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Firmware Explained


Why does Vodafone have its own software on phones?

We customise phone software to optimise the experience on the Vodafone network and to enable access to our services. On a basic level, this involves making sure that things like picture messaging, voicemail and internet connections are set up correctly. On a more advanced level, this is more extensive such as the preloading of services, but this varies from phone to phone.

Why does Vodafone delay the issue of future software updates?


Before releasing any software updates, we test it thoroughly to make sure it provides the best experience on our network.


Our testing process begins as soon as we receive the software. This often happens once the manufacturer has already released an open market version.


During the testing, we report any issues with the software back to the manufacturer for them to address. Once the firmware’s approved, we return it to the manufacturer and they’ll then distribute this to customers through the appropriate channels.


We do this with every phone we sell, regardless of whether or not the phone contains branded software.


If you’ve bought the phone from a third party (Carphone Warehouse, etc) then it’s possible that it may not be on the Vodafone version of software. In this case, the manufacturer would be in control of releasing any future updates. 


Do you add or remove anything compared to the standard firmware?


To ensure the phone’s optimised for use on the Vodafone network, we’ll sometimes add or remove certain functions. For example, we’d remove an app that only worked in America to avoid any confusion for people trying to use it in the UK. We’d also remove any other operators’ settings from the phone to free up memory. 

When will the update be available?


As above, there are a number of factors which influence a release date. This means we can’t give a date - even an estimate would often change. 


What happens if I update my phone to an unofficial (non-Vodafone) version of software?


All phones that we sell are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Providing any software is downloaded officially via the manufactures website, PC software or over the air, there should be no impact on its validity.


Any update that users are prompted to download to their phone through an official channel, is classed as an official update. For example, if an update is available for your Samsung Galaxy through Samsung’s Kies PC Sync software, your warranty won’t be impacted if you choose to install it.


Your warranty may be invalidated if you download software which falls outside of this process.

Firmware Feedback


As there’s nothing more we can add, we won’t reply in any firmware related discussions, other than to quote or link to this information.


We’re happy for you to discuss any firmware related queries, so we’ll always leave one main thread open for each phone. We’ll then direct any new queries about the same phone, to the original thread.


As this would be a general discussion, we won’t respond to any questions, but we’ll monitor the thread and pass any comments back to the business where appropriate.