webOS firmware carrier approval by the numbers | webOS Nation

webOS firmware carrier approval by the numbers

by Robert Werlinger Mon, 17 May 2010 3:40 pm EDT

We've had a good idea of how the update process works for webOS for some time now, but the exact lag between when Palm submits a firmware update to a carrier and when that carrier finally green-lights the update for release to its subscribers has remained something of a mystery, until now.  Thanks to some clever sleuthing done by Rod Whitby (who founded and leads the webOS Internals Group), we're finally able to gain some insight into carrier turn around times.

Rod discovered that by comparing the build date of the webOS Doctor image (found in /etc/palm-build-info), which is presumably when the update is submitted to the carrier, to the date in the webOS Doctor URL (all of which can be found by way of the webOS Internals Wiki), which is presumably when the carrier gave the OK for release, we can get an idea of how long it takes each carrier to approve firmware by device. 

To decipher the firmware codes in the left hand column:  the first 4 characters represent the model number, with p100 being the Pre and p120/p200 being the Pixi.  The next three characters represent whether the device is North America bound (eww) or Europe bound (ueu).  The rest denotes carrier and firmware version. 

It's interesting to note that there isn't a huge discrepancy between most of the carriers when it comes to the turnaround time on major OS releases. The big difference is in the service updates - 1.4.0 to took a full 27 days on Verizon, compared to only 7 days for Sprint.  

In all, Palm has done a great job so far in maintaining OS parity across all of the carriers with which it does business - it'll be interesting to see how the newly introduced AT&T variable will affect this.