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Nokia’s Stephen Elop is Clueless and Living in 2009, Still Talking Android Fragmentation

So this story from Pocket-Lint is floating around the web today that quotes Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop. Not that this should surprise anyone coming from the guy that is betting the bank on Windows Phone 7, but he of course referenced Android and this mythical fragmentation problem it has. He is quoted as saying that he doesn’t want fragmentation “being introduced” to Windows Phone because “we are” starting to see it “become a problem” in a “certain other eco-system.”  And time for a rant… 

I could go into how idiotic the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world sounds when making this argument, but I’ll instead just throw some numbers at you and let them do the talking. According to January’s Android distribution chart, 86% of Android users are running two variations of the operating system:  Gingerbread and Froyo. The other 14% is a mix of pre-Froyo phones that are 2-3 years old and will soon vanish from the face of the Earth along with Honeycomb that will also disappear since this version of Android essentially will no longer be supported going forward. All Honeycomb tablets will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich making the 3.0+ category in this distribution chart go bye-bye.

So within the next 6 months, you could in theory see 2.1 and below phones and their 10% share shrink even more now that most of the people with them are ready for upgrades. Those people will then upgrade to a newer Android phone, adding to the piece of the pie that includes Gingerbread or Ice Cream Sandwich, since Froyo phones are pretty hard to come by these days. So then we are looking at most Gingerbread phones receiving updates to Android 4.0, some sticking behind permanently at 2.3, and then another soon-to-be-dying set at 2.2. By the end of the year, we could be sitting on a chart that really only has 3 versions of Android on it, the majority at 4.0 and 2.3.

Is that really fragmentation? Even Apple can’t keep all of its iPhones and iPod Touches on the same version of iOS these days, yet we aren’t hearing these arguments directed at them. And then we could go into Elop’s Windows Phone 7. Even their newly released phones enter with a newer OS than previous models, who then have to wait to receive updates. This is simply how the mobile industry works. Actually, this is how the entire tech world works. You introduce a new product, it likely has a newer OS than the one you released 6 months prior. But I digress.

Elop seems adamant that Android is suffering from some major problem that we are struggling to find. When we look at say, yesterday’s Nielsen numbers, Android’s “fragmentation” allowed it to grow to 46.3% of the overall smartphone share in the U.S. And during that time, his Windows Phone 7 OS that is apparently not fragmented, was barely able to make the same chart, coming in at 1.3%, which just so happens to be lower than Windows Mobile at 4.6%.

What I’m trying to say is, that Android may have had a “fragmentation” issue back in 2009 when apps weren’t compatible with different versions of the OS, and when manufacturers were so new to the game that they struggled to release updates in a timely manner. In 2011 and 2012 though, you can no longer talk fragmentation. And if you want to call whatever it is that Android is doing a “problem,” I would suggest that a dying platform like WP7 look into said “problem” to decide if it can help their cause. This argument is over.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously? Come on people, seriously? People want to sit here and cry about “fragmentation”?! FRAGMENTATION IS A GOOD THING! IT’S CALLED FREAKING DIVERSITY PEOPLE! THAT’S WHAT FREAKING ANDROID IS! (And for those of you that can’t put 2 and 2 together…OPENNESS = DIVERSITY! THAT’S ANDROID!) If you want to talk about Iphone this and Iphone that, GO TO ANOTHER WEBSITE! THIS IS DROID-LIFE FOR A REASON! You can argue that android has the market only because they have free phones but who gives a rip?! They are getting their product out there! You can say thousands of people line up for the Iphone when it comes out, OF COURSE! THEY ONLY HAVE 1! ONLY 1! Not very diverse if you ask me… You can say that you hate that newer phones have better apps and your phone can’t run them, GET A NEW PHONE! The original Iphone cannot run the same apps as the 4S can it? So there! This is a “GROW UP AND QUIT YOUR WHINING!” post.

  • http://twitter.com/humancyborg Human Cyborg

    Kellex, calling the Android fragmentation situation ‘mythical’ is laughable. When you can’t develop applications that take advantage of the latest SDK or API level because you know less than 1% of the user base is going to be able to use it, that’s a problem whether you want to accept it or not.

    No one is arguing that Android is not successful. You need to learn to separate the two issues and take the fanboy blinders off.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mariafe.c.oneill Maria Fe Camaya O’Neill

      It’s not that you “can’t” develope for ICS, the question is why would you want to develope for that OS only when it just been released? Obviously you develope for the older version of Andriod and then do what all the developers are doing with existing apps, upgrade them later to work with ICS. It may not be convenient but that has never stopped people from developing for Andriod.

      • http://twitter.com/humancyborg Human Cyborg

        Again, not the point. The point is whether or not fragmentation exists, and above that, whether it causes issues (specifically for developers). Sure you can just keep developing for the lowest common denominator (I am guessing 2.2.x).

  • Anonymous

    I think people who recognize the “fragmentation”problem are smart enough to research prospective alternatives to their current device. Those who don’t usually take whatever crap phone the carrier pushes. I think, as with anything else, you get burned it’s you’re own damn fault. You’re a grown up! You know what is said about things that are “free” and you get what you pay for. There are exceptions to everything, of course, but be accountable for your decisions. Android is about choice…like you can choose to move to another platform if you don’t have clue about picking a proper android device.

    • Anonymous

      Well said!

  • Jeffrey Ward

    Honestly,

    The android fragmentation problem isnt as bad as Stephen Elop may be implying, but in his current position he has no choice but to be saying that.  He made a heavily questioned decision about the future of Nokia and its pay off has still yet to be determined, but he himself is basically obligated at this point to stand behind his reasoning and move ahead with his plans.  As for WP7, I am a long time android user, having a Eris > Droid X > Thunderbolt, and a Xoom and a Touchpad (the touchpad isnt a real android device but I like it for dual booting to it non the less) I am currently using a Trophy on VZW.  While its one of the lower end WP7 phones it doesn’t really feel like it and as of this point I would probably still pick it over any of the android devices I have. I have also convinced about 3 non tech people to get the Focus on AT&T and all were and are really happy with the OS.

    All that being said WP7 needs to do a lot in 2012 to really get where it needs to be.  They really increase there 3rd party app support or the OS will sadly wilt and die.  Also they need to get some cool devices on Verizon, while I am happy with my trophy I would really like a Lumina 800 :)

    BTW for anyone laughing at the “coming in at 1.3%, which just so happens to be lower than Windows Mobile at 4.6%”  comment that 4.3% has nothing to do with phones.  There are a ton of devices from retail cash registers, up until recently all of the hand held devices at the apple store, to highly rugged mobile devices which run Windows Mobile because the abnormally long life cycles on these devices that percentage is probably going to stay where its at for a while.

    IDK just some thoughts. 

  • Daryl Johnston

    How many different models run Android? 200+ 
    How many daily activations? 700,000+

    Can you say “domination of the market” – in less than 3 full years, mind you, after iOS having a monopoly for 3+ years as the only player in the game. Who gives a crap if we’re not all running the same version? If you don’t like what you purchased, shell out the dough for something you do like. At least we have that option. If you bought iOS and wish it could do more, you can’t buy another iOS device that can out perform it. You have to wait a year, stand in line with the other sheep, and hope/pray that it will do what our devices started doing 2 years ago!!!

    Even devs accept the fact that with an open system, the masses will gravitate to the device that suits the needs of the MASSES. If they want their apps to sell, they have to write them to work on multiple versions of the OS. At least there are some standards now. (It’s called growing pains, yo.) If they don’t put forth the extra effort, they miss out on their apps hitting all the devices. Big flippin’ deal! The dev community is much better off having Android, regardless of any fragmentation issue that may or may not exist.

    Bottom line is this – we have options. Call it fragmentation, call it manufacturer irresponsibility, call it what you want. The numbers don’t lie, people. 700k per day! If this is a problem, I’d love to see the numbers without a problem!

    WP7 may be good – maybe not. That is yet to be determined. In over a year, they’ve yet to even make a splash big enough to outsell their previous failed attempt. Who cares? We have the best available solution available now, and we have the developer community on board to demand more from the manufacturers. Our money speaks volumes. Let all the little pee-ons say what they want. When they can account for more than 2% of our marketshare, we may entertain their incoherent ramblings. Maybe.

    Just sayin’…

  • Anonymous

    all the current devices THAT APPLE STILL SELLS are all running iOS 5….and no siri isnt considered fragmentation because its an iphone 4S FEATURE not a part of iOS 5….ICS has been out for a few months but yet the OEMs are still releasing phones running 2.3 and tablets running honeycomb with the “promise of updating to ICS soon” ….we heard this with gingerbread and that promise just wasnt met…i dont blame anyone for being a little skeptical about their android device being updated becaus the way this has been handled over the few years has been terrible 

  • Guest

    Wrong. 
    There is plenty of fragmentation.  Not everyone upgrades their phones just because contracts expire.  There are still plenty of pre-2.0 phones in the wild, and there are plenty of phones that will never get 2.3 Gingerbread.

    Also, there is no guarentee that Honeycomb tablets will get Ice Cream Sandwich.  There are also plenty of 2.2 and 2.3 tablets in the wild.

    This does not even tackle the issue of MotoBlur, Touchwiz, Sense or any other custom skins running on Android phones.

    So to say fragmentation does not exist is to just ignore the current state of fragmentation.

  • RW-1

    I won’t go into the whole fragmentation thing, I like your arguement on the OS itself, but agree that the fragging comes into play in general from the OEM skinning going on.

    But Elop is about as useless a name as Jha.

    You though symbian was going to be the end all? Then you got a moment of clarity, but headed down the wrong road with win phone 7.

    Now you need to preach to your shareholders about whatever you can on Android to make them feel warm and fuzzy about your poor decision making skills.

  • Sven Enterlein

    Is that thing on his left cheek a giant wart or a microphone?

    • Anonymous

      That’s from Steve Ballmer’s bitchslap.

  • Anonymous

    The bottom line is there are people who are buying phones with GB today that’ll never see ICS and have no idea it’s already EOL basically.  They may not care today, but when there 6 month old phone is not running ICS and his/her friends are that also bought theirs 6 months ago is running ICS it’s not going to leave a good taste in their mouth.  That may not be “fragmentation” based on how you define it but it is a problem.  Google and the OEMs need to find a way to address OS updates in such a way people know what they are getting when they buy an Android phone.

    • Anonymous

      I feel that the kind of people that would care about that would at least do a bit of research

      • Anonymous

        I bet a lot of people don’t even consider OS, especially if it’s their first Android phone.  They don’t know about OS updates.  They only find out later when theirs doesn’t update.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001874922537 Will Frame

    If you look past your own bias, you have to acknowledge that the fragmentation is a real thing. As much as we’d like to believe that our chosen OS is perfect, it’s not. Even Eric Schmidt more or less acknowledged it recently, even though his intention was the opposite.

    The fact that developers have to code their apps to account for all different screen sizes, resolutions, hardware configurations, etc. is all the proof you really need.

    And yes, this means that iOS is somewhat fragmented (though not nearly as badly), since there are now apps that will only work on the newer hardware as well as separate apps for the older hardware (3G).

    The fact remains that is is more rampant in Android and saying that it doesn’t exist, doesn’t make it so. This, coming from a current Android owner who has also had phones from every other OS out there.

    • Anonymous

      So the only way to not have fragmentation is to have 1 piece of hardware on 1 operating system and when you release a new version a year later you need to have the exact same specs so that it will be completely compatible or just blow up the previous device?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001874922537 Will Frame

        Basically, yeah. My point is, no matter how much of a fanboy you are, you can’t claim that Android doesn’t have fragmentation. It’s ignorance.

        • Anonymous

          But by your definition everything has fragmentation. So then the question becomes, “Is fragmentation a problem?”. It’s obviously not in iOS and definitely a little more so in Android. But that doens’t mean its a problem like the CEO states.

  • Kierra

    I still think fragmentation is a problem. 

  • Tfelty0

    There is for sure fragmentation when an OS comes out in December (ICS), and phones that came out a month before (rezound and razr), that wont see the update until probably summer or later.

  • Prime7

    I was actually just reading an article about WP7 last week, which said something to the effect that MS is capitulating to carriers’ requests that MS will no longer publish which phones receive which WP7 updates. That is so dirty, and that’s where real fragmentation is going to occur—they’re just going to pretend that the problem doesn’t exist by sweeping evidence under the rug.

    The article is somewhere on Ars Technica.

  • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

    Sorry, but fragmentation may be less of a problem, but it’s still a problem.

  • Drummer62

    Windows Metro is the ugliest looking interface I have ever seen and would never want any part of that. period.

  • Anthony Armando

    i dont know that he is only talking about OS fragmentation, but also the fact that there are multiple app markets. amazon appstore, google market, the toshiba market, getjar, etc.

  • Darkseider

    This man is clueless and he is on a sinking ship.  From Nokia’s own estimates they are HOPING to sell 37 million WP7 phones in 2012… TOTAL.   http://www.gsmarena.com/newscomm-3662.php

    So at 700k UNIQUE Android activations EVERY day Android will eclipse that number in 52 days.  In just under 2 months Android will have sold and activated what Nokia is HOPING for in a year.

    You wonder why no one takes this Microsoft shill, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Elop seriously?

    So um yeah.  kthxbye

  • Anonymous

    “Mythical” fragmentation? Wow. Denial is not just a river in Africa.

  • http://twitter.com/connormw Connor Wilkins

    I’m going to disagree on a number of levels with this rant.

    First and foremost, as others who comment prior to me have noted, there are two forms of fragmentation occurring on Android at the current moment: the distribution of OS versions, and the divide between applications and form factors/resolutions/etc.

    While I will agree with the majority here, in regards to the farce that is OS fragmentation, there are some components that do come out of this that also affect the second, more important issue. While it’s safe to say that targeting the API level for Froyo (2.2) or better devices can guarantee a large compatibility base (at least in regards to the API), this split among OS versions affects the various features that each incremental API update brings. For example, applications that wish to make use of the new camera API functions in ICS will have to then target their application for 4.0, but, at least as of now, that’s only a small target market. The divide between the OS versions will result in applications only supporting the features of the current majority versions, resulting in products that don’t make full use of the hardware or software, without alienating older devices.

    Now, the bigger, and in many ways parallel, problem with Android lies in the concept of fragmentation in regards to devices and form factors. While everyone doesn’t like to talk about it, it’s safe to compare Android and iOS in this regard; after all, they are the leaders of the smartphone OS industry right now. On iOS, you have two distinct form factors and a handful of hardware configurations, all of which are incremental updates to prior iterations. For the iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 3rd generation, we’re taking about a 480×320 display, an ARM-based CPU, and a specific set of GPUs. For the iPhone 4 and 4S, we’re talking about the ARM based A4 and A5 chips, incremental updates to the prior GPU, and double resolution screen. For the iPad, we have a similar setup to the iPhone 4/4s, albeit with a 1024×768 display.

    Now, developing an application for iOS (both phones and tablets) essentially allows you to target a specific set of hardware. For the iPhone/iPod, we have a widescreen display that doubles in size (a simple double resolution increase in raster graphics), and on the iPad we have a 4:3 display. The internal hardware, such as the CPU and GPU, are relatively similar, and it’s clear which devices support what features (Open GL versions, single/dual core, etc.) On Android, ignoring the API differences I detailed, the developer need to know every hardware configuration in order to address it properly. This includes different screen resolutions (for different size art), lack of support for specific apps on different devices (such as the Angry Birds dilemma that occurred last year), and other components.

    When it comes down to it, there is a reason that iOS not only has better applications overall (honestly, looking at a similar subset of applications on Android and iOS, it’s hard to say that Android has the upper hand there), but it’s also easier for developers develop for the hardware.

  • Fattie McDoogles

    We need an official Droid-Life Soapbox

  • Anonymous

    He’s the CEO of a company that put all its eggs in to the 1.3% basket instead of the one that has the lion share. What do you expect him to say? Man needs to be able to sleep at night like the rest of us…

  • http://Twitter.com/eggoespada Eric Gonzalez

    Because those are counted as different versions.

    2.1 Eclair
    2.2 Froyo
    2.3 Gingerbead

  • Cam

    Regardless of how fragmented the Android OS is (or is not) on handsets in use, it is the company itself that has ultimate control over the fragmentation. If they continue to update their products, voila, no fragmentation.

  • Anonymous

    What a dumbass

    ROFL

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

      Are you really rolling on the floor laughing, or do you just think it is cool to say it?

      • Anonymous

        Mind = blown

  • Vonny571

    “And during that time, his Windows Phone 7 OS that is apparently not
    fragmented, was barely able to make the same chart, coming in at 1.3%,
    which just so happens to be lower than Windows Mobile at 4.6%.”

    Lol’d at those numbers.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XBKPWPYFJFKPRFB77EPVEIZVZ4 m

    NOKIA + WP7 = things of the past

    • Anonymous

      I think WP7 is the only thing that’s going to keep Nokia from dieing completely. Everyone I talk to that uses WP7 loves it. It’s just going to take a little while longer to catch on. I don’t believe it will ever be as big as Android or iOS but it will be a player for sure.

      • Anonymous

        When I got my Touch Pro 2 over 2 years ago Windows 7 was the next big deal for WinMo phones. I ended up dropping it for a Droid and never looked back.

        Now, 2 years later Win 7 is barely a blip and everyone is looking to Win 8. That’s the big problem I had with Windows phones. Everyone was always looking towards the next iteration to BE good. With Android, each iteration was just improving something that was ALREADY good. Now with ICS, we have great implementation and polish. Just look how much Android has accomplished in 2 years compared to Windows.

  • Anonymous

    That’s “diversity”, not “fragmentation”. I see fragmentation “problem” as an app that can’t run on this phone but would work on another. That has everything to do with the developer and not on the OS itself. Just like Windows 7 and xp, if I buy a software that works on 7 but not xp, I can say there’s a problem, but really, the developer should code their app to work on both platform.

    • DBK

      The problem there is if a dev wants to update his/her app to work on (and fully utilize) ICS, that would mean that it could no longer work on Froyo (and in some instances GB) properly or at all. They would have to develop a whole separate app for the older OSs. Considering how much time and work goes into one app, it would be unreasonable to expect them to put that kind of effort into multiple ones.

      It’s more an OS (and hardware) issue than a dev one. If you can do better, (and do what the devs are having a hard time doing) then by all means do so.

  • Josh Eck

    Wow, I would expect these lame fanboy arguments from the ignorant commentators here in the comments section, but from you Kellex?  I thought you had more sense than that.  First off WP7 dying platform?  Did you sleep all during CES?  Did you not notice the Lumia 900 winning award after award?  Fragmentation does exist in all ecosystems, but Android worse than the others due to so many different hardware configurations.  Games that work well on Nvidia Tegra platforms don’t work well on TI platforms, but your average consumer isn’t going to understand why their game doesn’t work as well on their phone as it does on their buddy’s phone.  I sell phones for a living, which means this isn’t just a hobby for me, I do this to survive.  Fragmentation is a major issue.  I sell into the carrier base here in the US, and even they understand that they need to order handsets with the latest version they can get because they don’t want to run into certain problems.  I guess I understand your passion for Android (Verizon Galaxy Nexus owner here and loving it), but you cannot write off WP7 because what some idiotic CEO said pissed you off.

    • Sp4rxx

      “winning award after award”
      Just because a movie wins an oscar after oscar for best whatever, doesn’t make me want to go see it.  Award after award is just a set of judges’ opinions.  Yes, WP7 is ‘new’ but not so new that after over a year that it couldn’t gain anything in the market.

      Android came out of the gate guns blazing as an alternative to the iPhone.  WP7 may have amounted to a bunch of “pew pew” out of the gate …. and still hasn’t taken the market by storm….

      People say “wait, you’ll see!” …. meanwhile, while you wait, both iPhone and Android crush the market with their shares.  Microsoft is the late person to the party as they always are and will suffer for it – plain and simple.

      • Josh Eck

        Guns blazing?  Is that what you call it the year of the HTC G1?  Guns blazing?  Were the guns still “blazing” when the MyTouch 3G came out?  Wow.

        • Sp4rxx

          name a wp7 that blazed the market …. please …. nullify my argument….

          • Josh Eck

            I never said any WP7 came out “blazing” that was your argument…please…learn to read…

          • Sp4rxx

            I know your point – it was basically the “just wait” point; with me using guns blazing, Android got higher quicker than WP7 did in the same amount of time

          • http://Twitter.com/eggoespada Eric Gonzalez

            Android came into a developing smartphone market and was one of the only operating systems that could go toe-to-toe with iOS at the time. Windows Phone came in when the market had already been so much more developed and the competetion was so far ahead. Windows Phone has promise and is very unique — it could easily make this a three way race. I wouldn’t write off Microsoft if I were you just yet. They have their work cut out for them.

        • Anonymous

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqFpq9WXbJo
          If you want to see “guns blazing”

          • Josh Eck

            That’s a pretty sweet video, but it um, ultimately pointless, since the argument Sp4rxx said was that Android came out “guns blazing”, and even that video showed it didn’t do a damn thing until the Droid came out, so again thanks for that video, but doesn’t prove anything.

          • Anonymous

            But the problem with Windows is they came out with the Touch Pro 2 before the Droid, and they still are “guns blazing” 2 years later.

            So comparatively Android was a big diesel with some turbo lag while Windows can barely keep their pretty gold engine idling.

      • Anonymous

        ” 
        People say “wait, you’ll see!” …. meanwhile, while you wait, both iPhone and Android crush the market with their shares.  Microsoft is the late person to the party as they always are and will suffer for it – plain and simple. ”

        ^ This x1000! 

        When I got my Touch Pro 2 everyone talked about Win 7 saying, “Wait, you’ll see how good the next version will be!” Well I quit waiting, jumped on the Android ship and watched iOS and Android do just what you said and dominate the market.

  • Nerdy Desi

    I don’t think you can count fragmentation as just phones having differing OS versions. There are still many apps that will work on one phone, but not the other, despite both having the same OS version. For instance, Modern Combat 3 is compatible with my Droid Charge, but not with my Rezound, which has far better specs.   :(

    • DBK

      That’s where the different OEM skins come into play. They are the reason why the phones’ software end up being just different enough to cause issues with games and apps.

  • Anonymous

    OT:

    Anyone else think that he looks just a little like Kirk? Kinda looks like a priceline negotiator to me.

  • Anonymous

    I would rather have a phone from a company that releases a great phone once a year, focuses on the sales of that phone for a year, and guarantees 2 years of updates.  To hell with the 50 different versions, all tweaked for the different carriers and skinned into oblivion.  It’s stupid, and shouldn’t be done.  The iPhone is massively popular because it does NOT do anything the carriers demand.

    Samsung should make the Galaxy S III as powerful as they can, release it with stock ICS and focus on it for one year.  Same for Moto and HTC.  If you make one or two amazing phones for every carrier, then you can put more good stuff into that phone and still get ROI.

    Or one can simply buy a Galaxy Nexus, I suppose…  But the camera sure does suck.

    • Anonymous

      “I would rather have a phone from a company that releases a great phone once a year, focuses on the sales of that phone for a year, and guarantees 2 years of updates.”

      Are you sure you’re on the right site? The iphone sounds perfect for you.

    • DBK

      If they actually released a great phone each year that wasn’t behind Android every time, then you would have a point.

      It’s massively popular (which is debatable considering the recent numbers) because the iSheep are deaf, blind, and naive.

      You can leave now.

  • Anonymous

    Fragmentation is, in my mind, only an issue on the apps developed by 3rd party. Some apps will only run on one version of the OS and not the other. I see no issues at this time because just like Kellex said, most of the phones will be running the same software (or 2 variant) in the near future. iOS also has many variants…and some of the apps in iTunes can’t run on older versions.

  • http://www.techhog.com Michael T. Blake

    Kellex, I’m not saying your wrong, but the fragmentation issue that Android suffers goes beyond that of just the OS. It has to do with tons of screen sizes and the most disrupting factor, 3rd party skins like Sense and TouchWiz.

    When Apple releases an update, while some features may not work the older phones, they do get some support, unless they are no longer sold (ie. the iPhone 3G). The screen size (to this point) has remained consistent and so a developer can still make things that work on all devices, for the most part.

    With Android, no matter what Google does, most of the fault will always lie with the OEM’s of the phone. Since Google doesn’t enforce the practice of making OEM’s update their phones to a current version, there will always be fragmentation. Then there is the problem of companies like Motorola and HTC pumping out so many phones, that 8 months later they give it an EOL and then the millions of people who own that phone won’t get more updates anymore unless they are educated enough with hacking to root it and pop on a mod.

    Unless Google pulls in the reins a little tighter (like they are with the design UI style guide) we are going to continue to see fragmentation. On the flip side, if Google does become more strict about Android by trying to keep it consistent, the developers, hackers and loyalist will cry foul as they’ll believe Google isn’t keeping Android as “open” as it was intended.

    But to say that Android isn’t still becoming fragmented is a lie, yeah it’s shrinking but no where near as fast as it needs too.

    • Unexpected62

      Totally agree… normally agree with Kellex but there is fragmentation beyond the OS. An app shouldn’t have to put a “supported devices list” in it’s market description. It should say “works on Android 2.3 and up” and we all know that isn’t the case….

      • Tyrian

        Apple is just as guilty with its iPad-only apps. Just sayin.

        • http://Twitter.com/eggoespada Eric Gonzalez

          That’s not even close to the same thing. One device is a tablet and the other is a smartphone. You’re most likely going to get some different apps that support the iPad only because they want an app to take advantage of the extra features of an iPad. Problem is with Android, specific phones are supported/unsupported when they most likely are capable.

        • http://www.techhog.com Michael T. Blake

          That’s not really a fragmentation issue as it is a choice by a developer to release an app for one specific platform. In most cases, a developer will release an app for both the iPhone and iPad. The same can be said for Android, certain apps are meant for tablets and others for phones. It’s just the nature of the beast since tablets took form. But again, that’s a choice, not fragmentation of the OS in anyway.

      • http://www.techhog.com Michael T. Blake

        Thanks, I didn’t want to call Kellex out or start a flame war, but I just think that fragmentation is still an issue, but there are more things at fault then just Android as an OS. I’m a big fan of Droid-Life and Kellex, and being from a different site, I don’t want any bad blood, just thought I’d toss in my two cents.

        • Anonymous

          That’s what the fanboys don’t want to believe: it is an issue.  I for one don’t think it’s a debilitating disease the others (Apple/MS) would try to make it out to be,  but it is a problem.  While it hasn’t slowed down people from “buying” free phones it will eventually impact people looking to buy $100+ phones and not sure when they take it out of the store whether it’ll ever see a OS update or not.

          • Dan

            The people that will worry about whether it will see an update are the same people that are aware enough to do the research before they buy the phone, the ones that don’t worry don’t know and don’t care.  I purposely buy my phones halfway through their lifecycle to save significant dollars, I don’t expect them to get upgraded, I buy them for what features they offer at the time.

      • Anonymous

        cuz choice is bad

        just look at all the fragmentation problems on windows. Games have to maintain a “supported video card” list derp huruurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

      • Anonymous

        Completely agree with one add-on.  Google needs to create a “generation” or class label for phones that oems must adhere to.  When people buy iPhone they know 4s = current, 4 = supported and 3 means support but may not do everything.  With Android the person looking to buy the phone has NO idea what generation a phone is.  they don’t know if the phone is going to get updates  for the next 18 months or if it’s already received its last update.  They then need to tie the OS updates to the hardware generation so then it would be possible to simply put “x version and later” label on apps.

    • Chipootle

      I completely agree with you Michael. I think Kellex is totally missing the point. This almost sounds like fanboy rage. For reference, I’ve had the G1, Incredible, X2, and now the Galaxy Nexus.

      Fragmentation in my opinion has less to do with the OS, and more to do with all the different hardware and manufacturer skins that are out there. If you look at that aspect, then Android does indeed look very fragmented.

      • Anonymous

        Fragmentation is a talking point that people like to use as if it somehow impacts the majority of consumers. The fact is that it doesn’t or at least it certainly doesn’t appear to be an issue. Most don’t care and don’t know. Only the tech community even understands the differences between 2.2 and 2.3, for example. Most people say “its my phone, there’s a different OS version now?” and don’t even understand why it matters. My mother has the iphone 4 and has yet to even sync it with her computer and doesn’t even know what iOS 5 is. 

    • Matth

      you’re right …. even so take  the frangmented android as is take one version on one screen and there your market is above all the WP7 market in all distribution :)

    • Anonymous

      Multiple screen sizes hasn’t been an issue since Cupcake (maybe before?); Android can adjust for screen sizes and resolutions automatically. As for the rest, you conjecture that “fragmentation” is a problem that will actually affect consumers. It hasn’t been, isn’t, and won’t be. Typical consumers aren’t typical DL readers; they have no idea and couldn’t care less which Android version they’re on. In the real world, the “problem” simply doesn’t exist. For proof, see Android’s year over year marketshare increase.

      • Chipootle

        Fragmentation already does affect consumers. As already mentioned, many apps in the marketplace either run poorly or won’t run at all on some devices, regardless of what OS they are on.

        If apps have to specifically mention what devices it works on or doesn’t work on, then that is fragmentation. Yes, the typical android user could care less what version of android they are on. What they do care about, however, is when their phone can’t run apps.

        • Anonymous

          Show me some evidence of this mattering to consumers. Marketshare says it doesn’t, since there are alternatives to Android but people still pick up Android in droves. Where’s your evidence?

          • http://www.techhog.com Michael T. Blake

            You do realize that Android phone are purchased in “droves,” as you said, because so many of them are freebies. I’m not saying high-end devices aren’t selling. I’m merely saying the reason that Android’s marketshare is so high is because so many of them are buy one, get one free or just one of them alone is simply free. For teens who can’t afford a high-end phone or adults who don’t care about brands and just want an smartphone, Android is perfect thanks to the variety of free phones. (Sigh) I don’t want to go all “iPhone,” because this isn’t about the iPhone. But, no other phone, not one single model can match the sales of just one iPhone model. Have you ever seen, literally, thousands of people waiting outside for an Android device all over the world, in every country it’s released? No, the point is, Android is number simply because of the sheer number of devices that are on the market. Marketshare is truly pointless.

          • Anonymous

            So, you have no evidence. Noted.

            As to your arguments, this is the same, tired old line we’ve heard for years. “iPhone is for the people with money; Android is the cheap knock off.” I’ve never seen any numbers to support this. How many people purchased an Android because it was on BOGO or some other such thing vs. being full price? How many people had price as a factor when purchasing their Android? Do the lower end phones outsell the higher end ones? From what I’ve seen, it’s the high end Android phones that have the most marketshare by far:
            http://www.appbrain.com/stats/top-android-phones

            As to your point about the iPhone being one phone (actually, it’s closer to 3, current models: 3GS, 4, 4S), that’s Apple’s decision. They could license iOS, but that’s not their business plan. Saying, “it’s doing great for only being one phone!” is a bit disingenuous since they only offer a handful of devices from a single manufacturer. It’s also not a valid comparison because we have no idea what Android share would look like if there were only the Galaxy line from Samsung. It’s all conjecture, and none of it is relevant. If the multiple phone strategy is more successful because of the myriad of devices, then good on Android for embracing it.

            I will, however, address how ridiculous the argument is that Android is only successful due to it being on multiple devices/form factors on multiple carriers: Android isn’t the first to do this, nor are they the only ones to. Yet they are still the leader in marketshare and continue to rise. If it were simply due to having multiple devices, why aren’t the other players doing as wel (WebOS, WP7, WM6.5, Symbian, etc.)? Your argument doesn’t hold water.

          • Jarred Sutherland

            It matters to consumers when they can’t run the app that their friend runs because their device (which is still within it’s 2 year contract period) runs an older version of Android which isn’t supported anymore.

            The idea you have that because there isn’t some study that says “people care about X because of ..” then the problem doesn’t exist is just ignorant. 

            Look at business users who have some devices on 2.1 and 2.2 where the mail client doesn’t support features of Exchange 2010, therefore they are forced to buy the $20 Touchdown mail app to get functionality that WAS provided but OEM’s decided not to push it to their device.

            People do indeed care when things don’t work. Now they may not know what caused said problem and may not care, but the problem still exists.

            Also the one thing your link fails to mention is the number of AppBrain users, the number of AppBrain users that are involved in tech vs the number who have no idea what Android even is.

          • Anonymous

            This is still nothing but conjecture and anecdote. You feel it’s a problem, but marketshare numbers say the contrary. I’ll go with the numbers, thanks.

          • Jarred Sutherland

            Negative, didn’t need to “feel” up my clients with the problem, nor did I need to feel up the results of my efforts to pin down the issue.

            But stick your head in the sand, you seem to enjoy it.

          • Anonymous

            The plural of anecdote is not evidence.

          • Jarred Sutherland

            Whatever, enjoy your head being in the sand.

          • http://www.techhog.com Michael T. Blake

            Marketshare numbers don’t mean squat when it comes to the issue of fragmentation. Which was the point of this “debate.” Average consumers may not recognize fragmentation, but developers  DO and they are the ones who make the apps that people want. Why do you think almost 90% of apps are made for iOS first, then ported to Android later? Because iOS is simple, requires very little effort to make it work on existing and previous devices. For big studios like EA and Zynga, they can have a team working on each OS, but the smaller development houses (who make the creative niche games) need to put their efforts where they’ll get a bigger return. Even though Android has a “more” marketshare that you like to boast about, its annual revenue via the Android Market is still far less than that of the Apple App store. Reason being, the Android OS is still difficult to develop for because of fragmentation in the marketplace. Plan and simple. So developers (the ones really affected by fragmentation) still prefer iOS and will continue to make apps for Android second. Examples: Instagram…still not on Android. WikiPedia, just came to Android 2 years after iOS, Angry Birds (which took months to come to Android) Whale Trail, Path…I could go on…but the point is, fragmentation is a real issue and as I said before, until Google takes back more control over the OS, it won’t stop. If you wish to continue this debate, stop using the argument of Android has more marketshare than the iPhone, so it’s better, in fact, leave the iPhone out of this and open your eyes to the real point of this discussion, “fragmentation” and its affect on the Android environment.

          • Anonymous

            300,000 apps and counting. I don’t think “fragmentation” is affecting devs the way you think it is.

            So, there are plenty of apps and people are happy with their devices. Where’s the problem, other than in your own opinion? Can you point to anything that actually affects sales?

          • http://www.techhog.com Michael T. Blake

            Forget this, trying to get you to look at Android objectively, is like trying to tell Castro to try a different type of Government. You are obviously 100% Android and nothing can be wrong with your choice and Android can do no wrong. Done.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think fragmentation is a problem, and you have yet to say anything convincing to the contrary. Don’t be upset at me; be upset at your lack of a decent argument. It’s not my fault that your points don’t stand up to the market facts.

          • Bionicman

            i think the point others are trying to make is what the market share says of androids success…and its increasing. so while there may be issues with developing for android, it still keeps growing. if we were to see development stop growing or slowing down, then the argument of there being a really bad problem with fragmentation would be more prevalent.

          • Anonymous

            What you’re saying is true, unfortunately people like droidzilla that blindly regurgitate what android blogs feed them don’t seem to be interested in looking at the bigger picture. Guess what? No OS is perfect, not even android. To deny there are any issues because “oMG look at the big android numbers!”, is foolish and narrow minded.

          • Kenny Bats

            I work in IT and do many Exchange configurations weekly (iOS,, Android and a few Blackberries here and there.)  Every Android device since the Droid Incredible was released seems to work fine with Exchange 2003 and 2007.  We haven’t upgraded to 2010 yet.  So I can’t comment but I haven’t seen a sub 2.2. device since maybe early 2011. 

            However, last year I did have to install Touchdown for a user that couldn’t connect to Exchange.  It seemed like a problem with the exchange certificate because after downloading the cert through Touchdown the native mail client began to function. 

            I work in healthcare and we support hospital of over 5000 users.  I am not commenting using a small sample size.
             

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Smith/666581359 Jason Smith

            Its easy to say the iPhone is the best selling model when your company sells only one model actively (leaving the older models for promos and low-cost/free promotions) All companies have fragmentation, its the nature of the tech beast. Marketshare is not pointlessly by any means, the more phones you have in peoples hands the more your product will influence others to buy your product. The fact is more people have Android based phones than any other. Android is doing the smartphone business the best and it shows, if fragmentation was such a REAL issue as some of you claim then again I have to bring up Blackberry, Nokia and Windows, both of which had/have fairly tight-reigned ecosystems and the only reason Windows is showing an increase at all is because BBM and Nokia are hemorrhaging customers at staggering rates. People WANT open, they want freedom to make their own choices, they want prices that are realistic to their budget, Apple cant say they cater to those same people, Android Does!

          • Anonymous

            Please. Apple has their bargain phones and free phones. (see the iPhone3GS -FREE & the iPhone4 -$100). 
            Sure there is a large market of Android phones (I’d personally like to see the number decrease) but there is the demand for it. 
            Choice-  If consumers don’t buy the Droid 3 and Droid 4 they would discontinue it. “Nobody” bought a Garmonphone or the ChaCha and they’re gone.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, but if you look at Apple catching up to Android in Dec for sales it makes you wonder if free/cheap phones are key to sales.

            The bigger problem is the fact with Apple you know what generation your hardware is and can then assume support will go back at least one gen and of course the current gen.  With Android phones so many people are buying a phone today that’s a 2nd or 3rd gen Android phone because it’s free and are going to walk away from Android when they realize how it sucks compared to every other Android or iOS device and thought they where getting something that would at leas tbe supported.

            Google and the OEMs need ot concoct a generation label for the phones so people know when they are picking up current, supported or unsupported devices.

          • Anonymous

            Not sure why anyone would expect a free or bargain phone to perform like a $300 top tier phone. I’d say as a general rule that the cheaper the phone is the more dated the hardware. I think the general consumer understands this.

          • Anonymous

            I would agree with your rule however I don’t think the average consumer understand the difference in specs or really cared what they are. That’s why I think grading the hardware in some way and tie updates to that rating. Just my opinion.

          • http://twitter.com/tehstev0 Steve Orosz

            While I agree, you would be surprised.  I know many people that have said “I hate my droid phone” when they did not have any Droid, they had an LG Ally.  These people are respected (non-technical) individuals, so their comment influences their friends who will see this and say “well if they said droid sucks, I’ll go iPhone”.  Granted not all of the Droid line is top of the line, but the really aren’t bad phones.  And due to uneducation of the brand name, they are now mislabeled as garbage and a sale is now lost.

          • Kenny Bats

            If Android only released 1 device per year…then YES!!!  Tons of people would be waiting outside and YES the sales numbers would rival any model of the iPhone.  Your point is moot. Only the clueless wait outside for anything to be released.

          • Anonymous

            What about those that waited outside for the Galaxy Nexus?

          • Kenny Bats

            Clueloss…  Just becuase they use Android doesn’t mean they have a clue. 

          • EricTheRed

            I think one of the major causes of all the arguing is because the business model behind the iPhone and Android devices are so different.  Apple develops the operating system and probably plays a much larger roll in the hardware part as well.  The companies that carry the Android phones produce the hardware and install the Google’s operating system on it.  I don’t know this for a fact but i see it to be very similar to how the PC/MAC processes have been for so many years.

            In a business sense the phone manufacturers are making less money than Apple because they are all competing for a sliver of the Android share and they probably make less than Apple does per sell because there’s a much clearer separation between hardware and operating system.  It is a natural assumption that the more phones a manufacturer releases the more sales they will get.

            This seems to be better for the consumer because there’s so many choices out there.  But, in a business sense Apple has the right idea.  They may control slightly less of the mobile share but I assure you they control WAY more of the money than any other manufacturer that produces Android phones controls.  Scaling back to fewer device releases may possibly mean less profit for the manufacturers.  I guess over time we will see if this makes the time and effort profitable enough for the manufacturers to stay in the fight.  It could drastically affect things but I guess time will only tell.  Businesses gotta make money and peacocks have to fly! :)

            Disclaimer to all the internet floggers out there:  This is my own opinion and I have no evidence to back anything up so don’t ask for anything from me except for more opinions ;)

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Kirk/1386021939 James Kirk

            Sorry I’m not an iSheep, but their is a lot in a phone apple doesn’t offer and android does. Thanks for posting your site so i can permanently block using my google android phone.
            This is still the beginning of the smart phone generation as time goes on their will be a science to measure and predict these qualities of functionality. But corporate greed would rather sell phones and boost profits to then pay for the research to make better phones cause there is no money in updating phones. And Iphones control their sheep by making them pay for everything through their appstore that android users can get for free. Which was the main reason iphones wouldn’t get flash cause then their store would lose money if they could get it off the net and other sources for free.

      • Brian Sands

        Not trying to troll (since I’m far from being a developer), but if screen size isn’t an issue, then why won’t the Swype beta work on the Galaxy Nexus?  It doesn’t install due the the screen size not being supported.

        • Anonymous

          It wasn’t screen size, but the way that ICS reported screen resolution that kept Swype from the GNex (according to Swype). It is also due to Swype’s way of releasing their app, as far as I can tell. They want it done in a special way, so they don’t use the Market. Other keyboards haven’t had this issue, that I know of, because they’re coded to be easier to access and install. Swype has decided to keep a tighter control of their keyboard, and to generally only offer it as an OEM option (unless you’re in the beta).

          That said, it was easily hacked onto the GNex, showing that, if Swype wanted to, they could make it much more OS/screen size agnostic.

        • Anonymous

          cause swype doesnt want it to work on things other than that which they officially support.

      • Anonymous

        So should we look at Apple’s market share when they were in the lead as proof they had the best model?  Just because Android is winning now doesn’t mean it will in the future.  Not addressing problems no matter how big or small will eventually lead to failure.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, yes we should. Apple provided the right product at the right time with the iPhone. People wanted a more touch friendly, lightweight-OS device. Apple delivered a user experience above what people expected from Symbian, RIM, and Windows Mobile. Others were working towards that goal (including Android), but Apple got to market first. The market then responded. Apple failed to keep innovation and evolution up, and Android took over.

          Android will not inevitably be the leader for the future, but fragmentation is not an issue. It’s less of a problem than it used to be, and even before it didn’t stop Android’s rise. Why would fragmentation go from a non issue to a huge issue when its impact is getting less and less? That makes no sense.

          • Anonymous

            Because the real problem IMO is not fragmentation of OS or skins but hardware.  The problem with choice is people shouldn’t be expected to consult DL to know if they phone they are about to buy will see many updates or has already received its last one.  That’s what’s going to lead to user frustration and eventually people switching when they buy a phone and find out its essentially EOL.  They need to come up with a lebel that OEMs must use so a user can easily identify where in the life a device is to set expectation for future support, especially in regards to OS updates.  With Apple its easy for them as of course they only have one phone and Android needs to find a way to emulate that “generation” (1st, 2nd, etc) label and tie it into OS updates.

          • Anonymous

            I have yet to see that this is a problem in the real market. Most neither know nor care what their OS is; to them, Gingerbread is what you make little houses out of on Christmas. It’s an artificial problem since it doesn’t actually affect the market (to say that it does affect people but they don’t know it is nonsensical).

          • Anonymous

            People do care when they spend money on a phone and their friend does and 6 months later their friend’s phone has a shiney new OS on it and theirs doesn’t and they had no idea they chose one without the upgrade path.  Keep in mind all these Android numbers are short lived.  Most of those monster numbers are people still in their first 2 year contract with an Android phone.  It just takes high turnover coming off contract for Android to fall just as fast.

          • Anonymous

            So far, the numbers bear me out as being right. We’ll see if they turn around and show that you’re right. For now, your side of the argument is nothing but conjecture.

          • Anonymous

            I know conjecture is your favorite word so I won’t try and rebuke you once you drop that gem. ;-)  I’ll just say the point IMO is to talk about the future or what may happen otherwise forums/comments are pointless.  If we wanted to discuss what’s already happened we would just read blogs and not comment.

          • Anonymous

            If you have something other than your opinion, I’m all ears. It’s not my fault that you brought no facts to the debate.

          • Anonymous

            It’s a fact is consumers are unhappy they’ll switch products.  That’s what my point is based on.

          • Anonymous

            Absolutely true. Totally beside any point you were trying to make, though. You might as well have said, “bacon makes everything better.” It’s a fact, but totally irrelevant.

          • Anonymous

            OEMs are making consumers mad now,just check this and other blogs.  It may not be a statistical fact, but doesn’t change the fact it’s happening.

          • Anonymous

            There was no statistical facts that WinMo would lose to Apple or Android 5 years ago but somehow it happened.  Apparently facts based on what’s already happened doesn’t predict the future.  That’s where the fun of discussing it comes in.

    • IceBergLettuce

      Wrong.

    • Anonymous

      Yes this is the key point. The 3rd party skins really change the way you interact with the device and give a completely different user experience. I think Google’s initiative with the holo interface is a step in the right direction. Each device should have the option of turning off the customs skins. That way the user experience can be consistent across hardware manufacturers. 

    • A.M.

      The Android 2.1 phones are not always 2-3 years old per se, and will definitely not vanish from the market any time soon. Verizon Wireless is currently selling 2 Android 2.1 phones – Motorola Citrus,  Samsung Continuum.  They’re all certified pre-owned, for what it’s worth, but it still means there are people going to be using Android 2.1 for at least another two years.

  • Anonymous

    Calling WP7 a dying platform is like calling the original Xbox a dying game system (in its time), a little premature. The fact is, WP7 is progressing nicely and Microsoft has the money to sink into this long term to make sure it succeeds. On top of that they have nice hooks for people who are just Windows people, and even Windows 8 could revitalize Windows on the desktop, never mind the tablet aspect. Microsoft also has XBL integration and Office. These are very compelling things, and as the OS matures, gets more and better apps and gets really compelling hardware, they will gain marketshare.

    Am I saying they will ever get past number 3 in  market share? No, but to call them dying is foolish. There is room for a third player in this game and RIM has done nothing to show that they can be that player.

    For the record I am Android fan.

    • Anonymous

       Your comparisons are a bit off: the Xbox was a highly anticipated system with an incredible launch title in Halo, which was at one time the most sold launch titles in history. WP7 was neither highly anticipated, nor did it have a great launch. And no company has money to “sink” long term into any product; not a smart business if the product is failing…we’ve already seen game titles start to release Android versions of apps and Microsoft has begun to discuss releasing an XBL app in the Android market in the near future.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. Also, Windows will crush competitors in the tablet market.

        • Anonymous

          We’ll see…the only thing I have to say is that my wife currently has a Windows Tablet (Dell Duo) and trust me, it ain’t crushin nothin…hopefully they do better in the future because I still like my Windows laptop and it would be nice to have a snappy, thin, portable version.

  • http://twitter.com/JSIN1605 JSIN

    BLA BLA BLA you want choices or not?

  • http://www.thinkgeeks4u.com Hiral Patel

    Totally irrelevant since Phone 7 has such a small market share. They first need to compete with RIM before they can even attempt to play with Android or the behemoth iOS. This will be Nokia’s path to destruction following RIM for not innovating nor adopting better technology.

    • Anonymous

      Hell, they need to compete with Bada and Symbian at this point.

  • Bionicman

    let em have it Kellex!

  • ddevito

    Writing apps for different devices on Android is more difficult to accommodate for screen sizes than it is the OS itself.

    Setting the OS target level in Eclipse takes all of 4 seconds.

    • Anonymous

      You can also code your apps to automatically compensate for different screen sizes. I think that’s been around since Cupcake.

      • Anonymous

        i’ve only just started in android app dev but i’m pretty sure the layout manager should handle different screen sizes (assuming you’ve configured it correctly)

    • Andrew

      Most people who argue about fragmentation don’t even know what Eclipse is and have probably never loaded any IDE with the SDK. It really is simple to declare the OS and the set level of API that the app will run with.

      Then again, developers hardly ever speak to the masses. We leave that for the business types who are uneducated on the subject.

      Let them write about what’s a trendy problem of Android. We’ll just continue our world dominance.

  • Linuxdood

    I never got the fragmentation argument.  Who doesn’t have this?  Even Apple does.  I have an iPhone 3G that still works fine.  Can’t do everything with it that a newer can due to the OS upgrade limitation.

    • Anonymous

      Yep, and somehow different versions of iOS were classified as (example) 3.x while they cut Android into 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 in the same analysis. It’s pretty silly and obvious they are reaching for straws.

      • Anonymous

        The problem isn’t the software version, in that respect fragmentation is a myth.  However look at Hulu Plus and the fact we need a hacked version to get it to work on all devices.  Does that prove fragmentation is overblown?  Yes.  But it doesn’t mean Google and the OEMs need to adopt a better system for OS updates to address these issues.

  • shdowman

    Fragmentation lies not with the OS version, but with the skins applied on top of it and the telcoms dragging of feet to allow said upgrade when they want to sell more phones with the latest and greatest. The fault lies not with Android.

  • Anonymous

    I have 2.3.3 on my phone. There are bug fixes I don’t have in 2.3.4, or 2.3.5. So yeah fragmentation is still there even though I am on Gingerbread.

  • Justin Brayman

    Exactly. Couldn’t have put it better myself Kellex. +1 to you.

  • Woobaker

    its just a reasoning in his mind not to innovate anything new

  • ddevito

    If Google released hard requirements for Android I think it would at least draw a line in the sand.

    4.0 = dual core, 1GB RAM, etc
    2.3 = single core, X RAM, etc

    • Anonymous

      If Google released hard requirements for Android, it would no longer be a very open platform. I say, let the market sort it out (which has worked brilliantly thus far).

      • Anonymous

        Why would a minimum hardware requirement for an OS = closed?  It would actually better serve customers as OEM would feel more pressure to update phones that met the specs instead of just abandoning them as they do now.  Look at Samsung screwing over Galaxy 1 owners even though Google is updating the exact same hardware (Nexus S) to ICS. 

        The market sorted out RIM and Apple when they were on top.  No reason it can’t sort Android out too.

        • Anonymous

          Putting limitations on the OS would not make it open, by definition. Of course the market can topple Android; where did I say that it was an invincible force that could never go down? Also, where did I say it was good for consumers to be screwed by the manufacturer?

          All I’m saying is it’s fine to let the market sort it out instead of having Google force arbitrary constraints on people. If Samsung screws someone over, they’ll probably not purchase a Samsung next time. There; sorted.

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  Then people would know if they phone would be getting future updates and would put more pressure on OEMs to put out updates for phones that have the specs.

      Think about all those people buying D3 or DInc2 today that are probably not going to see ICS even though the hardware supports it.  If Google put out a spec list like you state it would better serve the customers.

  • Anonymous

    First…i mean, +1 ;)

    damn Disqus

  • gregmr

    A year old phone I know on Verizon (Galaxy S) shows that even as recent as last year, some phones are still not being updated. “Experience pack” or whatever? So his argument is somewhat valid.

    • http://Twitter.com/eggoespada Eric Gonzalez

      Agreed. I’m tired of hearing that fragmentation is nonexistent and that even iOS has it. Technically iOS does, but that’s do to hardware. Even as far back as the 2 year old iPhone 3Gs has iOS5, while a phone like the DROID RAZR from Novemeber is on Android 2.3 — a version totally behind ICS.

      • Philip A. Kaiser

        Using the RAZR was not such a good example considering that Every phone to date, with exception of the Nexus, is launching with 2.3. I would have chosen the Droid Charge as an example because they were still packing Froyo until just a couple of weeks ago.

      • Kenny Bats

        Apple has released basically the same OS for 5 years now on the same hardware.  I would hope they can get it right after that amount of time.  It’s too bad everyone here is comparing apples to oranges.  iOS had a 3 year headstart and Android is still crushing.  Let’s compare iOS today with Android 2 years from now to compare apples to apples. 

        The Nexus was chosen to debut 4.0.  The Razr was not.  Your argument is rediculous. 

  • Changito17

    Well said. That’s all it took too price a very good point while being civilized.

    • Changito17

      *prove not price. (-_-)

  • Anonymous

    The two “Fragmentation” problems I see are the differing hardware and performance across the range of devices, and the software customization that each manufacturer puts on top. The software problem will hopefully be remedied with Googles stricter theme policies moving forward, but there are still going to be problems with apps performing very differently across a bunch of devices. 

    Some don’t see this as a problem, since windows is essentially the same way, but for an app developer, especially one that might stream video, it is difficult to see how the performance will act across the different spec’d devices. 

    I don’t necessarily think this is a blocker or reason to avoid the platform, (No way in hell im choosing iOS, and windows phone still has a ways to go) but I’m sympathetic to the problems that others have when they chose to develop for android. 

  • Anonymous

    Fragmentation is still an issue, hopefully ICS will remedy the problem but a lot of it is manufacturers releasing so many phones and not keeping them updated.

    • Anonymous

      This is why Motorola, and I believe HTC, are releasing less phones in ’12.  They want to focus on a small number of phones to make their portfolio more uniform, which I understand.