We hoped not to have to say it, but Motorola’s 2015 releases are off to a bumpy start. For the third year running now, getting ahold of the new Motorola devices has become a frustrating experience, and this has only been compounded by the announcement over the weekend that the Moto E (released just a few months ago) won’t receive a Marshmallow update.
Motorola has arguably some of the hottest devices on offer with the Moto G 2015, Moto X Play and Moto X Style and even the yet to be released here Moto 360 (2015). We’ve measured this by the pure demand for these products, the comments on our site, the feedback from consumers and more .. there’s no doubt these are products that would sell off the shelves, but they just aren’t there yet. What’s going on?
Moto X Play and Moto G 2015
At their launch event in late August, Motorola advised that the Moto G 2015 and the Moto X Play would head to retail in early September, and that obviously hasn’t happened. Unfortunately the Vodafone exclusivity on the Moto X Style is complete, and there are no plans to sell the phone at retail, so if you are able to get one through Vodafone, and want one, you should.
The good news for customers wanting to purchase the Moto G 2015 is that you shouldn’t have too long to wait, with Motorola expecting stock in stores by late October with The Good Guys in line to get stock first. You’ll need to check in with your local store to see if they have any information on when they’ll arrive.
The bad news is that there is no details on when we’ll see the Moto X Play in stock at retail stores, though when it does reach retail it should arrive in significant volume. So, with the lack of retail availability and the Vodafone deal to purchase the Moto X Play over, consumers are currently stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
The only good news is that new and existing Vodafone customers can get their hands on the Moto X Play easily; either on a contract with a subsidised handset, or on an existing or SIM-only plan with monthly interest-free repayments.
Moto 360 2015
For the second year in a row, we still don’t know when we’ll see that Moto 360 either. It is possible, at this rate, that Huawei might have their Huawei Watch in retailers before Motorola has the Moto 360 on shelves.
Don’t get us started on Moto Maker, but at least on that note we believe Motorola is 100% right, if you’re going to do custom devices, make sure you have the back end in place to get it right – so we’ll wait on that one.
Moto E 2015 and Marshmallow
Now, the elephant in the room: No Marshmallow update for the Moto E.
Over the weekend Motorola came out and announced the list of devices that will receive Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), the notable exception from the list was the Moto E which only launched in Australia in June.
We of course asked Motorola about this and a Motorola spokesperson told us:
We want to make sure that people don’t take lack of an M upgrade to Moto E to mean the product is not supported by Motorola. We have upgraded Moto E to Android 5.1, and [will] continue to provide essential security and bug fix updates for the model.
The lack of Marshmallow for the Motorola Moto E 2015 could possibly be addressed in the future – most likely after the rollout to the higher profile previous versions of the Moto X and Moto G, but at this stage there’s nothing more to say.
Bugfixes and security updates appear to be guaranteed, but features may be ‘missing’, and missing is a relative term as the phone has been updated to Android 5.1 – but it’s still not in the spirit of the 18-month Android software update guarantee that Google promotes. We certainly hope this is addressed down the track, but we can’t guarantee it – the best way to have your say is of course to vote with your wallet.