Android fragmentation revealed in a big chart thingy

Android fragmentation revealed in a big chart thingyGoogle Nexus One owners mightn’t be too happy about missing out on Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), but – as theunderstatement.com’s Michael DeGusta points out – the former Android flagship hasn’t fared too badly with updates historically.

In fact, Michael has gone one step further and provided a chart with every iPhone and Android model released in the US before July 2010, showing how they’ve been treated with regards to updates.

With each of the iPhones, they’ve always had the most recent version of iOS available to them, for up to three years from release. That includes the original iPhone. As such, the iPhones are all shown in green on Michael’s visualisation.

However, it’s not such a pretty picture for Android. Some handsets are one, two, or even three major releases behind the current major version.

As Michael notes:

  • Seven of 18 Android phones never ran the current major version
  • 12 of 18 ran a current version for a matter of weeks
  • 11 of 18 stopped getting updates within a year of release
  • 13 of 18 stopped getting support while the device was still on sale, or very shortly thereafter
  • 15 of 18 don’t run Gingerbread
  • 16 of 18 almost certainly won’t get Ice Cream Sandwich

All in all, a pretty depressing story as far as Android’s concerned, and Ice Cream Sandwich is doing nothing to right those wrongs. Oh dear.

Read more about: AndroidiOS

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38 comments

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 18:17

tbf though. this is hardly a fair comparison...

apple has 1 phone a year all premium phones. android has hundreds of phones under its umbrella ranging from low end phones - explorer etc all the way to the high end samsung galaxy s2/ galaxy nexus etc..

its never going to be perfect and all phones on the latest tech... no point in giving the explorer ICS if it cant handle the power but if you put more hardware in the price goes up...

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 18:32

For once, you seem to be making sense there, Treab ;).

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 18:35

i know... i have been drinking ;)

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 18:40

Bloody hell....making sense and partaking in normal student activities...calm down, we won't recognise your unique style of comments soon ;).

On an on topic note, Android doesn't "do", the same job as iOS, even the cheapest iPhone (the 3GS atm), is relatively high end in price compared to the Android range. Anyway, if you stay at the high end of Android it's fine, I've never felt my Desire or S2 were outdated software (or hardware for that matter), wise.

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 18:45

my hero on 2.1 eclair can still do 80% of things... admittedly if im playing games it cant do it as well or (in some cases) at all but for a 2 year old phone its done well... and today you can buy one for 100 quid not 329.00 like the 3gs lol

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 18:55

With a quick bit of rooting you can stick 2.3 on your Hero, sorted :). Yeah, I know it could brick it, but brick a Hero, it'll cost you £100, brick a 3GS Jailbreaking it, it'll cost you over £300...ouch...

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 18:59

i could upgrade it but i dont plan to ;) maybe after the contract ends lol. i would rather wait and see what i can get upgraded too ;)

3 mobile are defo getting the galaxy nexus so you know ;)

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 19:06

I guess you're on 3 then, I've seen you mention them before :p?

You've told me before but I've forgotten, when's your contract up for renewal? I guess your desired choices are (in no particular order):

1) SG Nexus
2) Samsung Note
3) Moto. RAZR
4) SGS2
5) SGS3 (If you can wait that long)
6) HTC Sensation XE





7) iPhone 4S LOLOLOLOLOL ;)

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 19:11

feb its technically up...

i wont be getting the sgs3 as simply put it will start at 30 quid above... which i cant afford...

the note i recon may well flop 4.3" is big for alot of people (innuendo ensues...) but 5.3" is massive...

razr... i want it... i want to love it... but... its moto... to me today i think phones should have a 2 year warranty at the start like HTC and Sammy do...

sensation xe looks shexy but vigor looks to be coming this month... so common HTC finally a comparison to the sgs2 (16gb internal dual core and expandable memory)

nexus... looks very good and maintained both years of my contract... but is it up to the standard of the others...

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:03

Fair enough, you've got a few months to have a look at what the prices do then, which is good. If you don't mind me asking, what kind of cost per month are you looking for?

So from my list it's down to (again in no real order):

1) RAZR
2) SN Nexus
3) Note
4) Vigor (though that'll come in at a high price, I reckon...)
5) Sensation XE (Vigor price depending)

What about the S2? You'll be able to get that cheap by Feb. and it's been confirmed for an ICS update in Q1 (I think), 2012.

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:05

the s2 is heading nicely down ;) its my backup (as its going to be the oldest one around at the time..)

well atm i pay 25 but im aiming for 15 lol

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:09

Understandable as a student, very sensible in fact. In my honest opinion, the only two I think will be at £15 by Feb. will be the SGS2 and the Sensation XE. The SG Nexus will stay high, Nexus phones always do, the Note MIGHT flop...if not, it'll stay high, I reckon. The RAZR will simply be too new to be at £15, without a large upfront payment, same for the Vigor, which hasn't even been officially announced yet, has it?

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:12

should be november the 7th i think... htc has another event in new york (thats what 6 in the last 6 weeks?)

i know its unlikely but bear in mind i wont be going for advertised prices... it will a price negotiated with 3 mobile or i will move on ;) loyalty is for chumps after all...

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:20

Loyalty is for idiots, you're right. Never mention only getting your networks signal at your house, a mistake a friend of mine ended up regretting...

What if the Vigor is CDMA? Being a US event and all...I guess HUKD could help you out a lot when it comes to finding a good phone at a good price :).

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:22

DONT RUIN MY DREAMS :p

it may well end up being an american only phone but i doubt it somehow... HTC dont do many usa only phones i would say 50/50 its coming here... its not like moto...

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:26

True, it could come to the UK. It's likely to be released first in the US though, meaning less time for prices to fall over here...though it will push the price of the XE down significantly.

What kinda specs are we looking at for the Vigor, btw?

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:30

from what i have heard its a 4.3" 720x1280 screen

1.5ghz dual core

16gb memory 32gb expandable..

HTC vigor specs

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:30

:( moderation sucks...

from what i have heard its a 4.3" 720x1280 screen

1.5ghz dual core

16gb memory 32gb expandable..

HTC vigor specs

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:34

Moderation does suck, you're right there...

Basically it's an HTC Sensation XE with a 720p screen and some more internal memory then? I assume it's launching with GB not ICS?

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:36

I read the specs sheet, GB.

Looks like a good phone, I did some digging. People reckon it'll be a VZW exclusive, therefore CDMA :(...

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:38

its been rumoured for weeks... and it looks shexy from the pics but if it is america only meh sgs2 is a good phone for fun ;)

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:50

The SGS2 is a good "fun", phone. The Vigor does look very nice from what I've seen of it, if that's CDMA only, HTC owe the GSM world a bloody good alternative ;).

daveysmithson  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:53

Android phones are in the same space as the old cheapo nokia ones, pile em high and sell em cheap, except these aren't particularly cheap. On the one hand you can't expect updates at the cheapo end of the market but then they have to be cheap. It's a real mixed message sent out with Androids, they want to be all things to all people, and become just that - a mish mash.

If you are talking about rootin' & spec sheets your motivations and Apples are very different.

Justifying the array of phones as the reason they don't get an update is about fragmentation and shows that the Google model can come unstuck - bet they never envisaged creating updates to each and every variation handset out there, this lack of updates (cynically) proves that.

MS/Nokia will now take the Android space back, several handsets that get regular updates, Apple are in their own space (they will lose a % here, gain some new % there) they won't be sweating it.

Fanboys however will motor on with pointless comparisons and spec sheet arguments (see above)

Treab  Oct. 29, 2011 at 20:58

tbh. im shocked by HTC's kinda downfall... they have dropped the ball on the high end market recently...

the sensation range is good but it should and could have been better with 1 change.... THE INTERNAL MEMORY... why is it 1gb... why not 16 like the galaxy s2... or the atrix... or the iphone.... or even 8gb like the optimus 2x...

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 29, 2011 at 21:12

They've been going downhill since MWC 2011 with all those mediocre "S", upgrades to existing phones. They could have saved it with the Sensation, but an S-LCD screen, crap front camera, 768mb of RAM and the pathetic internal memory, failed them.

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