Published on October 30th, 2011 | by Mithil Bhatia1
Android Fragmentation Visualized: Android Orphans needs Upgrade Now!
What a Beautiful and Explanatory chart created by Michael DeGusta of The Understatement, where we can clearly see the perennial problems of Android: Google and its manufacturers have a lousy track record in supporting and updating their devices.
The comparison is done in terms of regular OS updates for iPhone and Android devices, where the green colour appears uniformly for the Apple devices. The following chart, created by Michael DeGusta, reveals information that certainly makes one wonder whether to actually buy a Android phone that never gets latest updates and supports, if needed:
According to Michael, Other than the original G1 and MyTouch, virtually all of the millions of phones represented by this chart are still under contract today. If you thought that entitled you to some support, think again:
- 7 of the 18 Android phones never ran a current version of the OS.
- 12 of 18 only ran a current version of the OS for a matter of weeks or less.
- 10 of 18 were at least two major versions behind well within their two year contract period.
- 11 of 18 stopped getting any support updates less than a year after release.
- 13 of 18 stopped getting any support updates before they even stopped selling the device or very shortly thereafter.
- 15 of 18 don’t run Gingerbread, which shipped in December 2010.
- In a few weeks, when Ice Cream Sandwich comes out, every device on here will be another major version behind.
- At least 16 of 18 will almost certainly never get Ice Cream Sandwich.
Summarizing the data, basically we can see that over half of the Android devices has no support terminal after the first year purchase. In addition, over 70% of the Android phones do not run on Gingerbread which was launched last year. And, of course, almost none will have Ice Cream Sandwich.
Why Android Phones don’t get immediate Updates? “The reason is that Android has to go from Google to the phone manufacturers to the carriers to the devices, whereas iOS just goes from Apple directly to devices. The hacker community (e.g. CyanogenMod) has frequently managed to get these phones to run the newer operating systems, so it isn’t a hardware issue”, said Michael.
Truly, the value of a phone is strongly linked to its operating system. Although, Android Phones don’t get regular OS Updates, they are now amongst the top Smart Phones leaders and low-priced best selling, most loved Phones.