Android is not winning

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Fragmentation is busy killing Google’s OS, as Apple comes close to outselling Android for the first time.

Sales of Apple iOS and Android smartphones are now neck and neck in the US. According to research outfit NPD Group, iOS phones accounted for 43% of smartphones sold in the US in October and November. Android’s share? 47%. That’s the closest Apple’s operating system has ever been to Google’s “juggernaut”.

But, “Android is winning”.

Yes, Apple’s share of sales in those months (not to be confused with overall market share) would be higher because of the launch of the iPhone 4S. It’s also managed to succeed in the “middle” market by reducing the price of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS.

It’s these three devices that outsold all others in the US during October and November. That’s more sales than the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G and the Galaxy S – the two phones that helped propel Samsung to a record quarter.

The launch of the Samsung Nexus will no doubt change these rankings for the complete quarter (when December is included). Then again, Apple did see record activations over the holidays.

But, “Android is winning”.

HTC and Motorola’s sales are going backwards. In fact, HTC (the second-largest Android device maker) posted its first profit decline in two years. We don’t know yet how bad Motorola’s results are going to be, but they’re bad enough for the company to have warned about them before their release at the end of January. At least Samsung posted a record quarterly profit (on the back of those completely original smartphones that don’t copy a thing from anyone else).

And, Google’s deal to buy Motorola is up in the air and no one, especially the regulators, knows if it’s actually going to close. If that deal goes through, it’ll be negative for other device makers that have bet on Android. If it doesn’t go through, its arguably bad for Android as a whole too because Google loses the ability to build cohesive devices, focused on tight integration of hardware and software.

And what about that fragmentation?

Not even 1% of Android users are on the latest version (4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich) two months after it launched. In fact, according to Android’s own official stats, that number is 0.6%!

  • More than half (55%) of Android’s active users are on Gingerbread (version 2.3), which was released in December 2010. And none of these users have any hope of ever upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich (despite what Google tells you).
  • A third of users (30.4%) are stuck on Froyo! That’s an OS that’s 18 months old!
  • And 10% (easily 12 million devices) are somehow still using Donut and Eclair!?

Let’s not even get started on the Honeycomb (tablet) stats.

Consumers are going to start figuring out that buying an Android smartphone locks them into an ageing operating system that they cannot upgrade. Unless Google fixes this mess, and quickly…

But, “Android is winning”.

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  • Aldrin Monterio

    i didnt click none of ur ads :)

  • http://twitter.com/geopretorius Geo Pretorius

    Written like a true fruit phone fanboy.

    Android is not fragmented, but  there is instead a “differentiation” between devices. With Android it’s not required that everyone use the same interface. What people really care about is if there’s an interoperable ecosystem of apps.

    With Android, if you don’t like something, you can change it…

  • Arf

    This article smacks of Apple fanboyism. While some of the points are correct, and fragmentation is an issue, it is mischevous to claim that 30% of devices will “never” be upgraded to ICS. Especially given that HTC, Motorola, Sony and Samsung have announced the upgrade path for their recent models.

    Google is addressing fragmentation to the extent that it can, by pressurising manufacturers to install vanilla droid vs handset specific themes.

    Thirdly, it would be more realistic to look qt global figures rather than the US only…and not only the months when apple releases their latest iteration.

  • Rob

    Thats an os that’s 18 months old!

  • Anna

    I agree with Arf – what about the global stats? If you take into account the markets in Africa and Asia, Apple isn’t even a blip on the radar – while Nokia and it’s less-than-sophisticated OS reigns supreme. And if you think, like many do, that real mobile innovation and advancement are going to happen in these regions, then Android stands a much better chance at dominance than iOS.

  • http://twitter.com/adamskikne Adam Skikne

    I think 2012 is going to be a massive year for Android. ICS should be hitting more devices in Q1 2012 so hopefully users should be getting it soon. ICS is a massive step in the right direction in terms of UI, thanks to Matias Duarte who headed up UI design for WebOS. I see Android has launched a style guide for app developers which is also an interesting move.

    Android is an interesting platform. It does have some problems but there are a lot of things that make it extremely appealing. I think the fact that people can hack and modify Android is one of the reasons it’s taken off. That and the fact that it is flexible enough to target both ends of the market.

  • elDeanio

    Can you smell that..? Something smells of rotten apple… Gotta love them FanBoys!

  • JR
  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    So all Android apps are interoperable then?

  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    Not a single Android device has an official upgrade path to ICS (despite what the happy “Alliance” says). You won’t even be able to upgrade the flagship Samsung Galaxy S II (and that’s the official line from Samsung)!
    And do you really think Moto is going to drop Blur (even if the Googorola deal goes through)? Is HTC going to drop Sense? Will Samsung drop TouchWiz? Why would they? Then there’ll be absolutely no differentiation between devices and they might as well drop their brands from the phones too… No?

  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    And what’s the future upgrade path from ICS? Or are those hundreds of millions of devices going to be stuck on an old OS too 12 months from now?
    Good point on the style guide…

  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    You Might Be An Android Fanboy If…

  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    Shades of Symbian…

  • http://www.bandwidthblog.com Minnaar Pieters

    “Android has “differentiation” between devices.” How does that not sound like fanboyism to you? Come on.

  • http://twitter.com/geopretorius Geo Pretorius

    Like you said, the different manufacturers will not drop their different “skins”, but I would have to disagree with you on the “fact” that no Android device has an official upgrade path to ICS. Even if that is the case, there will be plenty of custom ICS ROMs going around for most devices…

  • http://twitter.com/geopretorius Geo Pretorius

    Yes, I am a proud Android fanboy.

  • http://twitter.com/geopretorius Geo Pretorius
  • http://twitter.com/geopretorius Geo Pretorius

    …this article smells of a columnist that doesn’t like Android.

  • http://twitter.com/geopretorius Geo Pretorius
  • Garyc2012

    I dont get this fragmentation crap, 

    I bought a Vista PC, then Windows 7 came out, I didn’t get a free upgrade to Windows 7 ??

    iphone 3g cant run ios5 ??

    Is everyone on WP7.5 going to get a free upgrade to 8 ?

    Most people buy a phone, keep it 1-2 years then change……………not everyone has to have the latest and greatest.

    700,000 daily android activations - Android is winning.

  • hyarion

    Firstly, US != World.  Despite what many american’s may think, companies like Google make a fortune from the rest of the world as well.  And apple is getting the same high stats in most other countries.

    I will concede that the issue of upgrading to latest OS on android phones can be an issue with many of the manfacturers not releasing updates, however I think it’s less of an issue than is made out.  Your majority of phone users are not tech savvy and replace their phones every 2 years or so.  Meaning they will get the new OS on their new phone.

    Those that are tech savvy will choose more carefully and get the android phones that are not customized and allow direct updates from google – yes there are models out there.

  • Arf

    After 10 seconds of googling:  (
    http://blogs.computerworld.com/19341/android_40_upgrade_list )
    Android 4.0 Upgrade List: Devices That Have Received (or Are Receiving) Ice Cream Sandwich• Asus Transformer Prime [UPDATED 1/10/12]: Asus made the Android 4.0 upgrade available to its Transformer Prime tablet on the night of January 9, 2012. The company announced the Ice Cream Sandwich launch at the Consumer Electronics Show, releasing the software three days before its promised date of January 12. The upgrade is taking place via an over-the-air rollout, which means you’ll get a notification on your device when the download is available to you. You can also manually check for the uprgade by looking in the “Firmware Update” section of your tablet’s “About Tablet” settings menu. • Samsung Nexus S [UPDATED 12/16/11]: On December 16, 2011, Google announced it was starting to roll out the Android 4.0 upgrade to its Nexus S phone. The rollout will continue “over the coming month,” according to Google, until it has reached all GSM/UMTS versions of the device. Thus far, nothing has been said about specific upgrade timing for the CDMA version of the phone (i.e. the Nexus S 4G on Sprint).Android 4.0 Upgrade List: Devices Expected to Get Ice Cream Sandwich• Acer Iconia Tab A200 [UPDATED 1/5/11]: Acer has confirmed its upcoming Iconia Tab A200 will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. The tablet, scheduled to launch with Honeycomb in mid-January, will be bumped up to Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in mid-February, the company has promised. • Archos 80 G9 [UPDATED 1/12/12]: The Archos 80 G9 tablet will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade, Archos has confirmed to me. The rollout is expected to occur sometime in the first quarter of 2012. Recent reports suggest the first week of February may be the window to watch.• Archos 101 G9 [UPDATED 1/12/12]: Like the 80 G9 model, the Archos 101 G9 tablet is slated to receive Ice Cream Sandwich, according to Archos. The company says the upgrade should arrive within the first quarter of 2012.Recent reports suggest the first week of February may be the window to watch.• Asus Eee Pad Slider: In a posting on its official Facebook page, Asus confirmed it would provide Android 4.0 upgrades to the full Eee Pad series, which includes the Eee Pad Slider tablet. Asus has not yet given any specific timeframe for when the upgrade could occur.• Asus Eee Pad Transformer [UPDATED 1/11/12]: Like the Eee Pad Slider, the original Asus Eee Pad Transformer is part of Asus’s Eee Pad series and is thus slated to receive the Android 4.0 upgrade, according to a posting on the company’s official Facebook page. In early January, Asus said the original Transformer’s ICS upgrade should be available “ASAP” following the launch of the Transformer Prime’s upgrade on January 12; more recent estimations point to an early February launch.• Acer Iconia Tab A100, A101, A500, A501: A statement attributed to Acer’s Poland office and published by a Polish tech blog says the company’s various Iconia Tab models will all get Ice Cream Sandwich sometime “around January 2012.” Acer’s U.S. division has not yet weighed in on the matter.• HTC Amaze 4G: Ice Cream Sandwich is definitely headed to HTC’s Amaze 4G phone, according to a statement released by HTC. The Amaze 4G should get its Android 4.0 upgrade in “early 2012,” according to HTC.• HTC EVO 3D: HTC’s EVO 3D is on the ICS shortlist, according to statements posted by both HTC and Sprint in early November. The phone is said to be in line for its Android 4.0 upgrade sometime toward the start of 2012.• HTC Raider [UPDATED 12/15/11]: According to a leaked document said to be from Bell, the non-American HTC Raider phone could receive its Android 4.0 upgrade in March of 2012. It’s a promising sign, but at this point, it’s anything but official: Thus far, neither Bell nor HTC has confirmed the validity of the information.• HTC EVO Design 4G: Sprint and HTC have both confirmed the EVO Design 4G will be getting the Android 4.0 upgrade. The two companies say the upgrade should arrive sometime early in 2012.• HTC Rezound: The new HTC Rezound is slated to receive Ice Cream Sandwich in early 2012, according to an HTC statement. More specific timing info is expected to be released soon.• HTC Sensation [UPDATED 12/15/11]: HTC’s Sensation smartphone will be among the first HTC phones to get an Android 4.0 upgrade, according to the company. As of now, the Sensation is slated to get ICS in early 2012. A leaked document said to be from Bell suggests the Canadian version of the phone could be upgraded sometime in the month of February; Bell, however, has yet to confirm the validity of that date.• HTC Sensation XE: Like the standard HTC Sensation model, the HTC Sensation XE is expected to get its Android 4.0 upgrade in early 2012,according to HTC.• HTC Sensation XL: Like the standard HTC Sensation model, the HTC Sensation XL is expected to get its Android 4.0 upgrade in early 2012,according to HTC.• HTC Vivid: The Vivid is on HTC’s list of devices scheduled for an early 2012 Android 4.0 upgrade.• Huawei Honor [UPDATED 12/12/11]: Huawei released an early version of Android 4.0 for its China-based Huawei Honor handset in December 2011. The software is said to be only a demo intended to give users an idea of what’s ahead in ICS; thus far, the manufacturer has provided no details about when the full and finalized version could become available.• Huawei MediaPad [UPDATED 1/12/12]: Huawei plans to upgrade its MediaPad tablet to Android 4.0 sometime within the first quarter of 2012, according to an announcement made by the company at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Thus far, nothing specific has been said about upgrade plans for the U.S. version of the tablet, the T-Mobile Springboard 4G. • Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet [UPDATED 12/13/11]: In early December 2011, a Lenovo manager posted a message indicating the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet would likely receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. “I believe that will still be a few months away,” he said, going on to mention a possible March time frame. While his message is not an official commitment by Lenovo, it’s certainly a promising sign for the tablet’s upgrade future.• LG Eclipse [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its Eclipse device. According to a statement posted on LG’s official Facebook page, the upgrade will begin sometime in the second quarter of 2012. • LG MyTouch Q [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its MyTouch Q device. According to a statement posted on LG’s official Facebook page, the upgrade will begin sometime in the second quarter of 2012.  • LG Optimus 2X [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its Optimus 2X device. The company made the promise in a statement posted to its official Facebook page in late November 2011. In late December, LG posted a follow-up statement indicating the upgrade would begin sometime in the second quarter of 2012. LG has yet to mention anything specifically about its LG G2x, the U.S. version of the phone; the company did, however, say that exact start dates for the Optimus 2X’s ICS upgrade would vary by market based on carrier and “smartphone model.”• LG Optimus 3D [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its Optimus 3D device. The company made the promise in a statement posted to its official Facebook page in late November 2011. In late December, LG posted a follow-up statement indicating the upgrade would begin sometime in the third quarter of 2012.• LG Optimus Big [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its Optimus Big device. According to a statement posted on LG’s official Facebook page, the upgrade will begin sometime in the third quarter of 2012.  • LG Optimus Black [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its Optimus Black device. The company made the promise in a statement posted to its official Facebook page in late November 2011. In late December, LG posted a follow-up statement indicating the upgrade would begin sometime in the third quarter of 2012.• LG Optimus EX [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its Optimus EX device. According to a statement posted on LG’s official Facebook page, the upgrade will begin sometime in the third quarter of 2012.   • LG Optimus LTE [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its Optimus LTE device. The company made the promise in a statement posted to its official Facebook page in late November 2011. In late December, LG posted a follow-up statement indicating the upgrade would begin sometime in the second quarter of 2012. Thus far, nothing has been said specifically about the newly announced American version of the phone, the LG Nitro HD on AT&T; LG did, however, say that exact start dates for the LG Optimus LTE’s ICS upgrade would vary by market based on carrier and “smartphone model.”• LG Optimus Q2 [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its Optimus Q2 device. According to a statement posted on LG’s official Facebook page, the upgrade will begin sometime in the third quarter of 2012.   • LG Optimus Sol [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its Optimus Sol device. According to a statement posted on LG’s official Facebook page, the upgrade will begin sometime in the second quarter of 2012. • LG Prada [UPDATED 12/27/11]: LG has confirmed it will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to its LG Prada device. According to a statement posted on LG’s official Facebook page, the upgrade will begin sometime in the second quarter of 2012.• Meizu M9: Meizu CEO Jack Wong says his company will upgrade its Meizu M9 device to Ice Cream Sandwich “soon.” Wong’s proclamation was made ina posting on a Meizu message board.• Meizu MX: The Meizu MX will get its Android 4.0 upgrade “soon,” according toa posting made by the manufacturer’s CEO.• Motorola Droid 4 [UPDATED 1/9/12]: When announcing the Motorola Droid 4 at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon and Motorola made it clear that the device would be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich. No specific timeline has been announced for the upgrade so far. • Motorola Droid Bionic: Motorola’s Droid Bionic will receive the ICS upgrade, according to a message posted by the company on its website. Moto says it’ll release more specific timing information sometime after Google makes the software publicly available.• Motorola Droid Razr: The Motorola Droid Razr will get the Android 4.0 upgrade in early 2012, the company has confirmed. The upgrade was discussed at the Razr’s launch event; it has also since been reiterated on Motorola’s software upgrade status page.• Motorola Droid Razr Maxx [UPDATED 1/9/12]: When announcing the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon and Motorola made it clear that the phone — like its little brother, the regular Droid Razr — will receive Ice Cream Sandwich. No specific timeline has been announced for the upgrade so far.• Motorola Droid Xyboard [UPDATED 12/6/11]: Motorola has said its new Droid Xyboard tablets — both the 10.1-inch and 8.2-inch models — will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. The promise was made in the press materials Moto sent out to the media prior to the devices’ launch. Thus far, no specific timeline has been announced for the upgrades.• Motorola Razr: Like the Verizon-based Droid Razr model mentioned above, Motorola’s international Razr phone is expected to receive Ice Cream Sandwich in early 2012, according to the company.• Motorola Xoom: The original Android Honeycomb tablet will soon feast on Ice Cream Sandwich. Moto has confirmed its Motorola Xoom device will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade; while no specific timeline has been announced, the fact that the Xoom is a “pure” Google device and still the de facto reference model for Android development suggests it should be among the first devices to get upgraded.• Motorola Xoom Family Edition: The original Xoom’s “Family Edition” will also receive Ice Cream Sandwich, according to Motorola’s official software update page.• Motorola Xoom 2: The new Xoom 2 tablet will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, according to Motorola. As far as timing, the company has gone on the record as saying the upgrade will happen “in due course” (very informative, eh?).• Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition: Moto’s smaller Xoom 2 model will also get the Android 4.0 upgrade, according to the company. Again, the timing is still pretty vague at this point.• Notion Ink Adam tablet: Notion has promised Ice Cream Sandwich for its Notion Ink Adam tablet. In a blog posted back in September, the company’s founder said the Adam would get ICS in November — though it now appears he may have jumped the gun with that ambitious estimate.• Samsung Galaxy Note [UPDATED 12/20/11]: Samsung has officially confirmed that its Galaxy Note will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. The upgrade is scheduled to begin sometime in the first quarter of 2012, according to the company.• Samsung Galaxy R [UPDATED 12/20/11]: Samsung has officially confirmed that its Galaxy R will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. No specific timing information has been released for the upgrade so far.• Samsung Galaxy S II [UPDATED 12/20/11]: Samsung has officially confirmed that its Galaxy S II line of devices will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. Galaxy S II phones around the world will begin getting Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in the first quarter of 2012, Sammy says, with specific country- and carrier-based timing to be announced as the dates grow closer.• Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket [UPDATED 12/20/11]: AT&T has confirmed its LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy S II will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. According to Samsung, the phone will be upgraded sometime in the first quarter of 2012.• Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus [UPDATED 12/20/11]: Samsung has officially confirmed that its Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus tablet will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. No specific timing information has been released for the upgrade so far. • Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 [UPDATED 12/20/11]: Samsung has officially confirmed that its Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablet will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. No specific timing information has been released for the upgrade so far.  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 [UPDATED 12/20/11]: Samsung has officially confirmed that its Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. No specific timing information has been released for the upgrade so far.  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 [UPDATED 12/20/11]: Samsung has officially confirmed that its Galaxy Tab 10.1 Plus tablet will receive the Android 4.0 upgrade. No specific timing information has been released for the upgrade so far.  • Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company announced that its Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman would be in the second group of phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout beginning in late April or early May. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Tablet P [UPDATED 12/23/11]: Sony’s Tablet P device will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade, according to information posted by the moderator of Sony’s official U.K. support forum. As of now, the moderator says, no specific time frame has been determined for the upgrade. • Sony Tablet S [UPDATED 12/23/11]: Sony’s Tablet S device will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade, according to information posted by the moderator of Sony’s official U.K. support forum. As of now, the moderator says, no specific time frame has been determined for the upgrade.• Sony Xperia Active [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company announced that its Xperia Active would be in the second group of phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout beginning in late April or early May. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Xperia Arc [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company announced that its Xperia Arc would be in the second group of phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout beginning in late April or early May. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Xperia Arc S [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company said the Xperia Arc S would be among its first phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout expected to begin in late March or early April. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Xperia Ion [UPDATED 1/9/12]: When announcing its new Xperia Ion phone at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Sony made it clear the device would be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich. No specific timeline has been announced for the upgrade so far.• Sony Xperia Neo [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company announced that its Xperia Neo would be in the second group of phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout beginning in late April or early May. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Xperia Neo V [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company said the Xperia Neo V would be among its first phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout expected to begin in late March or early April. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Xperia Mini [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company announced that its Xperia Mini would be in the second group of phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout beginning in late April or early May. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Xperia Mini Pro [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company announced that its Xperia Mini Pro would be in the second group of phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout beginning in late April or early May. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Xperia Play [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company announced that its Xperia Play would be in the second group of phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout beginning in late April or early May. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Xperia Pro [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company announced that its Xperia Arc would be in the second group of phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout beginning in late April or early May. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Xperia Ray [UPDATED 12/21/11]: Sony has confirmed its entire 2011 line of Xperia Android devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 upgrade. In late December, the company said the Xperia Ray would be among its first phones to get the upgrade, with a rollout expected to begin in late March or early April. The rollout will take several weeks to complete, Sony says.• Sony Xperia S [UPDATED 1/10/12]: Sony’s new Xperia S phone will receive Ice Cream Sandwich, according to the company. During the launch of the device at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Sony said the phone would get the Android 4.0 upgrade sometime in the second quarter of the year.

  • http://twitter.com/geopretorius Geo Pretorius

    The OP probably uses Bing or Yahoo to search :D

  • Me

    Hilton, how are you allowed to be a journalist? What a clown. What a troll. You don’t even have your facts straight. You’re an insult to journalism.

  • http://twitter.com/adamskikne Adam Skikne

    I agree with you that the process of updating Android can be quite frustrating. I think because it is ‘open’, it’s often up to each manufacturer to decide which phones will be upgrading and when. It does suck. And then of course, some lower end phones always struggle with upgrading due to out of date specs…

    It would be awesome if there were more phones being shipped with vanilla Android. For people who root their phone it’s less of a problem, but the average consumer definitely doesn’t fall into this category…

    The one person who is definitely not winning however, is RIM – despite the fact that they are working on at least supporting Android apps on their devices…

  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    Arf, I can use Google (and I’ve read this list). Funny thing… The Nexus S ships with ICS (so technically there is no “upgrade path”). Let’s see how many of these “confirmations” are real. Nearly all the “confirmed” dates are vague and keep changing. I’ve watched for the past two months as these device makers “confirm” an upgrade, only to change their minds a few days later. Already the Galaxy S II upgrade was “confirmed”, and then we were told there is no upgrade. Watch…

  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    #winning

  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    I don’t like Android? 
    …don’t think I’ve ever said that.

  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    I’ll ask again: What is the future upgrade path from ICS?
    (Or will we find out from Google after the fact?)
    I think we all know the answer…

  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    Not an answer. Just corporate rubbish. So Eric Schmidt believes all apps (the same apps) can run on all devices running anything from Froyo to ICS?

    Riggghhhhttttt…..

  • http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant Hilton Tarrant

    I am Me.

  • http://twitter.com/Arfness Andrew Fraser

    So you know better than the companies concerned?  All of whom have indicated the models that will be upgraded and the models that won’t? Seems a bit arrogant of you to state: ”
    none of these users have any hope of ever upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich (despite what Google tells you).” 

    That’s the kind of statement that makes you look silly.  It indicates that you either have a very superficial understanding of the issue or are so confirmation-biased that you can’t interrogate the information correctly. And no matter how good your other points regarding the problems in the andoid fold, you just end up looking silly.

    And, dare I say it, even if these devices don’t get upgraded… what is the real impact to the user? Android apps are mostly (with a few exceptions) designed to run on multiple versions of the OS. The average end user, using a phone with 2.3, won’t lose any functionality as the newer OS versions are released.

  • http://wogan.me Wogan

    Let me tell you what settles it for me. I own an HTC Desire HD. It was launched a few months AFTER the iPhone 4. It’s a newer phone than the iPhone 4, and it’s spec’d to run ICS.

    I’m not getting ICS. The last update HTC pushed to my phone was Android 2.3.5 + HTC Sense – already more than 6 months out of date, with not even so much as a *hinted* upgrade path.

    I paid more money for a newer phone on an open platform, and now older phones on the proprietary platform get the OS upgrades. What’s the impact to me? With every patch that gets made to the Android platform, my phone falls further and further behind.

    No big deal until you realize that Google’s latest push to compete with Apple is to launch new design guidelines based on ICS. Google is going to put ever more emphasis on building apps running on ICS. In the next few months, developers have a greater incentive to develop for ICS – better look and feel, better performance, and they can charge real money for their apps.

    So sooner or later, me and millions like me will be sitting with the IE6 of phones. Does it work? Yes. Are developers developing for it? No. Are they starting to justify not making their apps backwards compatible with my outdated OS? Yes. Am I at increased security risk? Yes. Did I get my money’s worth from HTC, when compared to the market at large? Absolutely not.

  • http://wogan.me Wogan

    You realize we’re long past Nokia 1110′s, right? Smartphones are complicated devices, capable of tracking your location, most of them are permanently signed into your social networks and email accounts (making them a bigger security risk than your stationary desktop PC / 2-factor authenticated Google session). Security threats on Android are on the rise, and without constant updates to the underlying OS, more and more people are placed at risk.

    But really, if you want to understand fragmentation: http://www.howtogeek.com/96216/android-orphans-visualizing-android-fragmentation-infographic/

  • http://wogan.me Wogan

    I don’t hate Android. I love Android. That’s why I hold it to a higher standard :)

  • http://wogan.me Wogan

    Well, I already made my point in a comment somewhere up there. Android is ultimately heading for the same fate as Linux, albeit with a whizz-bang corporate-sponsored kick-off. Good software, massive fragmentation, and eventually, the loss of guiding direction – hundreds of projects splintering off in all directions.

    Still, in the grand scheme of things, it was (and still is) a good investment. Android has improved the smartphone ecosystem, and there’s a bit less disparity now then there was before.

  • http://wogan.me Wogan

    I have Android. I don’t like the fact that HTC won’t send me ICS. I can’t change that.

  • Earthen80

    Wow what an article, it seems the author is more concerned about the age of the OS versions, rather than their level of relevance today. Maybe people aren’t upgrading to ICS because they don’t need to or? 
    Most apps on the Android market function on much older versions of Android.
    If your stats are correct then 85.4% of Android users are on Gingerbread and Froyo, which support, dare I say, 99% of the Apps on the market.
    One aspect most critics of Android forget is that unlike with iPhone, we have a huge choice of phones ranging from low end to high end, most of the low end phones use older versions of Android and cannot be updated because of hardware limitations.
    Some of us don’t care whether the manufacturers release an official update of ICS or not, we’ll just flash a custom rom :).

  • :P

    Oh, and, of course, you live in Africa and Asia.

  • Pingback: Fragmentation, OS upgrades: Do people even care? | memeburn

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