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Android Support: An Infographic

According to Michael Degusta at TheUnderstatement.com, Android is seemingly creating “orphans” – often neglecting to upgrade or update any of its products, even sometimes selling products that are 2 major updates behind.

I went back and found every Android phone shipped in the United States1 up through the middle of last year. I then tracked down every update that was released for each device - be it a major OS upgrade or a minor support patch - as well as prices and release & discontinuation dates. I compared these dates & versions to the currently shipping version of Android at the time.

The most important question that comes to mind is, why don’t android phones get updated? One of the main problems seems to be the delivery of any updates is very complicated. While iOS goes from Apply directly to the devices, Android “has to go from Google to the phone manufacturers to the carriers to the devices.” It’s the cell phone equivalent of the childhood game, whisper down the lane. According to Degusta, there’s seemingly no incentive for smartphone manufacturers themselves to update the operating systems, because manufacturers don’t make money after the sale.

Don’t think that these issues go unnoticed. Baird Research polled 250 working developers on the matter, asking them: “Do You View Android Fragmentation As A Problem?” The results speak for themselves:

To read more about Degusta’s conclusions, visit his site here.

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