sbiddle:rvangelder: I can't work out why telcos are involved at all.. what value do they add?
if it's so they can rebrand the integrated browser, then give me a break. I thought that "Internet Explorer provided by Xtra" crap died out with the 90's
It is purely about customisation, because many operators have specific configuration requirements to suit their network.
If you look at the 2degrees version of the SGS III for example it includes the SIM Alliance API which is required for the Snapper NFC capabilities. Android doesn't ship with shis as standard because Google ship their own NFC API that doesn't support SIM based secure elements and 2wire protocol. The XT and VF versions of this handset don't include this API.
If you use a non XT branded phone on XT you'll probably also suffer worse than expected battery life since the XT network doesn't support fast dormancy. Many Android handsets will chew through the battery with fast dormancy activated in the handset, but not activated on the network. Likewise, move a XT handset that has fast dormancy disabled across to Vodafone and your battery life won't be optimal because Vodafone does support fast dormancy, and the handset can't take advantage of it.
So what does all that have to do with the topic of Telecom not being shy with a speedy update? We're not asking them to think about all the other non Telecom handsets out there or even those people like that run on their network with a non Telecom handset.
Simply, just to stay frosty with the newer handsets that are getting released at present with a lot of hype...they may as well do this as it will score points fot Telecom and retain customers I guess.