This Incredible Chart Shows How Screwed Android Is And How iOS Gets It Right

This Incredible Chart Shows How Screwed Android Is And How iOS Gets It Right

Care to see just what Apple means when they talk about Android’s fragmentation problem? Check out this incredible chart put together by Michael Degusta. Not only are most Android phones out of date, but almost half of the smartphones on this chart have never been up-to-date with the latest version of Android OS, even at release!

Comparatively, every release of iOS has been backwards compatible for at least three years. No wonder the iPhone developer community is so strong: devs and users alike can count on almost every iPhone owner being on the current, most bug-free version of iOS!

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  • AppleOpinions

    What if the user just didn’t feel like updating? 

  • FriarNurgle

    This goes along with Jobs’ “back side of the fence must be a nice as the front side” philosophy.

  • Joe

    I don’t think that’s really the point.

  • Tim Meesseman

    This chart shows that even if the person did want to update, they can’t.

  • jeanlouisnguyen

    I am utterly shocked to hear this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L… . 

  • gregbraddock

    uhm… just so we’re all clear, everyone knows I’m an Apple lover but am I misunderstanding the graphic? Green stands for “1 year after release” correct? Why then are there 3 green bars for the original iPhone? The original iPhone was not supported during the reign of the iPhone 4… AT&T wouldn’t even activate an original iPhone. I’m all about bragging about Apple but let’s try and be truthful with our bragging rights… although, I could be wrong but I don’t think I am. 

    Please feel free to correct me guys. 

  • AndrewHrubik

    This chart is a lie. Only the iPhone 3GS and the 4 can be updated to iOS 5 and even then there are features missing from the update. iOS is as fragmented as Android on far fewer devices.

    The original iPhone can only be updated to iOS version 3.1.3
    The iPhone 3G can only be updated to iOS version 4.2.1

  • Chris Ford

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  Did you try iOS4 on an iPhone 3G?  It was unusable.  I can’t imagine what it was like on original iPhone.  This is the most slanted, fanboyriffic chart that I’ve ever seen….

  • Daniel Osborne

    Actually, the iPhone 3G ran the same hardware and clocked to the same speeds as the iPhone 2G.

  • Daniel Osborne

    Actually, the iPhone 3G ran the same hardware and clocked to the same speeds as the iPhone 2G.

  • MacHead

    Green stands for running current OS available. You can see the original iPhone shows its stopped being actively sold after year one and fully supported with updates halfway thru year three

  • brandonmartinez

    I think you may be reading the chart incorrectly. The date on the original iPhone is 6/29/2007; 3 years later would be 6/29/2010. iOS 4 was released on 6/21/2010 (which did not support the original iPhone, meaning latest version support ended on 6/20/2010).

  • MacHead

    You should learn how to read the chart. The bars are from launch to current….its from launch to 3 years later. So original iPhone is representing 2007-2010

  • dR435t4

    It IS the point… My friend had an andriod phone when it was released and the graphics driver was seriously flawed… he waited for the better part of the year for them to release an update… sadly it never happened…

  • MacHead

    Edit: “The bars arent from launch to current..”

  • jeanlouisnguyen

    Apple can support its 4 devices better than the hundreds of Android devices across dozens of manufacturers and multiple carriers. I wonder why that is.

  • MacHead

    Shocked how many people cant read a simple chart…wow. This is indeed accurate if you all knew how to read it

  • dR435t4

    so… you’re arguing that the chart is flawed because its representing an extra 8 days out of a year?

  • brandonmartinez

    Well I’m not; he is though.

  • AndrewHrubik

    Then it’s obviously designed to show iOS in the best possible light. A lie of omission to make a point is still a lie.

    I am considering an iPhone 4S for my next phone but my current EVO 4G is running Android 2.3.7 (Cyanogenmod 7.1) which is the latest for phones and it works flawlessly. It is unfortunate that Android upgrades are carrier and manufacturer dependent because many phones are capable of running much better software.

    Edit:
    The last bubble on the original iPhone should be yellow.

  • brandonmartinez

    How is this “best possible light”? It’s a relative comparison.

  • AndrewHrubik

    If the author were to run the chart out to current times the iOS chart would not be all green and in fact would show red (original) and yellow (3G) but the author was trying to portray iOS devices as being always up to date.

    Android is also implemented wholly and not piece meal like iOS has been. The 3G and 3GS didn’t get some features of iOS 4 because they “couldn’t” handle them. The iPhone 4 didn’t get Siri because Apple didn’t like the way it performs. The chart is not showing the whole truth and is designed to paint iOS in shaded light.

  • Andy Rubin

    Wow! By the logic built into this chart, I’ll never need a new phone! Darn, why did I buy an iPhone4S when I can use Facetime with my original iPhone! Big miss John. 

  • Andy Rubin

    Enlighten us…

  • MacHead

    Award to Andy Rubin for being another person who doesnt know how to read that chart!!!

  • brandonmartinez

    I’m still not sure what your point is. The point of this graph is to illustrate a device *from launch* to how long it is supported. Yes, they could tack on more than 3 years, but where do you stop? 5 years? 10 years? The point of the graph is to illustrate how well the iPhone is supported vs other handsets. What purpose would it serve to show years 3 – 5 as red, especially when nothing else surpasses it?

    And as far as removing features, it’s only be a few per devices. If that doesn’t fully qualify, again, where do you draw the line?

  • MacHead

    Sorry Andrew, the charts correct you just dont know how to read it. No point in arguing what is beyond your comprehension 

  • brandonmartinez

    Did you read the original post on this?

  • GDal

    What omission are you referring to?

    The purpose of the chart is to show os updates and support after device release. The chart is quite clear. It shows that each iPhone model shown received updates to the latest OS version for about 3 years after release, unlike the Android models, many of which were released with outdated software and never updated.

    It also clearly shows that your EVO, which was released last year, can be updated to the latest software. Your stating the fact was rather redundant.

    I’m not sure how anyone can’t interpret this chart properly.

    As for the last bubble… There were 8 days before the year ended. The month was pretty much 75% done. In my book, that’s as good as complete for this kind of comparison. Petty.

  • MacHead

    Exactly Andrew fails to realize that every device one day become obsolete. The charts shows that in comparison to android which seems to average a few months on current OS. Apples products are supported for years.

  • Mitchell Busby

    Still just as terrible to run.

  • GDal

    Let’s not forget the iPhone (and thus all Androids in this chart) have only been around for a little over 4 years… 3 years is good, especially since only one Android device reaches that age.

  • ksuyen

    Second award to Andy Rubin for being another person who doesn’t know how to read that chart.

  • ksuyen

    Please do enlighten yourself. Isn’t Google suppose to be your best friend?

  • ksuyen

    Actually, just because you shouldn’t doesn’t mean you can’t. On the other hand, an older Android phones can’t run on the latest OS doesn’t matter should or shouldn’t.

  • prof_peabody

    Maybe just admitting you made a mistake on reading the chart would be simpler than all this passive aggressive posting on multiple points that are all incorrect anyway?  

    The chart was prepared by a professional and is 100% accurate.  Just because you didn’t initially understand what was being represented doesn’t make all this bluster acceptable.  

  • prof_peabody

    What’s sad is how few people seem to understand this chart.  

    I’m gonna say that if you failed to get this thing, maybe you should give up copious commented on Internet blogs about technology and take a course in stats or math. 

  • Emil

    So, if I understand this chart, the more you have to fix something the better it is?

  • MarioWario

    Still the most untrue thing I saw on CultOfMac !

    Reliability of updates for iOS-Devices is lower than Microsoft’s (Lion isn’t that disappointing).

    They screwed customers of the iPhone 3G (I still think twice if I buy an 4s or a Samsung S2 instead). 

    If there is anything left good inside apple’s headquarter they should fix this software maintenance problem (on legacy phones especially) for a good awareness of a secure platform – Q: Is it save enough to do transactions with my old iPhone (can I give to my mother) – have they fixed the telephone-scripts for the telco providers / the security flaws of the web browser (aso.). Other questions is the idea of pricing, downsizing flash memory and direct offers of apple to trade-in old phones OR repair/upgrade old phones to last longer. 

  • brandonmartinez

    What the heck are you saying?!?!

  • brandonmartinez

    Devil’s advocate, eh?

  • Onkytonk

    It may only show only 3 years from release, but honestly, how many of us keep the same phone for even more than two years these days?

    I think any data over three years is irrelevant.

  • YourDaddy

    Rocked the iPhone 3G until just last week. iOS was rock solid. I just upgraded to the 4 to get ios 5 goodness. Previous phone was the HTC G1, had to jailbreak it to be usefull and was abandoned by Google in less than a year.

  • Barry

    I kinda get what the author was intending with this… but really, he should have used actual dates as the X axis and not relative timebars to the ‘launch date’.  His point would still have been clear as the three-year long unbroken green bars for iPhones easily dominate the broken bars of Android. It also would unmuddy the confusion around the first iPhone – which is clearly not supported anymore, but this graph makes that information ambiguous.

  • brandonmartinez

    It’s not ambiguous because this isn’t a comparison of start date/end date. This is a comparison of length of time. If you wanted to compare release dates in general (oh, the Nexus One was released x amount of time away from the original iPhone), then yes, that would make sense.

    I’m not sure why people are having a hard time understanding what this graph is actually quantifying.

  • brandonmartinez

    Today I learned that Cult of Mac readers don’t understand graphs, statistics, and what quantified data looks like.

  • MarioWario

    I mean it’s pretty unprofessional what apple is doing to customers in the telephone market. A phone last longer than three years and you have to maintain it.

    The other thing is: You are using a computer (iPhone) and it’s necessary to keep the thing save (do updates of your internet communication apps & things like ‘find my iPhone’).

    The third piece is the “apple experience” – it’s kind of cheap to not take care what’s the look & feel is after updates (iPad (1) after iOS5 & iPhone 3G after iOS4-’Update’) – what’s also cheap is the downgrading f the iPhone 4 ws. 8GB flash memory & the low amount of RAM on the devices (I am pretty sure the apple guys stretching innovation cycles right now like IBM did in the era of typewriting machines – something Steve J. warned us about in 1985 …)

  • vanmacguy

    15 out of 7 Cult Of Mac Readers think this chart had too many colours and numbers in it and that it was as hard as math.

  • internuts

    Really. I run iOS 4 on my 3G and it works like a charm.

  • newreplydotpphp

    Apart from when you used your iPhone 4 left handed or tried to use the alarm facility

  • JT_CHITOWN

    This is preposterous!  My carrier had a great update solution: sign up for another two year contract and get the update by buying another Android phone with the newer OS.

    Wait a minute…………………………………….

    *furrows brow*

    DAMN!

  • fortninety

    People who don’t seem to understand that this chart was poorly formulated and presented are the ones with their heads up their asses.

    And the people all over it are the type to basically applaud any chart, no matter what is being said (and how poorly it’s saying it), so long as it’s another positive for Apple.

    I swore to myself that I wouldn’t leave any more snarky, trollish comments on Cult articles… almost wavered with that article that trying pinning all of Nintendo’s woes on Apple… but I guess I couldn’t help myself in this case. 

  • Tai Morris

    If you’re complaining about apple not supporting phones longer, you’d better not try android where the support is even worse, as the chart shows, unless you did not understand it.

  • fortninety

    Furthermore, Apple fans are like Michael Moore; I ultimately agree with the message, but the way in which some carry it, primarily the need to overly explain or stretch the truth, gives me serious douche-chills.

  • Dilbert A

    I’m confused. Are you saying the chart is wrong? If so why?

    Are you saying the chart is right, but that doesn’t matter because the companies involved don’t know how to make software? If so why is that their fault?

  • fortninety

    Even though I’m pretty sure you’re trying to troll me, I’ll answer anyway: the way the chart is configured, upon first glance, there’s the impression that the original iPhone supports the most current version of the iOS. Which is obviously not true.

    To be honest, the chart makes sense if you sit and examine the thing, but a super quick glance does not make the message clear.

    And I hate to break it to you folks, but one of the basic points behind a chart in the first place is to present information as quickly and easily as possible… with zero fuss or muss, hence why it’s a failure in that department.

    Unless it was meant to be obtuse by design, as passive aggressive slam against Android. Which again, is pretty unnecessary.

  • OEB

    “I swore to myself that I wouldn’t leave any more snarky, trollish comments on Cult articles”

    Fail.

  • Morituri Max

    Sooooo, basically you can’t point out how the chart is WRONG, and it makes sense if you look at it for awhile, but you think the people making the chart are wrong, howwwwwww?  Just because you don’t LIKE what it says, because it points out the greatest flaw behind Android, namely the Cellphone companies have their heads up THEIR asses, and could care less how well your phone works, they just want your money.

    So, I think the chart does pretty damn well pointing out why you’re an idiot if you buy a consumer product that fails completely in the major area where the customers are supposed to be the winners.

  • Morituri Max

    Oh I get it, not ever being able to have the newest OS on your phone is AOK!  but having a phone that gets updated consistently throughout it’s life is DUMB!

    Hokay, I got some android labelled swampland to see you. 

  • Morituri Max

    I’d say people who don’t understand this chart deserve their android phones.

  • Morituri Max

    Okay, we get it.  Android Users don’t like having their face rubbed in the fact that the OS support for their phones SUCKS ASS!  We get it, it’s okay.  But don’t try to act like the chart is laying out the Big Bang Theory.  It took me 10 seconds to figure out, and that’s just because I had to scroll down to read it.

    Please do everyone a favor, don’t show how stupid you are by complaining how it’s a lie or it’s wrong.  Leo Laporte even understands that Android has a fragmentation problem.  Windows Phone is worse.  Ask Paul Thurrot.  Yes, Android is a great OS, IF YOU CAN GET THE LATEST VERSION ON YOUR PHONE!  Which most of the time you can’t, and also most of the time you NEVER WILL.

    The Nexus 1 isn’t even 2 years old (released January 2010) and it’s already obsolete.  It won’t be getting the newest Android OS ICS.  Really?  And you think the chart above is WRONG?!  Really?  Really?

  • Morituri Max

    “Furthermore, Apple fans are like Michael Moore;”

    Golly, I could say people whose name starts with fort love Hitler.  Can we dispense with the stupid outrageous over the top personal attacks?  I’ll call you a dumbass and you can call me a jerk, but really, let’s keep some common sense here.

  • buyrihn_the_amazing

    Windows Phone is worse? You may want to correct your error, there. Windows Phone 7 has no fragmentation whatsoever. Every phone is able to upgrade to the latest version, WP7.5. And if you haven’t tried it, you should—it’s an amazing OS.

  • MarioWario

    I think in both ways: Android is an insecure platform – apple is a platform that is managed to be insecure. Maybe somebody else get it right – like Nokia (they had great designs, best phone quality and the worst GUI) or Blackberry (bought QNX – RT-OS on it’s best) or HP/WebOS (best GUI-Logic). 

    BTW the chart is FAKE: Change the iPhone 3G support time to 18 month and you are on the right level (I know what I am talking about – I built a quality management system for a bank based on SPSS’s statistics pgm.).

    At the moment apple is the best integrated design/software package I’ve seen – but the Samsung S2 (for example) is a pretty good and useable phone from a better manufacturer. The apple quality level is at high level – but it’s not perfect (in built quality) / has malfunctions (new MB air of my cousin couldn’t be fixed – Trackpad). BTW I am boycotting Eizo (formerly known as Nanao) for quality flaws and service (using NEC/Samsung instead – apple is useless in this case (too glossy)).

  • brandonmartinez

    Let’s let him be; he’s obviously drunk or a troll.

  • Tfr2002

    Great article!

  • Wicked

    If you say Android is screwed well iOS is too. The fact that no other device but the iPhone4s gets Siri is a sign of loss of experience from a software point of view forcing the consumer to upgrade to get the full experience. It’s just always presented to Apples advantage.

  • MostWicked

    Such insightful comment; unexpected from a fat & fugly troll.

  • Larry

    The article is nonsense. Compare a Google phone with an apple phone. The nexus has always been current and up to date. There is no comparable licensing structure in the history of apple (okay once a long time ago for about 4 months).

  • Alfiejr

    yes, you have to think a second to notice the chart shows only the first three years of any iPhone, not all 4.5 years of the 2G and 3.5 years of the 3 – since the entire history of Android is just three years and he was trying to equalize the time scale on an all models-to-models basis.

    oh, that is SO hard! your brain must be hurting!

    the chart maker was trying to make a point about how long a given model was updated/supported compared to others. so he fixed the base point to the left at their respective dates of introduction, whenever that was over the past 4.5 years. he could have fixed the base point to right at “now” and shown all 4.5 years running to the left, including those extra 1.5/0.5  years for the two earliest iPhone models.

    but it wouldn’t change the truth of the matter. and neither will your nitpicking.

  • Alfiejr

    it ain’t to the significant number of people of iPhone owners who DO keep their phones longer than 2 years.

    but you’re right about most early Android users, because their 2+ year old phones are so lame.

  • Alfiejr

    dude, sorry, but your rant is incomprehensible.

  • Alfiejr

    right. it’s easier to just throw that POS away. this is America! a throwaway society. disposable culture. use ‘em and lose ‘em.
     

  • Alfiejr

    are you color blind? the chart plainly shows the Nexus One as “green” – i.e. up to date as you say – all the way thru its life, except for a brief delay in the Gingerbread update.

    but Moto has just announced it ain’t gonna get the ICS update. so that green bar is going yellow in a month or two.

  • Alfiejr

    iPhone 4 owners still get most of the iOS 5 features/updates, and 3GS owners get a lot of them. that is hardly being “screwed.” not having all the latest and greatest features all the time does not equal being “screwed” for anyone but spoiled kids. well, maybe for Fandroids too.

  • Ttc526

    LOL have you ever try a ios 4.2 on a 3G? It runs like 486hz.

  • freiherr

    Original iPhone is green all the way to third year? What utter rubbish is this?

  • davvyk

    Have you even read this chart? Since when did the original iphone have the latest os? I think its generous to say the 3g has full support as well.

  • Sivlin

    … The fragmentation in this case is absolutely in Androids favor. The reason that these phones stop getting updates is due to the phones not being able to run these updates seamlessly with their current hardware. This is why you see such dramatic growth in the Android phone specs.

    Android and apple took very different approaches to their device, similar to the PC vs Mac thing. Apple has always been about streamlined beautiful objects that last for a long time. Android and PC are about constantly improving.

  • Matt

    am i the only one here who understands the charts this way:

    1. it is directly aimed at fuelling the android vs ios fuss

    2. unfortunately android’s fragmentation isnt so much google’s fault, but the manufacturers. as an operating system it undergoes continuous development and hence gets updated over time, which people can download OTA. problem is, later versions of android and ios too rely on NEW hardware functionality and you just can’t download hardware updates over the air. i guess the difference is that apple’s full control over their HW makes it easier for them to install components they are planning to use in future software updates which gives them greener bars in the chart. BUT im sure that even even those who can get the latest possible iOS versions in the oldest iPhones DO NOT have access to the software’s full functionality because the latest iOSes are buuilt for the latest iPhones which have much higher hardware specs than the older ones.

    3. it’s kind of stupid to criticize android phones built for cupcake, donut and eclair for not getting further updates. those versions are so old, have very little market share, and probably dont even have the capability to run froyo or higher. really, just get a new damn phone. even android devs dont even bother to write for those versions anymore.

    4. it is ABSOLUTELY wrong to say that devs cant get by this fragmentation because there are various ways to get around it that it shouldn’t be a problem. check out phonegap or appcelerator. and even if those tools aren’t adequate for true native OS control, well why should a dev be bitching about it? adjustment has always been part of the job. if you’re not porting your app from one android version to another, you’re doing it from one OS to another. mere consumers should really stop analyzing for the devs themselves.

  • kmcgrady

    I’m a dev and fragmentations IS a problem. It is not easy to optimise an app for a seemingly unlimited number of different devices running different versions of an OS. It is also costly as graphics have to be optimised for different screen sizes, aspect ratios and now with more people adopting retina type displays DPI’s. 

    I’m an iOS dev but have also developed for Android and fragmentation is the main thing keeping me from putting more time into Android development.

  • LeninD

    I don’t understand anything of this ‘amazing chart’. True that Apple hardware, regardless of the phone or pad or computer, always get the software updates meant for the platform quickly enough ATLEAST for a period of 2 years, perhaps 3 as this article suggests. True also that Android makers suck at keeping their customers updated.

    But this article suggests:
    1: iPhone 1 being up to date’able’ which I think is incorrect. There were enough customers complaining about 3GS being slow with iOS4 upgrade as it is let alone TWO model before it working well enough.
    2: Why don’t I see the master phone – Galaxy S (first one) – on this chart which has support for Anrdroid 2.3 too (which is the latest major release?)

    This is one of the rare Apple partial articles that I see and I concur with Matt here – this is rubbish!

  • LeninD

    Hahahahahaha!!! Dude, great article???

  • xXX

    but apple purposely cripple iphone 4 from getting siri

  • brandonmartinez

    Jelly much?

    Seriously, have you seen the videos of it run on the iPhone 4? It’s very laggy/jerky.

  • Karl

    My daughter acquired a 2nd gen iPod Touch a couple months ago, and an Apple fanboy himself pointed out to me what features in iOS4 would be unavailable to the device. To me that isn’t any different than an Android phone being a version or two behind.

  • Karl

    Also, is it fair to compare the jump between Android 2.1 and 2.2 or 2.2 and 2.3 to the jump from iOS4 and iOS5? I don’t know, thouhg my gut says no. It’s a question that needs to be answered though, or the chart shown doesn’t really mean anything.

  • brandonmartinez

    How can you say that the chart gives the illusion of saying the iPhone is running the latest OS? The x-axis is not depicting *version number*, it’s depicting length of time of support. How does that equate to version number? By that logic, Android phones must be running iOS 5.

  • Alfiejr

    someone else who:

    - doesn’t understand the chart.
    - and didn’t read any comments below that explain how to understand it.

  • Alfiejr

    someone else who:

    - doesn’t understand the chart.
    - and didn’t read any comments below that explain how to understand it.

  • davvyk

    someone else who:

    - doesn’t understand the chart.
    - and didn’t read any comments below that explain how to understand it.

  • Ahc2011

    The 3G CPU does run at 412 MHz.. 

  • Alfiejr

    Android had to constantly improve because it was so lame to start with. its pace of updates is slowing down now.

    but it’s not in the favor of any buyer with a two year contract to see their own phone stuck without updates while they are still under contract. how many out there now do you really think will get ICS?

  • Alfiejr

    someone else who:

    - doesn’t understand the chart.
    - and didn’t read any comments below that explain how to understand it.

    but yes by all means, the Galaxy S should be shown too. the chart maker said it was a starting list.

  • Alfiejr

    but did he point out the iOS 4 updates that did work too? the chart’s criteria is not that ALL the features of an update work, but that the update to the next OS (and some of its new features) is possible at all.

  • MacGoo

    Unfortunately it’s your understanding that is flawed.

    1: iPhone 4 was kept updated for 3 years from its launch. Of course it’s no longer supported, but Apple continued their support for 3 years. This is the case across their line – they update everything, without a single instance where they updated current hardware without also providing support for legacy models. The only time updates cease is when they are announced. With Android, you never know – the only OS you can count on having is the one you have when you purchase the phone. The chart reflects this clearly.

    2: I think you’re confused – the Nexus line is the “master” phone. Currently the Galaxy Nexus is the “official” phone (albeit pre-release at this point), and past official phones are the Nexus One and Nexus S. But I don’t understand why the Nexus S is missing either – that’s too big an oversight to actually be an oversight.

    EDIT: on second glance, the reason the Nexus S is not included is that it was released December 16 of 2010, at the very fringe of the date range for this chart.

    While this chart isn’t perfect, it isn’t the rubbish you label it as. Nor is the article partial – Android fragmentation is a real problem, and one Google will have to address in order for Android to continue to succeed. Don’t think it’s a problem? Fine. Go grab yourself a Droid Razr and wait to be disappointed in less than 3 years.

  • MacGoo

    Spoken like a true Android Fanboi. Spinning fragmentation as a feature is a new one on me – actually smacks of Mr. Jobs’ mythical reality distortion field. Although this field is most likely to be generated by an old RDF Generator model that is no longer supported by the manufacturer, so you can expect it to break down soon, at which point you’ll rejoin the reality the rest of us are living in.

    Irony? Check.

  • MacGoo

    Great? Maybe. Good? Definitely. Go troll somewhere else please.

  • MacGoo

    So they’re wrong even though they’re not wrong. Got it. I think. Wait…what?

    If you think there is a better way to represent this info in chart form, please enlighten us. But for myself, I had no problem understanding the chart right from the getgo.

    So to ME, it would seem that you’re using the chart as a scapegoat for your own initial lack of understanding.

  • LeninD

    Yea right. I don’t understand this amazing chart. Perhaps the creator could make it easier for dumb cretins like me by mentioning the versions of iOS and Android (the major releases aren’t too many and it’s easier for iOS since every year sees one increase in the first digit) and THEN mention which of them are supported on which models.

  • LeninD

    I know that the Nexus range is the official Google branded Android phone. When I said ‘master phone’ I meant the flagship of Samsung and I am guessing the i9000 was launched before the July 2010 date that this article mentions. Correct me if I am wrong.

    I also don’t argue that Android is not fragmented, or should I say, the makers of phones supporting Android EXCEPT Samsung atleast when it comes to their popular S series and Ace.

    So, as an article that tries to show Apple being better in this regards they need to compare Apple with the BEST out there, not with the worst. And they didn’t do that by leaving Galaxy out of it. At least Android would have one excellent phone on it’s side. Apple themselves aimed at the best when they tried to compare their standing in the complete phone market instead of just the smartphone market unlike how many other companies do just to make the numbers look bigger.

    I am also guessing that you beginning the reply pointers with ‘iphone 4′ instead of ‘iphone’ was a typo.

    I am not interested in getting RazR or any Android sh*t out there. I didn’t post a reply on this because I like Android, I did because the writer isn’t clear and I believe is STILL partial to Apple.

  • LeninD

    Sometimes somethings strike you so hard, you can’t help giving out your reactions out loud! That might be trolling. LOL

  • MacGoo

    LOL! You may have something there…

  • MacGoo

    On a blog called Cult of Mac, you can rest assured that partiality is alive and well. But questioning motives is always a muddled affair, and the chart (to me) seems reasonably impartial, if a little incomplete. And yes, the “iPhone 4″ part was a typo. My fingers got ahead of my brain.

  • Mike Rathjen

    I’m a big iPhone fan, and I’m sticking with it, but honestly there are things about Windows Phone that are pretty nice and make iOS look dated and clunky.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Hey this is fun.

    someone else who:

    - doesn’t understand the chart.
    - and didn’t read any comments below that explain how to understand it.

  • Yokoohne

    I loled at all these guys like Karl, Lenin etc. complaining that the Chart isnt right, GUYS youre on CultofMac its propaganda omg naturally this chart isnt right *facepalm*

  • Ecpercy

    Over half of the phones out are on at least 2.2 according to this chart

    http://www.eurodroid.com/2011/

    What is your logic for determining which releases are major/minor? common software version methodology is  major.minor.build

    Which would mean that the jump from 2.2 to 2.3 is only a minor version and the jump from 2.3.5 also fits the same category

    Just because you can put the latest OS on a phone doesn’t mean the phone won’t have performance problems.

  • comments2

    Chart is interesting, and highlights a real point of android frustration: Android OS is being updated very frequently, but the phone companies/manufacturers can’t (or won’t) keep up with the rapid rate of updates on many/most of their phone models. 

    The “half full” side of this glass is the OS is really changing for the better –rapidly.
     
    Some older phones won’t do well with the upgrades (just like the Iphone 3G and IOS5), but others could perform nicely if they were blessed with the latest ROM versions. 

    But this article is only part of the story.

    Most Android phones are not restricted to the Google-manufacturer-phone company ROM upgrade rules.  Many folks step forward and seek updates on their own.   (How many? well for the ROM I am using right now, its about 769,581 users, and there are other for which I don’t have a count.)

    To be sure, Android “Root & Rom” is not like the “one button, or click-on-a-web-site-jailbreak approach that some Iphone users enjoy; but the Root and Rom process has a bit different goal, and, yes, there are some surprisingly non-technical approaches to Rooting and changing ROMs. 

    I have an HTC Aria, which the above chart shows is “one version behind.”Actually my Aria is running Android 2.3.7 (very well BTW!). That’s the leading edge of the current generation (until Android 4 is really out there!). My phone and at least 4,326 other Aria users  are doing this, and are not “one generation behind. (# from CyanogenMod site).

    Although some (yes) make small donations to this effort, the Roms and Rooting are 100% free -except for the time you invest to do it,

    How much time? Without any real technical background, I was able to root and update the ROM to one I liked (cyanogenmod7) in perhaps four hours total.  Three of those hours were spent discovering what the heck “rooting” was, and one hour making it happen. I am not a techie and don’t spend hours playing with technical side of my phone. I use my phone –a good amount each day, but I have it set up nicely and that’s that. No more techie work needed.
     
    Some may not have the patience or desire to do to get the latest functionality; and other people would not care less what version of software they have, or how it is running.  But those folks would not have any interest in this chart anyway.

  • OneLastCigarette

    That chart seems disingenuous to me. Google and Apple have two fundamentally different approaches to how they release their mobile OS. Android is available for any manufacturer to use in whatever way want. It is designed to cater to a huge number of different devices. Apple, on the other hand only have to cater to a single, completely controlled set of hardware specs.

    As Android is open source, phone manufacturers (and Telcos further down the chain) can take the code and do with it whatever they want (program it for custom hardware, build custom UIs etc.). This will obviously create fragmentation over the platform when viewed as a whole. But Android is not designed to be a unified platform. It is designed to be an open platform.

    A more honest comparison would be iOS against flagship products of specific manufacturers.

    For example separate charts for iOS vs Samsung Galaxy, iOS vs the Google Phones (HTC), iOS vs HTC phones etc. That would be a more accurate study.

    As usual, an Apple evangelists takes an incomplete/faulty premise and uses this as “objective” evidence that Apple products are better.

    Apple is behaving in *exactly* the same way it did when Microsoft took market dominance so many years ago. 
    Microsoft developed Windows to run on any standard hardware and manufacturers jumped on the opportunity to build systems and software for that platform.Apple on the other hand refused to partner with anyone and eventually became the laughing stock of the industry. It was only on Steve Jobs’ return that they were saved from failing completely. Jobs’ scrapped the Apple OS completely and used open source software (basically Linux) to rebuild it from scratch. This along with building consumer devices and selling music is the only thing that brought Apple back from languishing in relative obscurity.Will they fack it up again now that he’s gone?

    I don’t see how Apple can possible continue to compete in the long term unless they fundamentally change their approach. IT is always about the platform.Actually…on second thoughts, all debates on the subject can simply be replaced with the following maxim:All technology is shit. Choose whichever gets in your way the least.

    P.S What can you expect after using such a trollish article title?

  • Dilbert A

    Not a troll at all. I just wasn’t super clear why you were against the chart at first glance.

    Thanks.

  • Dilbert A

    Hmmmmm…

  • Dilbert A

    lol

  • Dilbert A

    I am both personally insulted and slightly amused.

  • Mark

    “devs and users alike can count on almost every iPhone owner being on the current, most bug-free version of iOS!”

    That is nice but as developer I like to count on my app being published on the market. Something that can be painfully difficult with Apple. And as a user I have had many problems with the Iphone software updates.

  • Maz Hussain

     well as your comparing Android against Apple – you need to remember that
    Apple have their own device – so the only true comparison is iPhone Vs
    Google Nexus.

    secondly, many of the Android phones listed were low to middle end and
    therefore siginficantly cheaper (most were free at tarrifs where the
    iPhone was £200+) to purchase and significantly lower tarriff. So if
    people want a cheap handset they shouldn’t expect the same level of
    aftersales updates as premium handsets like Apple.

    and thirdly as mentioned, many of the devices no longer supported do not
    have the hardware capability for the new software, so there was no
    update for them.

    Data is easy to manipulate, and you can hardly say the source is not biased.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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