Here’s what Android fragmentation looks like – it ain’t pretty

The graphic heading created by Michael DeGusta at the, seems to be grabbing everyone’s attention around the Internet. The graphic (down below) illustrates Android’s serious problem with the way it updates its devices. This comes after the company recently announced that Nexus One users won’t be getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The chart demonstrates the major problem with the Android ecosystem. The motivations of the carriers and manufacturers are obvious, which are short term gains and keeping customers by locking them into proprietary overlays. Discussing this matter further, DeGusta says on his site:

“It appears to be a widely held viewpoint3 that there’s no incentive for smartphone manufacturers to update the OS: because manufacturers don’t make any money after the hardware sale, they want you to buy another phone as soon as possible. If that’s really the case, the phone manufacturers are spectacularly dumb: ignoring the 2 year contract cycle & abandoning your users isn’t going to engender much loyalty when they do buy a new phone.”

What DeGusta also mentioned was how Apple basically goes about things the right way, mentioning how “Apple also really only makes money from hardware sales, and yet their long term update support is excellent (see chart).”

I know, most of you educated techies would probably say he’s only stating the obvious, but for him to put together such a valid argument followed by a graphic should come off a bit striking. If you’re an Android consumer it’s pretty hard for you to disagree, but the one potential bright spot in all of this is Ice Cream Sandwich. Google has a chance to basically start over by repairing its bad fragmented reputation with updates starting with ICS.


  • Toxikhiro

    The EVO 4G is still on sale at sprint. Just thought I’d put that out there. They keep saying it’s going to hit End of Life and then they keep pushing back the date that that’s going to happen.

  • Remember, when mobile media folks don’t educate people on the positives and negatives of contract versus prepaid/unsubsidized mobile ownership and service use, this is the kind of market effects that can happen and that will continue to happen. It’s honestly simple to solve this, howeve, the mindset of consumers needs to change,and that can in part happen by us who know mobile putting it in a more honest light.

  • Vi

    Yea, I’m done with Android! I thought I could take the BS in the beginning, but it looks like nothing is going to change!

  • Anonymous

     i dont care what you talk negativity toward android’s fragmentation. but fragmentation is a GOOOD for trillion reasons. and glad there offer a rooted custom rom for their android phone better than nothing.. 

  • Anonymous

    Funny, I have an old Nokia 5800XM, which I keep as a wifi skype phone around the house, and it just got another update!  I think it’s had at least 13 since I bought it almost 3 years ago.  It’s nice to see some OEM’s still have commitment to customers.

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