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Android Orphans

Michael DeGusta, via Matt Gemmell:

If you thought that entitled you to some support, think again:

  • 7 of the 18 Android phones never ran a current version of the OS.
  • 12 of 18 only ran a current version of the OS for a matter of weeks or less.
  • 10 of 18 were at least two major versions behind well within their two year contract period.
  • 11 of 18 stopped getting any support updates less than a year after release.
  • 13 of 18 stopped getting any support updates before they even stopped selling the device or very shortly thereafter.
  • 15 of 18 don’t run Gingerbread, which shipped in December 2010.
  • In a few weeks, when Ice Cream Sandwich comes out, every device on here will be another major version behind.
  • At least 16 of 18 will almost certainly never get Ice Cream Sandwich.

Also worth noting that each bar in the chart starts from the first day of release - so it only gets worse for people who bought their phone late in its sales period.

This follows news that Google’s flagship phone, the Nexus One, will not receive the latest Android 4.0 update.

Matt Warman, reporting for The Telegraph:

Owners of the first official Google phone, the Nexus One, will not be getting the upgrade, however. Barra said the hardware was simply too old to run the new operating system.

Too old? Contrast the Nexus One with the iPhone 3GS from Apple, a company that is often accused of forced obsolescence.

MG Siegler:

Apple often gets dinged for cutting support to older hardware, forcing users to upgrade if they want the latest and greatest software. So I feel it’s necessary to point out that the iPhone 3GS is _7 months older_ than the Nexus One. And guess what it runs? Apple’s just-released latest and greatest operating system, iOS 5.

The bottom line: this is bad for consumers, developers, and security. But hey, at least it’s open.

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