Vodafone walks us through a phone's Android 4.0 upgrade, explains our protracted thumb-twiddling

We're used to seemingly interminable waits for phone firmware upgrades for carrier-locked phones. What is it that takes so long? Vodafone UK isn't promising a quicker process, but it's offering a rare walkthrough of just what itself (and many other carriers) do to rubber stamp a firmware upgrade. Using the Huawei Ascend G 300's Android 4.0 update as the reference point, Vodafone explains that the actual network testing lasts a week or less, depending on the scope of the upgrade -- it's the requirements for branding and carrier-specific network settings that introduce additional overhead. Android phones that skew closer to Google's stock OS (like the G 300) tend to be easy updates, although Vodafone warns that the verification process is typically getting longer, not shorter. There's not much consolation here for phone owners around the world still using Android 2.3; if you'd rather skip the carrier update process entirely, however, you know where to turn.