Michael DeGusta has painted a painful picture of the ongoing Android vs. iOS war. Mr. DeGusta looked back at all US-available Android devices as of mid-2010 and compared their update cycles to that of Apple’s iPhone. Frankly, when it comes to OS fragmentation, it doesn’t look good for Android.
Though the picture certainly would look different if Mr. DeGusta were to look at phones released after June 2010, it highlights an issue many have with the Android platform. People routinely comment on posts here at Android and Me expressing their frustration with not limited functionality or inability to download certain applications because they’re not on the latest version of Android.
Of course, comparing Android to Apple in this regard is like comparing apples and oranges. It’s easy to update the iPhone, since Apple owns both the hardware and software market for their device. Since Android devices are made by multiple manufacturers who all insist on customizing their devices as a means of differentiating their products, it adds a layer of complexity to updating the core Android software. Perhaps this will become less of an issue if we ever hear anything out of the Android Update Alliance.
What do you guys think? Is fragmentation still a big issue? Are you hopeful that the update alliance will come through in the end? Sound off in the comments.