I’m sure I won’t have many fans because of the title of this entry alone but Android has a serious problem and there may be no immediate solution. Someone has to point this out. You see, Android has become so popular because it is free and available on a range of devices. This drove much if not all of the profit from the market as the competition is fierce.
However, Android often depends on the equipment company to push software updates. And the way the updates work sometimes defies logic. A Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for example needs to be plugged into a PC in order to upgrade it.
Customers in other words are at the mercy of the supplying company.
And even if the company supplying the device is huge like Dell, they can elect to stop upgrading the OS any time they want. Just like what the company did this week.
Can we blame them? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t think we have a right to force the company to support something which loses money. Then again, they probably do have a commitment to customers since they purchased these devices in good faith.
How long should the commitment last is unknown. What is fair? Five years from time of purchase? Three?
The fragmentation in the Android space makes it difficult to seamlessly use various devices from different companies without a learning curve of some kind. In addition, the OS can be orphaned at any time apparently.
Does this justify spending perhaps four or five times more on similar hardware from Apple? Maybe, maybe not but there is a hassle and annoyance factor here worth pointing out.
These are the reasons Google will be rolling out its own phone and likely focusing more on its own hardware lines in the future.
A negative Android experience can hurt a brand and reputation and right now they aren’t in full control.