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And this seems to be part of an ongoing trend for early-adopters to buy kit on the basis of what it might be able to do in the future, rather than what it can do today. Over at Hard Reg they've been looking at the latest DAB radio and concluded that a firmware update will be necessary before it's usable - so the manufacturer seems to be asking customers to buy now and hope for the best.

Earlier this month Americans who'd got their hands on a Motorola Droid got an update adding vital functionality as well as fixing bugs, which begs the question - would they have bought those handsets if it wasn't for the belief that it would improve over time?

Manufacturers have no obligation to issue updates, the only motivation to do so depends on maintenance of their reputation and if they don't sell a lot then any damage will be minimal (despite Facebook protests and on-line petitions).

Perhaps one day we'll enter into a rental agreement with our hardware suppliers, or get used to Apple's policy of paying $10 per update*, but until then we're dependent on the largess of the manufacturers who may not be as generous as we'd like. ®

* On the iPod Touch - iPhone users are still getting their updates for free, though we don't know for how long.

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