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Rebuttal: Maybe Android Manufacturers Don’t Need to Slow Down [Opinion]

After yesterday’s piece by Ron on the idea that Android manufacturers need to slow down, we had another reader step up and put together a well-thought-out rebuttal. As a site that prides itself on having the greatest group of Android enthusiasts in the world, this is the type of stuff that solidifies that claim. Who else sees discussions turn into featured posts by readers? Let’s take a look at what Skipper K. has to say.

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Is Android coming at us too fast and too hard? Are we really better off with fewer handsets?

It’s been argued that Android manufacturers need to slow it way down. We’re inundated with new devices; it seems like every week there’s a shiny, brand-spankin-new model with iterative, minuscule feature updates. Even within the same make and model lineup one can get lost or left behind seemingly in an instant. Just look at your and my favourite device of all time: the OG Droid (don’t argue; it’s your favourite).

Ah, the OG. It’s been called the Droid, Droid 1, OG Droid, Sean Connery Droid, and Battlestar Galactica (OK, maybe I’m the only one who’s called it that). A ground breaking device in it’s day, it began to feel a little dated when the Droid X was released a scant 9 months later. And then the Droid 2 a month after that…and the Droid Pro the same month. Then the Droid 3, X2, Bionic, and now the RAZR. What’s next, the Droid X3.5 Halloween followed by the Droid X3.6 Thanksgiving Slide?  

We hear the same story from HTC, Samsung, LG; heck, even Sony Ericsson! Take them all together, and it feels like there’s a new device hitting daily. The phone you pre-ordered today is obsolete the day before it ships!

Slow down and take a breath there, turbo. What we need is a big heaping dose of perspective. Whereas this situation is fairly annoying to gadget bloggers who have to write about every device release imaginable and gadget enthusiasts who can’t seem to keep a single device for even half of their contract period (guilty), these two demographics are far from the targeted consumer. With the heroic rise in Android adoption over the past few years, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Google, Moto, HTC, Sammy, and the rest of the gang have to be doing something right.

We, and the public at large, love Android for two major reasons: choice and openness. Openness doesn’t really play into the hardware refresh rate, so we’ll focus on choice. Want a 4G device? Long battery life? Killer screen? Slider QWERTY? Pico projector? 3D (all five of you)? Large screen? Small screen? Gaming? Rugged design? Business? Droid Does. Rather, Android does. All of it.

Not only will the dizzying pace of hardware development accommodate any taste or style, but it accommodates one other personalised factor: contract expiration. Unlike some companies with fruit logos and an outdated, child-like user interface (which shall remain nameless, like Voldemort), Android isn’t tied to a single hardware refresh per year. Combining this with the breakneck release fury of the manufacturers, this means that you can always be assured of having the option to purchase the latest and greatest handset within weeks of your renewal date. No paying for last year’s hardware with this year’s prices. If you want the best, you got it. Want to save some cash and still whip out a slate that makes applesauce out of the competition? There are plenty of slightly dusty but more than capable devices for that, too.

I can’t really see the downside. If it were a case of quality being sacrificed for quantity, there might be a point; but it’s not. Take, for instance, the Motorola Atrix. A knock-down, drag-out device of awesome when it was released (I won’t mention Blur), but a mere 8 months later and there’s already an upgrade: the Atrix 2 (I won’t mention the SGSII). It’s easy to look at this and cry foul at Moto; quantity over quality! But this begs the question: where’s the quality gap? The Atrix was a phenomenal device, and the Atrix 2 is even moreso. The Atrix 2 is hardly more than an iterative upgrade, to be sure, but it’s still an upgrade.

My point is this: releasing multiple hardware devices year round is nothing but good for the market. Smartphone growth is still soaring, and the market has yet to be saturated. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t we want to see an army of our favourite little green bots assaulting Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Cricket stores every single month? More handsets means more developers and better apps, and the average consumer won’t care that the Droid Bionic they purchased isn’t as snazzy as the Droid RAZR, or that their Droid X might not get a timely update to IceCreamSandwich. We, the Geek Elite, are the only ones who bother about such things; and we should be happy to have so many devices over which to drool and lust!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have a Droid Life problem. I’m mashing refresh on Droid Life and Android Life all day waiting for some sort of news. Why should I complain when my proverbial cup runneth over?

Android isn’t like those other guys. They have their success plans, and we have ours. The last thing any of us want is for our beloved Android to morph into some hideous iVoldemort, and trying to artificially direct the organic flow of handset development will do just that. Choice is the beauty of Android, and manufacturers choose to develop a slue of handsets year round because, well, that’s what the market wants. Haven’t we had enough of companies dictating to the market what it should do? I, for one, am refreshed to see an ecosystem where it works the other way round.

I can almost see the comments now: But, but, locked bootloaders! Low end devices! Blur! No updates! Spare me. You and I both know that the general market doesn’t care about such things. To them, Ecalir, Gingerbread, and IceCreamSandwich are things that add fat to your
thighs and smiles to your faces. And for those of us who do care about Vanilla Android, OS updates, and the latest features?

‘Nuff said.

____________________________________________

As always, care to comment?

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  • Anonymous

    My biggest issue with the relentless growth of android is that the software is evolving at such a rapid pace, that the hardware just can’t keep up.  This is especially true of non-vanilla Android devices that have lots of UI overlays.  Just look at the original Droid and Nexus ones.  not quite 2 years old and already museum pieces because they can’t really handle the demands of the underlying software without hanging up.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE android fan and love the software.  I just wish that the hardware wold do a better job of keeping up with it.  For me the best policy when buying android is to buy vanilla android devices and the highest hardware specs I can find.  Usually this means a nexus or a high end device that gets rooted to run vanilla android or some other relatively light variant (cyanogen?).  I know that for 4.0 I’m doing a Galaxy Nexus for the very reasons mentioned above.

  • Anonymous

    If you want to be restricted to one phone a year and be guaranteed timely updates, there’s simple solution; buy a Nexus device. With a Nexus device, you’re pretty much guaranteed 2 years of updates just like the iPhone and there’s only one completely new Nexus phone about once a year. You may not get all the features you want, but you don’t with an iPhone either. Android is about choice, and in this instance its a choice between guaranteed timely updates or the latest greatest features on the carrier of your choice.

  • Xboxkid

    “SPARE ME!” -White Goodman(Dodgeball)

  • Anonymous

    Err, its call PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE: “The deliberate withholding of efficiency so that a product breaks down relatively fast in relationship to maintaining its consumption cycle.” 

    In the past, it was called VALUE ENGINEERING. Back in its hay day, manufacturers boasted how they could purposely make fallible products forcing consumers to ever-continue to  buy more and more CHEAP goods.

    The end-of-contract agreement is moot and bleak when stacked against planned obsolescence. Not everyone upgrades at the end of the contract, instead phones are manufactured to NOT LAST BEYOND 24 MONTHS, forcing you, the consumer, to go out and buy your next piece of 2yr-live cycle crap. If phones were made to last longer than 20-24 months, then you could clearly see that producing phones to accommodate consumers reaching their of year contract is not based on consumer’s choice, but on manufacturer’s trying to maintain YOUR CONSUMPTION cycle which helps their bottom line So who’s the real Droid?

    I just wish we would stop usurping all of the earth’s natural resources, because at this production rate, we all know that not all inventories are depleted in tandem with consumption, which leads to waste!

    ‘Nuff said… 

  • Rich

    Here is a downside… Not only are phones coming out to quick, they are not coming with the software or hardware advertised to it… This is a big problem… Next we have the updating issue… Where as HTC said ” Only new released phones get the newest update; Period”… I consider this a BIG flaw and a problem more than the phone coming or not coming with the intended software at release… Thirdly and finally the main reason why I disagree is the pricing… When you go get a new phone, and then the price drops a week later, who would be pissed they paid an extra 100 smackers? But congruently the prices of phones are on the rise, look at the razor, its is 700 without a contract, so would this mean that it would go for 299.99 for a 2yr contract or would this mean it would be 400 to 450 smackers with a 2yr?

    Then you also have to mention, that just because you get some sweet features on a phone, you better bet that all the carriers are looking for ways to tax that new feature so there lies a problem…

  • gwprcd c

    1 phone per year is iVoldemort idea. And if these people think Android is moving too fast, why didn’t they make noise about the rate the laptop/PC is churned out with Win 7 (or WinXP before this)? 

  • http://www.losethebabyweight.net lose the baby weight

    They’ll keep churning out shiny new hand held objects
    while the masses keep getting suckered into new toys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/raphael.uduhiri Raphael Uduhiri

    The real issues lies with the carriers as it is the manufacturers job to sell as many handsets as possible. We do not buy phones from htc, motorola or samsung, we buy from Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and TMO. It is the the carriers that are demanding all these phones and all the iterations that are flooding the market. I’m all for the latest technology but cases like LG saying it wont upgrade the LG2x to ICS is just unacceptable.
    At the end of the day the market will decide….

  • Anonymous

    I think Intel has a chance to do something unique when they truly enter the Android market. Intel needs to, as a chip manufacturer, require phone manufacturers to run stock Android on Intel processors. The reason behind this is that Intel could provide a consistent user experience across all Intel Android devices as well as produce more timely updates for Intel devices.

    Handset manufacturers are going to want to continue to skin their devices to differentiate them. Chip manufacturers on the other hand, don’t have the same desires. Chip manufacturers want people to know that their chips perform well and give consumers a reason to buy devices powered by their chips over another. Therefore, I think the issue of stock Android lies squarely with chip manufacturers and who better to carry the torch than Intel? For other chip manufacturers, changing their policy now may be suicide. Intel has nothing to lose. Phone manufacturers would probably resist, but if Intel can get enough quality devices into the market rocking vanilla Android and there’s enough interest generated, I think manufacturers will lower their guard. I think chip manufacturers need to drive the phone manufacturers to provide timely updates to existing products.

  • Anonymous

    Android partners needs to slow down, be more collaborative, or Google needs to assert more control … right now, your best choices are to pay $600 for a phone with the latest hardware but old software (Razr), or a phone with the latest software but old hardware (Galaxy Nexus). The last hope is that the HTC Vigor (ReZound) has ICS so maybe you get the latest hardware and software … IMHO

    I don’t care if my flagship phone becomes obsolete in a month … It would be nice though, if it was a flagship phone, for at least a month.

  • Larson

    I don’t really care if my phone get’s replaced by the next best thing a couple months later if I get timely updates. If companies release less phones and I get updates quicker then I’d prefer that. I get a new phone every 1 or so years anyway.

    With the crappy update process of all non-Nexus Android phones and now that the Nexus is on Verizon, when I upgrade I’ll only consider the current Nexus or the current iPhone. I don’t have the desire to waste time with reading forums, rooting, flashing radios/ROMs and setting up my phone over and over.

    • HDL

      Me too. I’d rather not waste time fixing manufacturer’s and carrier’s “features” and bugs. That’s work I’m not getting paid for. I too, will be only looking at Nexus devices from now on. I’ll probably look at the iPhone or even a Windows phone when I upgrade since I’m not a blind fanboy.

      • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

        You might want to look at the iPhone forums because ios 5 has a lot of problems too

    • Plinko

      Too bad even Google stops supporting their phones (Nexus One) earlier than the fruit company. Windows phones are still TBD but they seem to be on track to having a better update proccess.

      • KeyboardFan

        non-existent long term support was really putting me off android. good thing the nexus is on verizon now but i would really like a slider version though.

        • Jason

          Keyboard shortcuts FTW!

          • KeyboardFan

            Exactly.

        • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

          With a phone that big’ i gotta think the huge on screen keyboard will be a breeze to type on.

  • Alex

    This is why im excited for the Galaxy Nexus. No stupid skin to delay updates, apps are developed on the unstained android OS first and no crap I dont use running in the background.

    I upgrade once a year but if this nexus works and doesnt have all the problems my other android phones have, im going to be Nexus for life. No upgrade till the next huge nexus update. Im looking forward to it.

  • Anonymous

    Well done, Skipper! It was love at first sight for me and my OG, or as I called it, my little “Droidy”, almost 2 years ago now. I still have it and just can’t let it go, but I got me a wonderful yet dated, I know, Certified Like New Fascinate for almost nothing and added a 3500 mAh battery. I love the Super AMOLED screen and get from 12-15 hours now on the one charge. Got a 2-year contract coming up, so I’m enjoying seeing lots of choices emerge as I look forward getting a brand new Android that will give me more up to date yummy dessert goodies!

  • Bharath Ramesh

    Android needs to slow down. There are like a plethora of android devices to choose from, its always great to have choices. This is probably what is causing the downfall of android. Google themselves have dropped support for the Nexus one. Most android devices come out with atleast being one version behind the latest android version. Not all manufacturers update the devices in time. The hardware might be cutting edge but the OS which is needed to take advantage is always behind the curve. This article clearly sheds light on this plight http://theunderstatement.com/post/11982112928/android-orphans-visualizing-a-sad-history-of-support

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      Causing the downfall of android? What planet are you on

      • Bharath Ramesh

        If the current trend of android phone continue where most phones are outdated even as they are released and manufacturers dont bother to update them or are out of support for firmware upgrades in less than a year people will start migrating away from android.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    tiny.cc/qcfnd

  • Anonymous

    The fact you say no updates like it is a minuscule thing makes me shake my head. The only problem I have with Android’s pace is the lack of update speed/consistency. The Galaxy S lineup in the U.S. that is barely a year old (if that) is not getting ICS. Hell, we’ve pretty much stopped hearing about Gingerbread for them. That ks completely unacceptable.

    This isn’t affecting Android’s sales and reputation now but it is only a matter of time especially if this continues or gets worse. Two years of updates (or at least one) is not too much to ask.

  • A3TDI

    Good points.   I’d add that Android has fundamentally changed the carriers.  They were ossified pipe-and-switch layers pushing closed feature phones and are transitioning into “internet companies”, concerned about supporting mobile devices in a much broader market. I’d argue that the ‘trouble with android’ is the growing pain of the carriers.   

    iPhone didn’t have this issue because Apple took responsibility for its product with the end customer, making it, essentially, as super feature-phone managed by the manufacturer (because the carriers couldn’t handle the job).  Apple stuck a band-aid on the problem (while “owning” the customer); Google left it to the carriers to grow up (and retain the customer), even if it is all wet and wild.

  • Anonymous

    choice is great. Now supposing they didn’t intend for us to throw away these $600 devices every two years … better build quality? Replaceable parts? Upgradeable SoCs? What if the industry worked for the consumer and not meeting quarterlies … could these companies live with that? 

  • Jeff

    no, no and no. this is stupid. this blog posts the total opposite of this opinion just a day ago. how can anyone say the market is not saturated with android devices?!?! seriously? motorola is JUST released the bionic. the bionic was supposed to be the mega 4g verizon phone. now they are getting ready to release the razr and dropping the price on the bionic. basically telling the device market that the bionic is OK, but it’s nothing compared to their new and shiny phone.

    then there are the 20 different galaxy variations on different carriers. then we have our friends at htc who seem to release the latest and greatest android phone every three months. it’s RIDICULOUS! it does nothing for the platform they all release the relatively similar devices with the same crappy skins which make the OS more sluggish and less appealing. i get the point of differing yourself from the competition but at this point, the OS is better without your crappy tweaks. and the fact the these companies release new phones every three months is just counter productive to the brand of android. there is no REAL INNOVATION. nfc is here. 4g is here. dual core is here. if you want to innovate, make a battery that lasts for more than four hours on 4g. don’t just come out with some stupid phone with a charm that lights up in a woman’s purse. that is NOT innovation! it’s stupid. it’s a waste of people’s time. 

    i will say that apple’s model of one phone per year is really lousy. their lack of innovation is what made me choose android in the first place. but at least they don’t compete with their own brand. they know enough to make a good phone and market the hell out of it. they would never make a phone and then three months later make another one slightly better and focus only on that phone. and that is essentially what htc and motorola does. even though samsung makes different variations of their galaxy line, at least they have enough sense to make one per carrier. these other phone manufacturers are just hurting the android name and hopefully in the end they will stop their bullshit and learn that people want good products and not just similar products with slightly tweaked specs every three months. 

    • Wmsco51

      Agreed

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1625477640 Dave Martinez

    Love the applesauce line

  • dshizzel

    Nice commentary — I went with OG for me and my wife back in the day — then she soaked hers with a spilled bottle of water in her purse, and (no insurance) I replaced it with a D2 (switched my OG for hers). Now, I’m doing not-too-bad with the D2, but I’ve just pre-ordered the DRZ for the both of us and can’t wait.  I feel like I’ve waited a long dang time and I deserve the upgrade.  Oh, yeah — in ’07 we were early adopters of the iPhone (from which we switched to the OG Droid).  I’m down with being able to load ROMs, but lately — well, I’m ok with stock blur to tell the truth. I still load CM7++ to our Nook colors, but I don’t really want to hassle that sh*t on our phones, can you dig it?

    Dshizzel

  • Anonymous

    tiny.cc/qcfnd

  • SenseiScott

    Very well written.

  • Mike Majewski

    Really don’t have a problem with the number of handsets…as long as the manufacturer continues to support them and update them.

    Otherwise if you buy a phone that never takes off, you’ll be stranded without updates.

  • Jeremy

    mashing refresh? Time to subscribe to the test feed in google reader. You’ll never look back.

  • http://twitter.com/DavisDarvish Davis Darvish

    wow reading these articles and the comments clearly prove that none of you understand that no matter how many android devices are being activated there is issue with retention and churn from android to apple once a contract upgrade is up..the problem is we really havent really reached that point yet. the OG droid is 2 years old in Nov and most people dont upgrade their phones every 3 months like the rest of us who read droid life. most people stick with their phones for the WHOLE 2 years. I HATE APPLE and i will never buy an iphone but you are nieve to think that many android owners on sprint and vzw aren’t thinking of switching to iphones when their contracts come up in the next 6months… we are a small minority. i stick with android because i have been smart with the type of phones I buy, phones that are easily rooted and have their bootloaders unlocked because if i couldnt get stock android or CM on it i wouldnt buy it and that is because i want a consistent experience that sense or blur doesnt give.. btw quality is being sacrificed for quantity. What moto needs to do is focus on the droid, droid x, droid pro, and droid (something else) line of phones. they can refresh each phone twice a year… that is 8 phones a year and more than enough. with the first refresh being major and the 2nd being incremental. the 2nd phone should essentially run the same software/firmware so upgrade droid X1 and droidX1.5 to the same OS is a piece of cake making upgrades more manageable. finally it establishes brand recognition. wtf are all these different names for each new phone and why do some phones have redic long names like the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic Touch 4G which is the same phone as the SGSII. are you f-ing kidding me? brand confusion will come to bite them in the ass.

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      It goes both ways people leave iPhone for android all the time too

  • Michael

    I am most likely in the same boat as everyone else but I just wanted to say that having all these choices makes me wild. If it wasn’t for the fact that the Nexus is finally coming to Verizon, I would have went crazy having to choose between the Rezound and the Razr. I also love the openness of Android. Two years ago, when I first bought the OG, I had two friends, both with rooted G1′s, telling me to root my droid. I was just like what the h*ll is rooting. Then I researched around Android Forums (I didnt know about Droid Life at the time) and I found all these great roms like Ultimate and Cyanogenmod and Liquid. 
    I found out about all the cool things I can do to my phone and it was a sensational feeling. Before then, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about hacking or android period because lets face it, what average consumer knew about android. But anyways, I just wanted to say that having the choice of whatever kind of phone you want on this platform is a god send. But for any new user that actually wants to root, they MUST get a Nexus so they can enjoy the FULL potential of android. Goodnight.

  • Kakashiisagod

    Good stuff. I see where your coming from. What im talking about is devaluing the android brand. I have a friend that bought an LG adroit device, with a 600mhzkeyboard processor because she saw how cool google maps navigation was. Problem is that phone has not to my knowledge been updated to froyo. I defiantly see things differently about the average consumer after your post though. the fruit who must not be named made me lol.

  • Pish Posh

    Well said Skipper K, love the line “Why should I complain when my proverbial cup runneth over” job well done. I must say I am loving the well-thought-out rebuttal feature post by readers and though I may not always agree with Ron’s opinion articles they are always a good read. 

    Droid Life you’re the best <3

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      I agree. You really don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else. It’s pretty awesome. I love the back and forth (though the comments sometimes get a little too intense). I appreciate your balanced response, though. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Just give me the Galaxy Nexus already!  I saw it may be delayed until the 17th due to Verizon “not wanting to release so many phones at once” aka, buy these bloated phones first if you can’t wait.

  • http://twitter.com/dcdevito Dominick C DeVito

    Face it, we’re all Google’s beta testers.

  • http://twitter.com/dcdevito Dominick C DeVito

    “But, but, locked bootloaders! Low end devices! Blur! No updates! Spare me. You and I both know that the general market doesn’t care about such things.”

    WRONG. When people think they have the same phone as me but think otherwise because of a custom UIskin they think they’re phone is ‘different’.

    Not even Windows had this problem.

  • Anonymous
  • Kinchas

    Been saying this for 2 years……keep em coming hot and heavy Android……

  • http://twitter.com/ncoulombe Nathan Coulombe

    Absolutely stunningly well written, and a very convincing counterargument to the post from yesterday. Well done good sir. *golf clap*

  • Anonymous

    A read wrote all of that?!….. bravo sir well done you hit the nail right on the head with a sludge hammer

  • Djstar2k2

    nice

  • http://twitter.com/dcdevito Dominick C DeVito

    I’m sick of people whining about lack of support for their precious devices. Android wasn’t made for you, it was made for geeks. If your Grandmother has issues buy her an iPhone – and yourself one too.

    Do your homework and read DROID-LIFE’S review of a phone before buying it. We live in a capital society and that’s going to change so deal with it. 

    • Kierra

      -_-

  • Melkor849

    “iVoldemort”
    Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • http://twitter.com/dcdevito Dominick C DeVito

    Listen here people. Google doesn’t give a shit about me, you or anyone else. The more Android phones = the more mobile searches = growth in revenue = higher stock price.

    Wake up. 

    • Biggs

      OK an the fruity side does???  What is your point everyone is out for the benjamins    they are not doing it for S*its an giggles

      • http://twitter.com/dcdevito Dominick C DeVito

        Apple’s worse, I never said they weren’t greedy. But they’re more consistent in their approach and support customers way better than ANY Android carrier or OEM. 

    • Bionic

      How naive you are.  

      • http://twitter.com/dcdevito Dominick C DeVito

        Naive how? Do you think they care how shitty Moto phones are? Nope. They want market share, they want more mobile searches, they want more revenue. So of course they’re telling OEMs to put the petal to the metal.

        I’M not the naive one. Those who bitch about them nonstop are.

  • http://twitter.com/dcdevito Dominick C DeVito

    Yeah it’s great to take the “Windows” of mobile strategy…or is it? Do we want Android to become the Windows of the mobile world?

    I certainly don’t.

    • Anonymous

      Then maybe you should get an iphone.

      • http://twitter.com/dcdevito Dominick C DeVito

        No. Missed my point. Read slower next time. 

        • Anonymous

          I read what you wrote just fine, it certainly sounds like you want android to follow in the footsteps of Apple’s idealist closed nature.  Windows can be installed on any device, so can android, that’s one of the major reasons android has grown as fast and as much as it has, because it’s not restricted to a certain number of devices or manufacturers.

  • http://twitter.com/dcdevito Dominick C DeVito

    Okay, don’t slow down – but don’t forget about your current customers who need upgrades.

    Whatever happened to that 18 month guarantee Google talked about at Google IO in May??

    • Anonymous

      I agree about the 18 month thing. HTC for example, part of the “open handset alliance”. It took them 7 months to put gingerbread on the thunderbolt! It should have launched with gingerbread to begin with! I blame the number of handsets they are developing updates for. Not to mention their releases are getting buggier. They’re not the only ones either, moto has been releasing some buggy shit too! And don’t even get me started on kernel source!

      This article says that it’s only us tech geeks that care about updates, but that’s not entirely accurate. I remember some ppl waiting for OTA’s to fix their exchange mail issues. Also, with buggier releases and less frequent updates, that could really turn some of the “less geeky” away from Android.

      There is certainly a problem with the number of devices. They need to find a happy medium. I would rather have fewer quality devices with better support, and I don’t mean for me (I’m rooted and rommed) I mean for my wife, and in laws who don’t want to do all that, or let me for them ;-)

      • http://twitter.com/dcdevito Dominick C DeVito

        Us geeks only care about updates if it gives something shinier.

        Non-geeks care about updates when they’re phone is riddled with bugs that don’t get addressed for months (or ever).

        • Anonymous

          Well put…

  • fresh

    choice isn’t the problem, its support. These manufactures need to slow down and focus on supporting and promoting one device at a time. Look at the bionic, razr, atrix, they all have separate lap top docks, different accessories, different cases etc. 

    When i buy a flagship device, I hope my device is to be supported ASAP, n00bs this means as soon as possible. Motorola has updated their devices, but they took they’re sweet time with it. You know why, because they have half a dozen phones to get through. 

    Also, third parties that fabricate accessories may opt out of certain phones after the next month when a new phone arrives. Apple got something right with pushing ONE phone a year. Look at all the third party support it gets. 

    I do like choice, but I don’t want my choice thrown away as the manufacturer decides to promote the newest thing. 

  • http://twitter.com/BrandoHD Brandon Peters

    It is creating an environment for burnout, this article lacks the view of the future of android, look at ICS, it’s not only about getting it out, it’s now about the experience, it’s time we the manufacturers use the momentum android has to push quality devices and experiences, not just push out device because they can an people would buy it, differentiate against your own models not these silly updates where the only difference is a larger battery and a processor speed bump from 1.2 to 1.5GHz hardware wise, or the a change in the build material and marginal internal updates……

  • Sp4rxx

    agree times infinity!!!

  • Sp4rxx

    - I think he meant “updates” by way of ICS to older hardware like the OG or X – not patches or fixes to the current OS.
    - agreed that companies release products that have the potential to be bad, BUT nowadays most of those same companies offer a replacement or refund policy to change your hardware if you are not satisfied – hence the choices in hardware so the user can choose something different

  • Anonymous

    First off, this is a nice article and really shaped my view, but I feel like there are some major points left out.

    The general market does care about their phone working properly ALL the time. What is the #1 compliment about that fruit company? Smoothness. It just works.
    I love the idea of new phones coming out all the time. Except you forgot to mention that companies push out products before they are ready in order to beat another manufacturer to the starting line. What ends up happening is a phone comes out with bugs. The Geek Elite (like myself) have no problem because we can slap on a new ROM made by an awesome developer and be done with it. However, the average consumer can’t. So they get stuck with some crappy flaw that they can’t rid of. This flaw is usually not fixed in a timely manner. That is because a timely manner is NOW for the average consumer. You shouldn’t have released a phone that does not work.

    All this leads to people pointing fingers to Android about fragmentation and creates the bad rep. If manufacturers would slow down and make the product lines smaller they could allocate more people to testing and fixing bugs in a timely manner. (Maybe Moto could hire some more Blur employees to actually make it useful). This would overall make happy consumers and phones would still be refreshing at a very fast rate.