Just how long does it take to roll out a new version of Android? We’ve always known that the answer is “absolutely ages” but thanks to the number crunchers at Android Police, we’ve got some tragic, solid evidence that the Android 4.0 uptake is taking even longer than usual.
A common criticism levelled at Android compared to rival iOS is that there is no clear upgrade path and that this leads to fragmentation with many devices running wildly out of date operating systems. Google only supplies six months’ worth of adoption data to its developers but Android Police’s boffins have delved back through time using the Wayback Machine to find older data and stitched together a more accurate picture of how the different versions of Android have been adopted.
What they found is not going to rebut that fragmentation argument. Six months after the relase of Ice Cream Sandwich, the roll-out is going extremely slowly. That tiny blue line at the bottom of the graph shows that Android users are updating to ICS more slowly than even previous versions (which weren’t exactly speedy).
In Google’s defence, the Android ecosystem has grown a lot over the last year and there are now many more devices on the market that need support – certainly more than Apple has ever had to deal with, and from more manufacturers. That said, with mobile networks dragging their feet with testing and even Samsung being unwilling to roll out a SIM Free version of ICS for the Galaxy S II without waiting for Vodafone, O2 et al to approve it first, you might start to think that iOS fans have a point.
Is Android fragmentation putting you off switching? Let us know in the comments, and click through to the source to see the whole, damning timeline.
[source: Android Police]