockable and void the warranty.

      • rockstar323

        Because it's a whole lot easier, legally speaking, to sell a phone without a warranty than it is to void one. I'd also be highly surprised if we see a subsidized dev edition on Verizon due to the phone not having a warranty. They will most likely allow them on their network but you'll have to pay full retail cost for it from a 3rd party, like the Play store or Moto's website. That way if you have issues with the device Verizon doesn't have to deal with it.

        • moelsen8

          well let's hope this is setting up a vzw moto nexus on the play store in the next few months.

    • Anon

      Yeah, a Nexus is always good. I'll be getting my first (the tablet) soon, I'm saving up for a phone next year. Definitely a good upgrade from my HTC Hero.

    • Tyson Young

      With Moto now being a division of Google it will only go uphill from here.

      • Jose Marie Maquinay

        Agree, and it wouldn't be suprising if we get a RAZR Nexus (or should it be Nexus RAZR?) in the future.

        • Benny

          It would be the Droid Nexus, definitely. Samsung's most used phone name is Galaxy, and Motorola's is Droid.

          • Gexploits

            The Droid brand is licensed by Verizon, not Motorola.

          • Manuel

            What about Milestone Nexus? It is the international version of the Droid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thediabolic Kaan Aurora

    Good Guy Motorola.

  • Dmitry Lekhtuz

    Either JB or $100 for my wife's Atrix 4G... Either way is good. Although I'd prefer $100 and spend it on a 2012 phone that already runs JB.

    • http://twitter.com/explodingwalrus Carl Draper

      I have an Atrix 4G, Motorola say it will at least get ICS soon

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    >> If consumers can buy subsidized developer editions of handsets alongside
    regular versions, it may be a distinction without a difference.

    Highly unlikely. I think it's just a compromise that they come up with under the pressure of the carriers or THE CARRIER. And, you and us know that THE CARRIER don't like people messing with their phone, which would in turn, messing its network.

  • sgtguthrie

    Too bad it's not 100 dollars and an early upgrade :- Doesn't do much if your stuck on an old android version for 2 years because you have a locked down ass Motorola device! Also, is the 100 dollars only good toward another locked down moto device?

  • TheKaz1969

    So.. Droid 2 gets $100? Or only 2011 phones?

  • http://twitter.com/jonouellette Jon O

    Any hint on when the updates will be pushed?

  • J66

    Anyone know if Triumph owners on Virgin Mobile qualify? It was released in 2011. >.>

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667020551 Jose Torres

    Yessssss!!!!! this pays off for getting TWO Atrix 4Gs last year, I really hope they upgrade webtop also. PS we still haven't seen ICS that was promised before the end of Q3 but this makes up for that too...

  • anamik

    i guess only for US customers?

  • juniorsgv

    you guys are missing THE POINT! $100 for UPGRADE to SELECT MOTO PHONES. wtf is the point in that? if you had the phone last year and want jellybean now after bean passed over like a Kardashian with ics, and jellybean now. lets see $600 unsubsidized phone with $100 gift card. whatever. this will pass. if you want real google experience you need a nexus or samsung galaxy s2 or s3 with actual community support so your not waiting an update that never is coming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasonconort Jason Conort

    While not perfect (what is?) this is the best guarantee that ANY company has made concerning upgrades. This should be applauded and supported, hopefully others will take there game up a notch or two.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Shamesung Shame sung

    He lied.