iPhones outlast Android phones two to three times when it comes to running the latest version of the OS

iPhones outlast Android phones two to three times when it comes to running the latest version of the OS
When you buy a new phone you probably run through all the reviews, the specs, the camera and so on, but rarely does a person consider just how long that device will actually be up to date with the latest software. Turns out, not a long time, if you are an Android user.

Looking at the support history for various devices, Michael Degusta came up with this extremely telling little comparison. This is the number of years after release that a phone could run the latest OS:

  • Best iPhone: 4.3 years
  • Worst iPhone: 2.7 years
  • Best Nexus: 1.9 years
  • Best Galaxy S: 1.5 years

The list here accounts only for official updates, of course, and does not consider CyanogenMod and similar hacking delights. Android definitely has the open structure for tinkerers to keep their devices up to date longer, but that is not the focus of this little comparison. What it really hits on is the official update cycle.

The best iPhone was kept up to date by Apple for a whopping 4.3 years (it was the iPhone 3GS, featuring the latest iOS until iOS 7 arrived), and that’s a hugely impressive number. Now in contrast, the best Samsung Galaxy S device only stayed on the latest version of Android for 1.5 years. The difference is stark.

Nexus devices are faring noticeably better as the best Nexus phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, has been on the latest Android for 1.9 years (and could actually become the first Android phone to break the 2-year barrier).

Question remains how important is this to users. Obviously, customers across the globe still prefer Androids as Google’s operating system has grown to become the dominating leader, but what do timely updates mean to you?

source: @degusta



1. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Oh man. Get ready to get flamed by fandroids Victor. Good job Apple. People will still not give credit where it's due.

16. appleDOESNT.com

Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

This isn't really true. If iPhone 4 didn't get the main software innovation in the newest iOS, ya know Siri, the free app on the iPhone 4 until pulled by Apple then forced to buy a newer than iP4s to get it, then how does the newest iOS last longer than Android hold water? iP4 was the newest phone until Nov 2011, that is less than 2 years ago, it did not get Siri, so I don't really care if it got the new iOS, it didn't get the main part of newer iOS, means fragmentation, means this article is bogus and meant to glorify Apple while slandering Android. Typical iOSarena article :/

41. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Apple enables users to use all the features its older hardware can support. Siri lagged like hell on the iPhone4. Most jail break users don't use Siri because of that. If your argumentation was true, how come that iPhone 5 users can use all iOS7 features? Following your logic, Apple would deny them critical features so motivate them to update their phone, but Apple didn't deny them any feature. Apple is the ONLY manufacturer that really cares about all its customers and you can see that when Apple spends time to find the real maximum of new content its older hardware can support. NO ANDROID USER has ever experienced such a support by his manufacturer. And that is a fact you cannot deny. Go home troll and pray for your device even getting the minor KitKat update toward the end of next year.

60. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

It lagged on the 4S too an still lags now. The hack installer didn;t work right because it was missing key parts. It could have worked on an iPhone 4 just fine. The reason it wasn't made avail for the 4, was so you all would run like a bunch of iFan and buy the next model to get it. Which I honestly also fell for. But I got fooled only once. I owned only 2 iPhone models the 4 and 4S and vowed I would NEVER own another. I have now for the time being chose Samsung Galaxy devices as they are superior in almost every way, especially in the ways that matter to me. Metal just looks better but function is what matters. WHich is why Samsung is the leading OEM of Android OEMS.

62. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Its not Apple's fault that you decided to buy the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Its usually not worth to upgrade your phone (and I think that applies to all manufacturers) to its direct successor. Everybody knows to wait at least for 2 years if you want to get something really new....Of course there are some hardcore fans that always need to have the latest model but they exist everywhere. BTW, if you were clever you sold your iPhone 4 for a good price and therefore should not have payed a lot for getting your 4s.

95. Quezdagreat

Posts: 428; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

No you're just dumb. Apple is not telling you to upgrade your phone in a year especially when the phone looks exactly the same

72. appleDOESNT.com

Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

whoah, what is the difference then if Android users have a older OS? well for starters the newer OS does more things right? say yes...... So, the newest iOS does more things too, like Siri, which it doesn't on 2011 iPhone 4. Which means iPhone 4 is stuck on Gingerbread you iClone! Same thing, different names... or 'iOS7 gimped' if you like that better? maybe iOminusSiri?? one more iOlessSiri??? p.IO.s. Siri is kinda like, umm, everything for apple (like seriously, it is their identity, albeit lame, slow and mostly annoying) and the fact that a late 2011 iPhone doesn't support it YET you guys think 98% of all iOS devices have iOS7 is embarrassing! shows the nature of iFollowers iGuess

79. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Lol, and that because of Siri? I can laugh that off easily. Ha, HaHaHa. Done.

82. appleDOESNT.com

Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Siri isn't a integral part of iOS and Apples future? laugh all you want but a 2011, new up until late 2011 iPhone can't do a free app named siri that was designed for the iP4 in the first place... that is a big gimp if you ask any non iClone

92. appleDOESNT.com

Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

" Apple is the ONLY manufacturer that really cares about all its customers and you can see that when Apple spends time to find the real maximum of new content its older hardware can support" OMG, REALLY? this has got to be the saddest most untrue statement I have ever read... Apple only cares about 1 thing, profit margins.. they have made their customers wait and wait and wait some more for critical features that the competition has had for years at a time. Reason? cause its cheaper to put out a S hit every other year then keep up with the joneses. Google had voice actions for 3 years before the release of the once free app siri, mms took years as well, copy n paste too, maps with navigation, multitasking, large screen (still hasn't happened, no a extra row of icons does not make a large screen) True 720p hd display, still waiting and so on and so on. Same S hit, different year. Yep apple is truly doing everything they can for their iClones, problem is, they do almost nothing and you guys praise them like they are gods. They are the anti-tech company with 3 or so measly products that have been passed over years ago. I sound harsh, only because the iFollower mentality is soooo delusional and aggressive on how great you think apple is, they aren't, and your blind devotion to that ancient religion will run out some day. Apple is truly the only company that doesn't care at all about what customer's want, they only produce what can make them the most money :/

97. PK1983

Posts: 215; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

The iPhone 5S can't utilize all the features of iOS 7 properly. -Blue screen of death when switching multiple "i" apps. -Sensors are either faulty or miscalculated on 5S only, causing issues with all "level" apps. -Problems with overlapping. All phones have issues, but bitching about Android being laggy and or incomplete is silly as iOS has the some of the same and some different problems as all tech does. .

98. bigstrudel

Posts: 604; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Luckily any issues can be resolved by software updates directy from Apple available to me the day they are released. Plus Ill see 2 or 3 full version updates inside the life of my device. All without carrier interference. Hows 4.2 going for you lucky Galaxy ____ owners?

104. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

"Updates" to phones that never bring the complete package. iPhone 5S matches the GS2, two models behind Samsung's flagship. Android phones don't really need updates. Yes it's better to have them, but when you compare an Android phone with Apple's flagship, models from two years ago perform and have the same features of the 5S. The OG Galaxy S had Panorama and the iPhone 4 still doesn't have it lol.

52. takeja

Posts: 35; Member since: Aug 16, 2013

And iOS is wayyyyyy inferior iOS is just a fast toy in compare to even Android 2.2 iOS has still: No what default app selection No free copy Just icons for geronts from 1990 Siri is a joke in compare to Google Now A very limited system "Apple iOS Apps Leak More Personal Info Than Android". "iPhones most vulnerable among smartphones" "40% of iOS popular apps invade your privacy without any permission"

24. MrPhilo

Posts: 64; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

Good job Apple? The updates for the older phones hardly changed anything, just updated the UI and some stupid bug fixes. Nothing else, oh and course the number in the OS (iOS7), thats all. My friends old iPhone lags like a bitch now. They only update TO SCAM DUMB APPLE USERS TO UPGRADE, they make your phone slow so that they try to make you buy the newer iPhone.

45. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Apple did much more than that (new features of iPhone 4: control Center, new Camera app, new Photos app and new Safari browser (and I bet there are many more I didn't think of right now) PLUS a complete design change of the UI). That is standard in the Apple world but would be a historic event in the Android world. iOS7 did not slow down my iPhone 4 in any way.

61. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Then you dont have an iPhone 4. Dude, the videos are all over YouTUbe showing how iPhone 4 is so much slower with iOS7. Look how long it takes to do something as simple as make the wallpaper the same for the lockscreen/homescreen. Don't lie when facts can easily be shown. The only way an iPhone 4 is fast with iOS 7 is if you have no other apps installed.

63. HansGoneInsane unregistered

I have an iPhone4 and since a couple of days an 5S as well. Maybe it does take longer to change the wallpaper, but who cares about that? How often do you change your wallpaper? I would not categorize changing wallpapers as daily usage. When it comes to surfing on the web, checking and sending mails or listening to music, iOS 7 doesn't slow down your iPhone4 at all.

67. willard12 unregistered

Did the your iphone 4 update with Siri...the ios 6 feature used in all of their commercials?

80. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Siri. lol.

99. bigstrudel

Posts: 604; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

3 year old device. I wonder how well 4.2 would run on a Droid X.

105. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Check the HD2 running 4.3 JB or OG Galaxy S/2 running 4.3. iPhone 4 and 4S running iOS 7 on the other hand...

70. ady_lad

Posts: 83; Member since: Jul 17, 2013

Historic? The IO7 is istoric in the Apple world while on Android you just change the skin...

100. bigstrudel

Posts: 604; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Youre either trolling or are impressively uninformed.

25. sum182

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

This articles crap, i dont care if the software version says its the most current. IT DOESNT GET ALL THE FEATURES! So how can you say its really on the most up to date software? Android doesnt just throw updates around and say "Look! We updated all our handsets to our newest software!! BUT Anything released last year will be missing google now, project butter, and the new keyboard dur dur dur.".....It doesnt make sense...Apple gets not credit here, i'm sorry. If they kept all the features and gave true, full software updates, then oh yea, major credit. But this is just another one of their games....And the longest supported iphone (3GS) Ran like poop after 2 years, i had it....and it got bad.

59. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Really? Flame what. Fact - Apple does support there devices with more updates. What you iFans fail to consider is this fact. The present iPhone 5S with iOS 7 is equal to an Adroid phone running Gingerbread which was year ago. Even the specs are the same. In fact, today's iPhone 5S is using the specs of the Galaxy S II which was now 2 years ago. IPhone needs all those updates, because the phone is so far behind. Let me give you an example. On iOS 7 APple has finally added a screen for toggling of hardware options like WIFI and BT. This has been avail on Cydia for quite some time. However, this capability has been avail on Android since based on my usage, Android 2.1 Froyo...but it could have been avail earlier. The notification screen that you pull from the top, has been avail since the same version of Android. Here Apple is in both cases, just now doing it some 4 years later? Panaramic shots has been avail since Android 2.2 but was only avail on certain models who decided to use it. Because more common as of Android 4.x. However, even if you choose 4.x as the main starting point, that is still 2 years ahead of iOS 6 which finally got it. Snapping pics while recording video predates Android 4.x, but was more common afterwards. Still 2 years before Apple. I can as a fact list 25 things Android phones can do out the box that the iPhone 5S still can't do. 50% of that list has to do with NATIVE capibities in the hardware which Apple has locked down for no reason. For example here are MY top 3 native capabilities which Apple locked down: 1 - Mass Storage - All phones have flash memory. The very first phone I had that used this feature was the original Motorola Razr. Why can't I use an iPhone as a personal storage drive? 2 - File transfer over BT - Again this was fully functional on BT since version 1.x. Back in the old days it was used for PIM and transfering contacts on phones. Later full files like pics and MP3 and more were supported later. Locked down on iOS 3 - Default apps. This one is very important on a smartphone. They are in fact computers in a smaller form factor. On every computer I have ever used that has a GUI, I have been able to use the app I want for a certain task. On a phone where you can have more than one app that does the same thing, not being able to assign my favorite one is lame. Windows has allowed this since Windows 5.x (Windows 2000/XP) which was in 2002. Here we are in 2013 and Apple doesn't support something that is so simple. Flamed? Nah...just the facts bro. Apple can get all the updates they want. It doesn't matter if you phone you own doesn;t support 50% of the features that are considered new. That is why with Android, it does no good to upgrade to the very next model, because it usually isn't going to be all that much different from the previous. But with Apple, the last 4 models have been virtually identical with very few changes and none are even worth mentioning.

85. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Dude. don't take those things too serious! That is not good for your health! Your comment is long but misses the point: Apple supports their customers 4 years with the latest OS. Other manufacturers don't do that. That is all the article is about. Basta!

91. javac

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 04, 2013

This article is incredibly inaccurate. the iphone 5 can't handle the new software of ios7. i work at verizon and i get at least 1-2 people a day coming in with complaints about how there iphone 5 doesn't work properly with ios7. the best part of that is that at least 2-3 times a week we get an iphone with ios7 that is just completely bricked. if you are not familiar with that term it means the phone wont ever work again. this is happening with the 5 and that is only 1 year old. this article should be taken down. if anything apple should be fined or forced to replace all the phones that have been destroyed because of ios7.

2. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Extremely deceptive article. No surprise there from PA. Every iPhone other than the most recent has a stripped down version of the latest software. So technically, it doesn't have the latest software. If you can compare stripped down software, let's compare Android services update (which Google can do outside of version updates). 99% of phones android phones in the last 3 years have the most up to date core services software and Google's core apps. That's pretty much the latest everything. Apple can't touch those numbers. In my opinion, Google now has a much faster, better software update that reaches more devices and further back in time than Apple. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/09/balky-carriers-and-slow-oems-step-aside-google-is-defragging-android/

8. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Sorry, that's 99% of all active android phones. So basically every android phone you'll ever come across has the latest software.

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