Visualizing Android Fragmentation

Michael DeGusta:

I went back and found every Android phone shipped in the United States 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 and discontinuation dates. I compared these dates and versions to the currently shipping version of Android at the time. The resulting picture isn’t pretty — well, not for Android users.

This took a lot of effort, and his resulting infographic is striking. Many Android phones ship on day one with an old version of the OS and never catch up at any point. Fantastic work. Pretty good analysis too:

In other words, Apple’s way of getting you to buy a new phone is to make you really happy with your current one, whereas apparently Android phone makers think they can get you to buy a new phone by making you really unhappy with your current one. Then again, all of this may be ascribing motives and intent where none exist — it’s entirely possible that the root cause of the problem is just flat-out bad management (and/or the aforementioned spectacular dumbness).

Thursday, 27 October 2011