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Android Orphans: Visualizing Android Fragmentation [Infographic]

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Android handsets have a spotty history of getting legitimate and timely updates. This chart lays out the update timelines of popular Android handsets. In the process it presents a fascinating look at how Android phones become orphans.

Micheal DeGusta has done some in-depth research into the history of Android releases in relation to supported handsets. What he uncovered is that Android users often get the short end of the update stick. The manufacturers of various Android phones often stop releasing updates for the phone within the same year it is released. That was certainly the case with my old HTC Hero; Sprint quickly gave up on keeping the handset up to date.

Check out the chart above and make sure to hit up the link below for a detailed analysis of the chart on Micheal’s blog.

Android Orphans: Visualizing a Sad History of Support [via Tech Crunch]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/27/11

Comments (12)

  1. Menzies

    Is the iphone one not incorrect though as I have a Iphone 3G and I cant get IOS 5…..

  2. Dafoo

    They should show Windows Phone stats. No fragmentation either.

  3. Lax

    It says “3rd year after release” so that ended 7/11/11 for the IPhone 3G and back then IOS 4 was still the current major version.

  4. Tim

    Much the same as Nokia over the years. Has been the traditional model for phones. It’s only a recent thing to even consider upgrading the firmware on a phone.

    Apple’s position is identical to their desktops & laptops. Very little hardware, all released and strictly controlled by them, therefore making an operating system that works across the range very simple. It’s like games consoles. Control the hardware, and you control the OS.

  5. dima

    i thought you can upgrade android yourself

  6. Chronno S. Trigger

    You can install a 3rd party rom, which suggests a fix to this problem. Since it’s not Google with this problem, it’s the manufacturers that are lagging behind, all Google needs to do is open source 4.0. That way, If the manufacturers don’t upgrade their system, someone else will.

    I would also like to point out that the Nexus 1 stats are wrong. The current version of Android is 3.2, the N1 has 2.3.6 (Cyanogen uses 2.3.7).

  7. 4G Reaper

    @Chronno S. Trigger
    Isn’t 3.X honeycomb (tablet only?)

    As for 3rd party ROM’s, they always have the latest stuff, and of course sometimes nice experimental tweaks (i.e. sensation XE ROM). Plus a little overclocking here and there is nice. :)

    Current phones:
    Sensation 4G (T-mobile)
    Atrix 4G (Back-up)
    Current ROM’s Sensation:
    CM7 Alpha 9 (OC at 1.56 with some gpu tweaks Brick V 1.4r1 Kernel)
    Sensation XE ROM V 3.6.3 (OC at 1.56, the stock kernel for the ROM)
    Current ROM’s Atrix:
    Bricked it trying to flash froyo cause of reset problems after GB. Returned to OEM for reloading of GB.

  8. elazar55

    Although fragmentation can be a problem with an operating system that’s not tied to one company, I still love Android because it’s open source, and the community (open source & Android) is just wonderful.

  9. Anonymous

    Once people get tired of getting ripped off with smart (a$$) phones that become outdated nearly the same day they get them, I doubt too many customers will do very much repeat business. Then again, I could be wrong when you look at the fact that these same people keep signing up with the same cell phone companies.

    Remember: If you “think” you need a smart phone then you probably DO! (Cause you’re probably not very smart yourself.)

    That said, NEVER USE A CELL PHONE WHEN DRIVING! NEVER!!!! The phone may be smart but you’re quite stupid if you use one from behind the wheel, stick or controls of anything in motion. Booze, phones (gadgets) and wheels just don’t mix.

  10. Barbara miller

    I want too put wifi on my droid phone on it all the time if im not on this im on my computer always trying to do differnt things too it so far iv really done very well i love it u, cant get me off well im not that bad but i would like too have the wi-fi so can u help me thank u-

  11. 4G Reaper

    @Barbara, for that, I’d suggest heading over to an android site.

    I would suggest simply because of the live chat interface. It would make it much easier to communicate than posts that would have to await moderation and what not. And also because that’s where I tend to be throughout the day and can help with minor issues such as WiFi and a few app suggestions.

  12. 4G Reaper


    I’m pretty sure the sensation is still relevant, and it’s 4-5 months after release, and the Atrix 4G is still relevant (due to a GB release and scoring 2700+ stock ROM no tweaks but with root on quadrant).

    Also having a phone that outperforms my laptop? Who cares if it keeps up with other smartphones?

    Rooting helps keep a phone relevant my friend. Granted the mighty GS2 beats the Sensation in mobile gaming (like I care, still got it beat in web browsing and overall speed. Plus if I want to game, Tegra 2 is a better chip anyway.)

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