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Motorola promises Jelly Bean-less Android buyers $100 credit

To entice previous buyers, Motorola says it will give owners of older devices a $100 credit if they're not in line for an OS update.

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside at the company's event earlier today.
Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside at the company's event earlier today.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Google-owned Motorola Mobility is apparently quite serious about keeping recent smartphone buyers happy, enough to offer $100 towards the purchase of one of the company's latest devices to anyone who purchased a phone that's not in line to get Jelly Bean, Google's latest Android OS.

That pledge, made on stage earlier today by Motorola chief executive Dennis Woodside at the company's event in New York, only applies to a selected group of device owners. Specifically those who purchased one of Motorola's handsets since 2011, and who is not in line to get Android 4.1.

"We know that keeping current on the latest Android Operating System is important to all of our users," Woodside said. "We will upgrade most of our devices that were launched since 2011 to Jelly Bean very soon, but there are a small number of devices that can't be upgraded without degrading the phone performance."

Woodside said the $100 credit would only apply to the trio of new Jelly Bean-powered smartphones the company debuted at the event. One of those, the Droid RAZR M becomes available for pre-order today at $99 (with a multi-year contract), while the also-announced RAZR HD and MAXX HD will arrive in time for the holiday shopping season.

Google bought Motorola Mobility as part of a $12.5 billion deal last August, which closed in late May. Google originally said the company would operate independently, though in its press conference today Motorola ran a cheeky video with a play on the Carpenters song "We've only just begun" with tag-lines like "we're faster," "we're smarter," and "we're brighter," all highlighting the benefits of the acquisition.

A rebate for early technology adopters is typically a rarity. In the smartphone world Apple famously offered early iPhone buyers a $100 store creditafter slashing the price on that phone by $200 just weeks after its release. More recently Nintendo gave early 3DS buyers20 free software titles after dropping the price on the $250 handheld system by a third just months after launch.