Android fragmentation visualized

Android fragmentation visualized
A fellow over at The Understatement by the name of Michael DeGusta took the time to create a chart that shows every iPhone and Android device that had been released before July of 2010 and how those devices have been supported in the years since.

We all know that Android is a fragmented operating system. It has caused most of us some frustration in the past not knowing when, if ever, our smartphone will be updated to the latest and greatest. Google seems to be putting an end to fragmentation with the impending release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but it will be a while until everybody is using the “one Android for all” platform.

The data that is compiled in this chart is a reminder of Android smartphones that have been pretty much forgotten about. Android devices are compared to the iPhones that had been released up until that point in July of 2010, but at that time there was only one carrier offering it here in the states. Android devices also greatly outnumber iPhones and updates to iOS come directly from Apple not the carrier like they do with Android.

Still, the chart reminds us that many Android phones are forgotten about when a new version of the operating system becomes available. Devices like the Motorola Cliq XT are now more than 3 major Android releases behind, although who even uses the Motorola Cliq anymore? What is your opinion on support of older Android devices? Check out the chart and tell us what you think.

source: The Understatement



1. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

That chart is awesome. Galaxy Nexus for me!

6. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

Yeah, after seeing that it does indeed come with "fortified" glass I am completely sold. Both me and my GF will be rockin' ICS asap!

11. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

i think im in too. i cant decide if i should preorder or at least wait to check them out in the store before i purchase.

21. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

I was planning on waiting to compare RAZR vs Nexus but after finding out the battery cannot be removed in the RAZR and the fact that the Nexus WILL have "fortified" glass I don't even need to compare. Every time I buy a new Android phone(D1, DX, and now Thunderbolt) I just pick up a spare battery with it. It's rare that I actually have to use it (believe me or not I don't care) because most of the time I can make it a full day but days like today where i'll be on a train for a few hours with mobile hotspot it's nice to have.

25. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

ive had spare batteries, but im much happier with an external portable charger, like this: i just ordered two. extra life w/o even having to shut down or reboot your device. and it works for tablets and other devices too.

26. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

The feature that sold you is fortified glass? Are you a construction worker or miner or something?

30. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

No, but comparing the RAZR to the Nexus that was the last deciding factor for me. As careful as I am, I always tend to drop my phones and i'm really not a huge fan of screen protectors... so this was very important in my decision.

36. nb2six

Posts: 298; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

does Minecrafter count?

14. Firedrops

Posts: 254; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

o_O aren't you guys commenting in the wrong article?

20. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

Why? It shows that out of all Android phones the Nexus is your best bet to avoid fragmentation. And I have no idea why someone gave me thumbs down above... sorry for being excited about the Nexus?

2. Knicknevin

Posts: 153; Member since: Mar 18, 2011

Data seems a little inaccurate...was the iphone really receiving full updates in late 2010? I do not believe so... Yes, Android is fragmented, that is due to the manufacturers, but there is work being done on trying to correct that if I'm not mistaken.

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

correct. if this thing would show 2010-2011, it wouldnt be nearly as drastic. we all know that OG droids were plagued by update issues. It also shows Motos over all poor update record. Of course, if the SGS1 was on there, it would only be fairing a little better.. lol

3. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Where is the GS2?

7. Ian.M

Posts: 21; Member since: Jul 18, 2011

This chart is phones released in the US before July of 2010

5. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

Yep, blame the carriers/manufacturers for fragmentation. If they could just leave the goddamn phones alone then phones like the Samsung Fascinate and others from that era could be running GB > ICS within months. I plan to do my part in eliminating this fragmentation by just straight up buying a Galaxy Nexus. No point in having carrier bloatware (Verizon) and manufacturer skins that slow you down (Motorola). I really do think the Moto RAZR guys should rethink their decision. Pure Google vs Seriously bloated/skinned.

12. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

im pretty sure verizon will still cram some bloatware on there, right? i do agree with the skins, but may still end up flashing a rom depending on what comes out.

8. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

So because the iPhone hasn't made drastic leaps in the OS like android, they are therefor better than ANdroid? 40% or more of all android devices are on Gingerbread. Probably 99% of the remaining are on Froyo. Very few people would be running on eclair or doughnut who actually care about having the most current apps.

13. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

so funny that you make up your own stats and force your opinion to argue with an infographic. its really like arguing with a wall. good job.

16. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

How many people still own a G1? Hell how many people still own an original Droid? Most of the phones that are listed as being 2 or more updates behind are not premium phones, or sold horribly, like the Droid Eris, Cliq, etc. I could go on about reasons why manufacturers and carriers wouldn't push out updates on cheap/horrible selling phones but I think it's pretty self explanitory. And the key difference between Android and iPhone is that you can GIngerbread on a most devices (as long as they have decent internals) by hacking your phone. If you want Gingerbread on your Moto droid you can do it yourself, it's not really that hard and comes with self explanatory instructions. And given that if you have the Droid it's most likely nearly 2 years old odds are that it's not covered under the warranty anymore so who cares if you void it by rooting and hacking.

23. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

To be honest, it's annoying that I have to hack my phone to have the latest updates. I am a VERY tech savvy person (I was a Network Administrator for 4 years) and have no issue with rooting or installing custom ROMS but the reality is I just don't want to have to do that. I rooted every single Android phone I had prior to my Thunderbolt just so I could be on the latest software... the only reason I haven't done that on my Tbolt is because I find myself only using my phone for phone calls now that I have the GT10.1 running all my email/news/text messaging. I will be purchasing the Nexus over the RAZR because I do believe that's my best shot at getting the latest software without having to f**k around.

33. ygswagg11

Posts: 8; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

@iamcc i totally feel you on every thing yu said

41. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

If you're annoyed, complain to your carrier and phone manufacturer. Google releases the OS updates, it's the carriers and manufacturers job to send them to their phones. I have the Droid X which had a very short time not on Gingerbread.

42. torr310

Posts: 1645; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Rooting a phone not only giving you the ability to update the system but also offering you the "Freedom"! I hate those software and web links the carriers installed in the phone which I never need/want. But I admit it's troublesome to find a good ROM to install.

27. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

What are the "drastic leaps" in android? Ayephoner hilarious that he quotes his own numbers he pulled out of his ass. Frequent fandroid tactic. You mad bro?

38. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

Ok well my one set of numbers was off, I apologize, it's still 40% for gingerbread, and it's 80% of the remaining devices are on Froyo. Slightly approx, 45% on Froyo, 40% on Gingerbread 2% on Honeycomb, only 2.5% on Eclair and Donut. You can find those numbers on Android's website. All numbers as of 10/3/11 (IIRC from another article it's even more in Gingerbread since then) So something like 87% of all ANdroids are on one of the 2 most current OS available. Would be interesting to see how many people are actually on the current iOS. I imagine it's a pretty high number, but I'd guess the numbers would be not that different.

45. Johnny_Mnemonic

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Taco culo

9. ilia1986 unregistered

You say fragmentation, I say custom roms! Something that iPhone will NEVER be able to do. Change its operating system.

19. iwebdroidberry7

Posts: 230; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

If you have to hack your phone to keep it supported for more than a year. Then there is something wrong.

24. iamcc

Posts: 1319; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

I agree droidberry. As much as I love having the OPTION to root/install custom roms... I HATE that I essentially have to in order to keep the latest software on the phone. I am very much looking forward to seeing if this changes with post-ICS phones/tablets from here on out. I will say though, as much as it sucks that older Android phones may not get the most recent updates.. if you talk to a lot of people with the iPhone 3G or even 3GS one of their biggest complaints is probably being forced into the latest version of iOS because a lot of times it bogs down the phone. There is a reason some of those phones still run older versions of Android, they just can't handle the newer ones.

47. ilia1986 unregistered

The original iPhone could handle iOS 4. Because iPhone 3G could. And it had the exact same processor\graphics\ram. That's just one example. And beyond rooting and installing a custom rom - there is no hacking that is needed, most of the time.

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