One of the great things about Android is that, like the iPhone, it’s an upgradeable OS. Except when either the telco the phone uses or the handset manufacturer decides that offering that upgrade is too much trouble like Motorola has done with most of its Aussie Android handsets.
As pointed out by Buzz on Ausdroid, the Motorola support forums has updated its planned software update for its handsets around the world. And for all handsets that saw release in Australia other than the Milestone, the company has decided to leave the phones running the already out-of-date 1.5 version of the OS.
To quote the announcement, the Dext, Quench and Backflip phones in the Asia Pacific region "will remain on Android 1.5 for the best combined hardware and software experience".
Which translates roughly from corporate speak to English as "F*ck you!"
This is a shockingly short-sighted move from Motorola. Considering they decided to move to the open Android platform as a way of saving their handset business from the brink of ruin, the decision to leave all the early Android customers without an upgrade path will do nothing more than guarantee that most of them will never buy a Motorola phone ever again.
So if you happen to be on contract with a Dext, Quench or Backflip, you're shit out of luck. If you were thinking of buying one of these phones, don't. I'd probably recommend steering clear of the Milestone too - even though they're planning a Froyo update next year, given Motorola's decision to leave all other phones high and dry on 1.5, would you really want to risk it?
[Ausdroid - Thanks Tony!]