"Currently, it's almost impossible for Google to ban major manufacturers," Wang said.
Besides the technical difficulties, carriers have a business interest in not making Android updates a priority, Bogdan Botezatu, senior e-threat analyst for Bitdefender, said. Rather than update software, carriers would prefer to have subscribers buy a new phone.
"Instead of delivering fixes, phone manufacturers would rather spend their resources on developing new devices to deliver along with the latest version of Android," Botezatu said.
So for now, Android fans who want the latest update will have to be technically advanced enough to root their smartphone in order to install KitKat. For those who want regular updates in the future, they can buy their phone directly from Google.
Anything more universal won't come easily.
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