While Apple rolls out iOS updates rapidly to its iOS devices three years after their release, Android phones often ship with outdated software that is rarely updated, even during the device’s original contract term.
The chart in the post is very telling. People can load the latest iOS version on phones that are three years old. Not everything will work but it can be loaded.
There are Android phones that are less than 2 years old that are 3 Android OS versions behind and not being upgraded. The user has no ability to update the OS themselves. Those phones are still under contract yet are pretty much obsolete because their OS is so old.
Since Apple controls its iPhones, it makes sure they get uograded. But Google does not own its Androids, nor does it care to. The telecoms own them and they would rather you upgrade the whole phone – and perhaps sign up for another 2 year contract – than make your current phone more useful.
Google does not really care about the users of its phones. They simply want the most handsets out there to look at ads. They will go along with any plan the carriers use to sell more handsets, even if that hurts the customer. Not rapidly upgrading Androids is a feature, not a bug.
But, of course, all this does is serve to fragment the Android market even more. App developers never really know which version to develop for. And many people will not buy a new phone simply to be able to play a new game.
This is one reason why people flock to the iPhone. They know they will not have a phone that is obsolete before it is even released, as some Android phones were. And that the customer controls the update cycle, not the telecoms.
Apple focusses on what the customer’s needs are. For Android, the customer’s needs get lost to the wireless carriers needs for profits.
[UPDATE: I forgot to add this great quote that really applies to all Apple does. It explains so much. “Apple’s way of getting you to buy a new phone is to make you really happy with your current one, whereas apparently Android phone makers think they can get you to buy a new phone by making you really unhappy with your current one.”