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Android Rules Smartphones, But Which Version?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the whichever-one-doesn't-give-me-diabetes dept.

Android 298

Nerval's Lobster writes "Google Android's dominance of the smartphone space has been reinforced by a new IDC study that places its market-share at 68.3 percent, well ahead of iOS at 18.8 percent. But which version of Android is most preferred by users? A new set of graphs on the Android Developers Website offers the answer to that question: 'Gingerbread,' or Android versions 2.3 through 2.3.7, dominates with 50.8 percent of the Android pie. 'Ice Cream Sandwich,' or versions 4.0.3 through 4.0.4, is second with 27.5 percent, with the latest 'Jelly Bean' build at 6.7 percent. As demonstrated by that graph on the Android Developers Website, there are a lot of devices running a lot of different versions of Android out there in the ecosystem, all with different capabilities. In turn, that could make it difficult for Google to deliver 'the latest and greatest' to any customer that wants it, and potentially irritates those customers who buy a smartphone (particularly a high-end one) expecting regular upgrades." Here's how Slashdot readers using Android break down: 31.0% Jelly Bean, 31.5% Ice Cream Sandwich, 0.7% Honeycomb, 22.8% Gingerbread, 4.3% Froyo, 1.1% Eclair, 0.05% Donut, 0.02% Cupcake, 8.5% unknown. Looks like you folks are ahead of the curve. iOS breaks down like this: 67% iOS 6, 28.6% iOS 5, 3.2% iOS 4, 0.5% iOS 3, 0.7% unknown. (These numbers include more than just phones, of course.) Overall, our iOS traffic (8.74%) is higher than our Android traffic (6.75%). Windows Phone and BlackBerry both clock in at about 0.2%.

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first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42184721)

first!

Preference (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42184731)

"But which version of Android is most preferred by users?"
I don't think it's about which version users prefer but rather what version they are stuck with.

Re:Preference (1)

dohzer (867770) | about 2 years ago | (#42184835)

Don't feed the trolls!

Re:Preference (5, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#42184843)

"But which version of Android is most preferred by users?"

The newest.

Re:Preference (3, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 2 years ago | (#42185089)

Well it depends. The newest runs like crap on a two year old phone. Some of the early Android phones didn't have enough memory.

Re:Preference (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#42185345)

I'm running Jelly Bean on an original Galaxy S using CyanogenMod and it's pretty damned quick. It probably depends on the phone and the added bloat from the carrier.

Re:Preference (2)

AuMatar (183847) | about 2 years ago | (#42185401)

I had a Galaxy S until I recently lost it. It had the default app layout (which basically meant google apps only, non of the OEM crud). I noticed a significant slowdown in many apps (especially the browser) moving from 2.3 to 4.0. It wasn't horrible, but it was feeling its age.

Re:Preference (3, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#42184929)

Exactly. I have a Samsung Galaxy S3. I've been waiting for the official over the update to Jelly Bean from Verizon, and there isn't even a publicized release date. (No idea if it will be 4.1 or 4.2 either).

Re:Preference (3, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42184977)

Is this where the people smart enough to not get it on Verizon laugh at you?

Re:Preference (3, Funny)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#42185385)

> Is this where the people smart enough to not get it on Verizon laugh at you?

AT&T has one thing that Verizon doesn't have and will never have.

AT&T's coverage map includes all circles of hell! That is because their secret shadow universal headquarters are located there.

You try getting a Verizon signal from in hell. Then we'll see who's laughing.

Re:Preference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185473)

man, android really is linux, complete with the attitude

Re:Preference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185145)

I have immix and they don't touch the roms. The one I got OTA from Samsung is 4.1.1, and I got that about 2 weeks ago. But immix also carries the gt-i9300 (international version) instead of a dual core US version

Re:Preference (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 2 years ago | (#42185259)

I have the S3 and got Jellybean last month, I think. The issue there is really Verizon.

Re:Preference (1)

jandrese (485) | about 2 years ago | (#42184999)

It still drives me crazy that there isn't a "reference install" for Android that you can use (perhaps missing support for any esoteric hardware on your device, but with drivers for all commonly used hardware) when your service provider invariably stops updating your phone (approximately 6 months after first releasing it, or whenever the new version of Android comes out).

Is it really that hard to do what people have been doing on PCs for ages now? You don't even have to upgrade the baseband, just leave it alone and let the OS talk to it via a standardized interface (which should already be true I hope). Plus, it would give you an easy way to remove all of the horrible carrier "value add" that they insist on putting in there.

I have to give credit to Apple that even users of the positively ancient iPhone 3GS still get first tier support. You would be hard pressed to find an Android phone from that era with official support for Jelly Bean. Maybe one of the Nexus phones?

Re:Preference (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42185037)

It drives me crazy that folks like you have no idea how ARM SOCs work.

There can't be a reference install. ARM does not even have PCI or anything like it so you can't figure out what hardware it has to even load drivers at boot.

It is impossible to do what we have been doing with PCs.

Re:Preference (3, Interesting)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#42185261)

And that's because all the people involved are being actively stupid. It *IS* possible to have a few standard interfaces. They are just too damned lazy to do so.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/linus-torvalds-arm-has-lot-learn-pc [networkworld.com]

Re:Preference (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42185317)

I think it is more that this is a new place for ARM to be in. They were not prepared for something like Android. They were used to be used on one off SOCs for embedded devices that never saw any updates and very little user interaction.

ARM needs something like PCI, it needs standards it needs something like BIOS/EFI. Sadly right now it lacks all that and it really destroys any chance of a standardized installer for the platform.

Re:Preference (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42185463)

I have to give credit to Apple that even users of the positively ancient iPhone 3GS still get first tier support. You would be hard pressed to find an Android phone from that era with official support for Jelly Bean. Maybe one of the Nexus phones?

Um, no, that's not entirely true.

Ask anyone who has installed IOS5 or IOS6 on an old iPhone 3G, or even a 3Gs. Its horrible.

Large portions of new and marvelous best-thing-ever features are just not present on the old phones [about.com] , (even those features that do not technically require new hardware elements, or are so slow as to be unusable. Battery life goes to hell, even with after Apple attempts to fix it. Most people who do this immediately hop on the net looking for a way to revert, the rest give up and run out to buy the latest iPhone (which was the plan all along). There is a lot of advice to simply not upgrade [cnet.com] old phones.

Even iPhone 4 users are wary about updating to IOS6.

If anything the fact that you can install IOS6 on older devices speaks only to how little the iPhone has really progressed over time.

Re:Preference (4, Insightful)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#42185093)

"But which version of Android is most preferred by users?".

CyanogenMod

Re:Preference (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#42185205)

I can't think of anyone that has said they don't want to upgrade Android. It is purely because they can't. Google ballsed up by not enforcing upgrades on phones.

Re:Preference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185487)

do their adverts pay out anymore on upgraded phones

Which version is preferred? (5, Insightful)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 2 years ago | (#42184741)

That should read "which Android version is the one their device will run or has been allowed to upgrade to." It's not like anyone with an android phone running Froyo can arbitrarily decide to upgrade to Jelly Bean.

Re:Which version is preferred? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 years ago | (#42185237)

It's not like anyone with an android phone running Froyo can arbitrarily decide to upgrade to Jelly Bean.

My HTC Glacier/T-Mobile MyTouch 4G was originally running Froyo when I got it. I've been able to upgrade to Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, and JellyBean with 3rd party roms from over at XDA Developers.

Re:Which version is preferred? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#42185249)

I suspect they could go further than you think. Especially if they turned off certain functionalities like iOS does. For example maps on iOS 6 won't have 3D rendering on an old ipod touch. I guess it sucks if you know others have it but it's fully functional in every other way and it ensures as many people can move forward with the more essential bits.

I miss version numbers (3, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 2 years ago | (#42184759)

I know I'm not the only one but is this just age? Is there a real problem with the "code word" naming schemes?

And stay off my snow.

Re:I miss version numbers (1)

Dwedit (232252) | about 2 years ago | (#42184803)

It's alphabetical.

Re:I miss version numbers (1)

caknuckle (2521404) | about 2 years ago | (#42184969)

And what happens when there's no yummy foods with that letter...I don't know about you but Android Zucchini Popsicle just doesn't have nice ring.

Re:I miss version numbers (1)

operagost (62405) | about 2 years ago | (#42185387)

They'd already be sunk at Xylophone Tart.

Re:I miss version numbers (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 2 years ago | (#42185271)

What will 'K' be? Can they use a trademarked name, like Kitkat? Koolaid?

Re:I miss version numbers (1)

Lordrashmi (167121) | about 2 years ago | (#42185403)

Keylime Pie

Re:I miss version numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185411)

Right now the rumor is Key Lime Pie.

Re:I miss version numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185431)

Klingon Moonbeam

Re:I miss version numbers (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | about 2 years ago | (#42185465)

I'd like it to be Koeksister. Unfortunately, I'm told that they are planning to use Key Lime Pie. (It's not a biggie, but I'm not keen on that as a name).

Re: I miss version numbers (1)

Threni (635302) | about 2 years ago | (#42184841)

No, no problem using words instead of numbers. Numbers are boring. Also, you can get it wrong - windows 3,95,98,2000,7. Lol!

Did You Get a Voucher for Windows Lol? (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#42184933)

No, no problem using words instead of numbers. Numbers are boring. Also, you can get it wrong - windows 3,95,98,2000,7. Lol!

So they just went ahead and changed "Windows 8" to "Windows Lol!"? Sounds about right ...

Re:I miss version numbers (1)

illestov (945762) | about 2 years ago | (#42185067)

Is there a real problem with the "code word" naming

numbers are meaningless to an average consumer, but everyone can associate with sweets, especially in America

Unanswerable question (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42184775)

Which version of Android is most preferred by users?

How would anyone know? The decision is made by the service provider, not the user.

Re:Unanswerable question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42184965)

Not for all users or devices.
My smartphone was rooted. It runs the latest version it is capable of running.
My tablet runs what I load on it.

Most people are sheep, this is true.

The Android panzers are coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42184777)

Brace yourselves for the flame blitz.

Re:The Android panzers are coming (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#42184925)

Panzers? No no no. We're sending in the M67s.

the moral of the story (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42184819)

Don't buy a phone expecting regular updates from a carrier that won't?

Android 2.3.7 (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#42184823)

I'll upgrade to 4.x if CM9 or CM10 every deliver a stable build for my Defy. Stuck on CM7.2 for now

Android Dominance? (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#42184857)

Android 68.3 percent, well ahead of iOS at 18.8

So there are over 3 times as many Android phones as iPhones, yet internet usage by Android is *lower*?

Something is fishy here.

Re:Android Dominance? (4, Informative)

jandrese (485) | about 2 years ago | (#42184895)

It's well documented that iOS users tend to use their phones a lot more than Android users. Same thing in tablet space.

Absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185395)

It's also well documented that only 2.3457678% of all statistics are made up on the spot, and the remaining statistics come from authoritative irrefutable sources.

Re:Android Dominance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42184907)

only because using the phone is a pain.

Re:Android Dominance? (1)

happylight (600739) | about 2 years ago | (#42184983)

It only means more people use iPhones on Slashdot.

Re:Android Dominance? (-1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#42185043)

It only means more people use iPhones on Slashdot.

Not really - that trend is replicated across a wider range of web traffic.

For whatever reason people browse the internet more on iOS devices than Android ones, despite Android's smartphone marketshare. It's probably got a lot to do with the iPad.

Re:Android Dominance? (4, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42185083)

Or that people who did not have to pay for iDevices had enough money left to buy computers :)

Re:Android Dominance? (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 2 years ago | (#42185327)

Many of these web traffic studies are looking at English language web sites like Slashdot. Android is more popular world wide than in the U.S. I also think web browsing is more common on tablets than on phones. Apple has a bigger edge in tablets than in phones. Many Android phones are also prepaid phones. People on tight budgets use less data.

Does not fit (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#42185479)

Many Android phones are also prepaid phones. People on tight budgets use less data.

And yet, most mobile users consume data primarily on WiFi where the budget does not matter...

Not at all surprising (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#42184987)

So there are over 3 times as many Android phones as iPhones, yet internet usage by Android is *lower*?

I own an Android device myself. But the only thing on it that's usable at all is Maps.

There are tons of super-cheap Android devices sold that don't have great touch screens and thus people don't use them much except for the basics like email and maps and texting.

Re:Android Dominance? (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 2 years ago | (#42185201)

Android 68.3 percent, well ahead of iOS at 18.8

So there are over 3 times as many Android phones as iPhones, yet internet usage by Android is *lower*?

Something is fishy here.

Most Android phones are the low-cost, low-margin, free-after-subsidy variety that are used at texting phones. Most iPhones are actually used as smartphones.

I create Android and iOS apps for a living. At this point iOS apps have a much larger potential market, despite the fewer number of devices out there.

Re:Android Dominance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185217)

The captcha used here on Slashdot is a pain in the ass on my sgs 3 with auto correct. It starts to enter the keys I press, auto correct tries to change it but only a portion of it is changed in the captcha box like typing into the captcha box just freezes. Have tried under the chrome browser only the stock android browser.

Kind of like the USA today's mobile remake. Find any article on an iPad and try to read the comments.. you see the first few and that's it. The scroll bars for the comment section just don't work.

Re:Android Dominance? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#42185339)

Android appears on some pretty low-end phones. Everyone talks about phones like the S3 but those sort of phones aren't what most Android owners have. I read something awhile ago saying that Android is replacing the feature/dumb phone. So when you have people picking up dirt cheap phones on PAYG sims they probably don't get internet (or very little) and they certainly won't be buying apps.

That's the other issue with Android. Google can tout their numbers but 68.3% on its own doesn't mean anything unless you're making really basic apps for free. If you want to make something like Vice City, then you're looking at comprable numbers to iOS, maybe even less.

A little surprised (4, Interesting)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#42184873)

Yada yada, "preference" is the wrong word here. Anyway...

I know there are many articles saying that iOS has more overall web usage, but I'm still surprised to see that it's even the case with a demographic like Slashdot. Of course, it doesn't mean there are more iOS Slashdot users, but it's still interesting.

Re:A little surprised (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 2 years ago | (#42185039)

Actually, if any group is likely to have a large set fiddling with their UA Strings in Android to get Slashdot to serve up the desktop version instead of the mobile version it's probably Slashdot. Speaking of which, i really ought to look into figuring out how to change that permanently rather than having to keep resetting in via about:debug.

Why fiddle with UA strings at all (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#42185321)

You can get to the desktop Slashdot just fine in mobile browsers. I forget how as I switched long ago but look for a link that says "full version".

I really doubt that accounts for any difference at all.

Re:Why fiddle with UA strings at all (1)

godrik (1287354) | about 2 years ago | (#42185361)

most browser for android have an option "request the desktop version of the site"

Re:A little surprised (0)

godrik (1287354) | about 2 years ago | (#42185287)

That makes sense, Android users are doing really work, the iOS users just look at how shiny their toy is!

(Why am I modded -1 troll? :) )

Re:A little surprised (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#42185419)

Slashdot doesn't represent most people and most Android phones are budget phones. Android owners need to realise most people don't own things like a S3 which I'm sure is a lovely phone but it's out of the price range of most people (even on a contract).

If google doesn't do it already they need to release hardware stats too so people know if they target a certain level and OS version then how many people will they could potentially have. This is why developers still prefer iOS because I suspect the actual numbers of potential customers is similar despite there being many more Android phones.

Re:A little surprised (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185469)

I would think this is because Slashdot has a larger base of Americans (USAians) reading the site than rest of the world.

USA is a Apple majority nation by a significant margin by installed base.Sales for 2011 between iOS and Android should be closer, but I would think iOS would still squeak ahead.

The study is about worldwide market share and confusingly enough they use the words installed base, annual sales and market share almost interchangeably.

Suck it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42184903)

Suck it, Android!

(No offense to any Soong types still out there; I still love you).

Re:Suck it (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#42185081)

> Suck it, Android!

Thank you for your articulate, well-considered and thoughtful insight. It has convinced me to repent of my Android sins, join the cult and embrace the one true and only way.

Doesn't matter which version (1, Interesting)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#42184935)

Focusing on which version is just a distraction from what really matters. What really matters is the first three words of the headline. Android Rules Smartphones.

It rules for the same reason that when you look in the parking lot you see no two cars alike. They all have different versions of equipment, or different model years. Nobody cares. What does matter is that, like Android phones, they come in every size, shape, color, style, feature combination and price that one could want.

Openness. It appears that it may always win in the long run.

Confusing Analogy (4, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#42185161)

It rules for the same reason that when you look in the parking lot you see no two cars alike. They all have different versions of equipment, or different model years. Nobody cares....they come in every size, shape, color, style, feature combination and price that one could want. Openness. It appears that it may always win in the long run.

What is "open" about cars at all? I can't generally use parts between them, often not even within the same model line between years.

About as close as a car gets to being "open" is that I can buy a floor-mat that fits badly in ALMOST any car.

Cars are "open" in the same way that Android and iOS and WP8 and every other Smart phone are "open" already. I can buy a tank of gas anywhere and use it in my car (well, not Diesel....). I can also use a number of carriers from any smart phone (well, not any smart phone, some are carrier locked). I can browse the web anywhere, well, except for web sites that use Flash or SIlverlight because those plugins don't exist anymore on most mobile smartphones.

I guess they are alike in that I can use the same cleaning products for any car, and can find cleaning products that also work for any smart phone?

In the end your analogy just seems really bad, even considering it's based on cars which are foolproof in the analogy department.

But perhaps it's just you trying to claim something the opposite of what is being demonstrated; cars after all are a prime example of how proprietary and closed wins over the hearts and minds of consumers.

Re:Confusing Analogy (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#42185283)

Android cars are more alike than they are different. That's what matters. A better analogy than your floor mats and cleaning fluids is that until Android phones, all of the phones needed different "fuel" (eg, Apps). So an analogy would be that there was a mishmash of incompatible cars, all using different fuels. Apple made one that uses its own fuel. Android came up with an engine (eg, OS) that enabled all sorts of cars to use the same fuel (eg Apps).

Counterpoint (-1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#42185453)

I already brought it up, but: Diesel

Android cars are more alike than they are different.

Version spread, and Kindle Fire, says nope.

Re:Counterpoint (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#42185507)

> Version spread, and Kindle Fire, says nope.

I've had a couple different generations of Android phone. All my apps worked across all. I am under the impression that Kindle Fire runs Android apps. It certainly uses the Amazon App store -- which I can and have used to get apps for my Samsung Android phone. So I'll stick with my point: Android phones are more alike than they are different.

(If I am wrong about Kindle Fire running Android apps, I would appreciate being corrected on that point.)

Re:Confusing Analogy (1)

CodeheadUK (2717911) | about 2 years ago | (#42185451)

I'm not so sure. Many minor assemblies such as Brembo brake callipers are common across many vehicles. Also, many manufacturers share common chassis designs with a cosmetically different body.

Take a look at these three:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/VW_Sharan.jpg [wikimedia.org]
http://www.albacars.com/image/seat_alhambra.jpg [albacars.com]
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b3/Ford_Galaxy_-_first_generation.jpg [wikimedia.org]

Same chassis, three different makers.

However, I do dislike the car analogy. Invariably the iProduct is compared to a high-end sports car and the droid to a common runaround, when in fact they are more like the people carriers above; same purpose, different badge.

Re:Doesn't matter which version (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#42185519)

Cars all serve the same basic purpose of getting to poit A to point B within the speed limit. All android phones don't do what a smart phone should do and if they do, they don't necessarily do it well. I should know, I just gave up a G1 on 1.5. Surfing the internet on it was fucking hell. The market just broke with no error message and I lost all my apps. A lot of those older verisions still have bugs like when the login cookie corrupts that leaves certain buttons, like the home button, don't work and unless you know how to fix it you'll probably assume it's physically busted (again no error messages) or wipe it and start from scratch. BTW, why should my login cookie even stop the home button from working? I'm not surprised Android owners buy fewer apps, it always felt less well made to me and I sure as hell wasn't going to tie my card to it.

You're probably right that Google wins in the sense that they're raking in cash but they do risk alienating people by making their product seem like a heap of cheap shit (like MS has done with Windows) or they'll alienate developers who will quickly move on to more friendly systems and without the developers they can't win. Mobiles are pretty competitive. If you think about how quickly we've seen big players become irrelevant then you can't assume Google wins purely by dumping a load of cheap crap on the market.

Why did apple allow this to happen to them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42184955)

Why couldn't they license IOS after they saw Android approaching. If with higher profit margins for apple, if the smartphone war copies the pc war, their market share will eventually dwindle to a point where they struggle to stay afloat.

Re:Why did apple allow this to happen to them? (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#42185025)

The better question, and one I was asking back in 2009, is why could Apple have licensed iOS before they saw Android coming.

But especially after.

One answer is that Apple wanted, and felt entitled to an absolute monopoly, despite that nobody had copied any of their source code, and others had done all of their own hard implementation work.

But another possible answer is that other equipment manufacturers would have made phones in sizes, shapes, styles, and features that would have offended Apple's (or maybe Steve's) sense of style. Can't have that at any cost. Must have the one true way, and only that.

Re:Why did apple allow this to happen to them? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#42185535)

Apple is not a software company. They will never been Microsoft or Google. They're a hardware company. That is why they don't licence iOS and never will. You can call that having a monopoly but that's like claiming your calculator manufactuer wants a monopoly because they produce a whole prouct and not a component.

Re:Why did apple allow this to happen to them? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#42185125)

Why couldn't they license IOS after they saw Android approaching. If with higher profit margins for apple, if the smartphone war copies the pc war, their market share will eventually dwindle to a point where they struggle to stay afloat.

It will?

I'm not seeing how they're going to struggle to stay afloat. Apple will do what it has always done - sell the products it wants to and keep tight control of the vertical integration.

Licensing their OS nearly killed them back in the day, so I doubt they'll ever do that again.

They're one of the few PC vendors who are actually growing in a stagnant/shrinking space (looking exclusively at PCs and not iOS devices) despite their small market share in that segment.

They sell iPhones as fast as they can make them, and in greater and greater numbers. The fact that they're losing marketshare just shows that the market is growing healthily.

Re:Why did apple allow this to happen to them? (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#42185203)

> Apple will do what it has always done - sell the products it wants to and keep tight control of the vertical integration.

I truly and sincerely hope they do just that. Make a premium product that (some) people want and are willing to pay for. Compete in the market, and leave everyone else alone. Give up the monopolist wannabe fascination. . . . and . . . I truly hope they are successful at making a product that some people want.

Re:Why did apple allow this to happen to them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185319)

. . I truly hope they are successful at making a product that some people want.

Are you actually implying that Apple doesn't do that right now?

If so you are even more foolish than your first comment in the story made me believe. And that is impressive.

Why throw yourself down a well (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#42185255)

Why couldn't they license IOS after they saw Android approaching.

Why would they? Even now, they are second in sales only to Samsung, and even then they are ahead of Samsung in U.S smartphone sales....

So you would want them to throw away the success they have had and start to emulate Google who makes nothing on Android but lets device makers gain all the profit. Why does that make any sense for Apple?

As things stand Apple is much better off where they are, building systems that lots of people like to buy, and letting Google work with the other approach. It leaves plenty of room for both in the market.

Worldwide, Gingerbread still rules the roost (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#42184963)

As with so many things, Slashdot users are not typical of the wider world. According to android.com, the marketshare for Android versions 3 and up isn't at 40% yet...

http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html [android.com]

Re:Worldwide, Gingerbread still rules the roost (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#42185143)

Similarly to your example at developer.android.com, when I look in the parking lot, I notice that most people are not driving the very latest model car! (gasp!) Horrors! How can this be allowed!

Someone should pass a law or something.

Bad Car Analogy Two: The Gurgling (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#42185351)

when I look in the parking lot, I notice that most people are not driving the very latest model car!

Wouldn't you rather expect them to if they could have the newest model with only a five-minute download?

Re:Worldwide, Gingerbread still rules the roost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185185)

Thanks for reading the summary. I couldn't have done the math without you.

Re:Worldwide, Gingerbread still rules the roost (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#42185337)

It's a new thing I'm trying out. Not reading the articles has worked so well, I figured I'd save a bit more time skipping the summaries too.

What Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42184979)

The version that's right for you! My phone runs Gingerbread, it's 2 years old and runs like it was new. Why should the consumer worry which version as long as it works?

Re:What Version (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42185505)

Why should the consumer worry which version as long as it works?

Only certain versions will work due to incompetent devs. I was looking at that MS app for android phones that connects to an xbox, basic front end, pretty much like the roku front end, the mythtv remote front end, and the plex front end I already have working. Needless to say the devs made it require very advanced hardware to do a very minimal software job.

No surprise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185017)

When Samsung (same applies to other brands) releases a new phone the old ones get lost, no upgrades, this happens just in months. The OS is not based on the OS, it is based in the decive and functions because the market demands so. It is not abour the user experience, it is about features, sales and marketing... and use that to feed the user. Users don't know nothing about what they need but they will accept anything that feeds what they want. Capitalism 101.

There is another issue, since everythin is on a rush to "beat the competition" releases must be fast. And following Moore's law there is plenty of resources in the new devices... so why to bother making the code better? lets do another one and leave it there... more sales.

For various definitions of "Smart" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185047)

Low end android devices have pretty much replaced the class of device known as "Feature" phones.

While this is a good thing (Replacing a morass of completely incompatible devices with zero user control with semi-compatible devices with a lot of user control) it's disingenuous to compare cheap free-with-the-plan andriod devices (or cheap Chinese knockoff/ultra-low-end devices) with even the cheapest baseline iphone.

When you get an iphone you don't have to worry about it. It's going to work. You're going to be able to do all the cool things you see on TV, and that your friends to. It's going to work with all of your services and you've got millions easy to get of cheap-to-free apps available on the app store. - It's this non-listable and hard to quantify quality that matters quite a bit to your average user. Apple's good at marketing this, and they communicate it with their flashy ads and their brand instead of throwing a list of features at you. While it may not speak to you, it speaks to a lot of people that have money to spend on a smart phone.

The good, high-end andriod devices are absolutely a good competitor and the latest crop (Post ICS) are absolutely worth the asking price.. But don't pretend these are outselling the iphone. They aren't.

Well, unlike IOS versions (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#42185073)

which becomes useless if you don't upgrade. Android OS versions each have their unique abilities and are all worthy in-themselves. I can still use an Android 2.2 device to its full extent, same can't be said about Apple products.

Re:Well, unlike IOS versions (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 2 years ago | (#42185229)

which becomes useless if you don't upgrade. Android OS versions each have their unique abilities and are all worthy in-themselves. I can still use an Android 2.2 device to its full extent, same can't be said about Apple products.

iOS6 has support all the way back to the iPhone 3GS. Apple supports previous hardware as well as anyone.

Older iOS versions work just fine (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#42185405)

Well, unlike IOS versions which becomes useless if you don't upgrade.

That is totally false. Lots of people wait a long time before upgrading. Almost all iOS developers support iOS 5.1, most of them even support back to 4.1.

And even if you never upgraded you could just keep using the device and the apps you had installed as long as you wanted. It would simply be the case that over time you'd be able to use fewer new applications and some updates to apps you had.

iOS users don't upgrade because they NEED to. They upgrade because Apple made it easy to do so and developers make interesting apps based on capabilities of app updates.

Re:Well, unlike IOS versions (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#42185549)

No, 2.2 will still be shit. My friend is on it and surfing the internet is nothing like on an S3 or even a iphone 4. Yes, 2.2 will function but it won't be great by any means. It won't even if good. People probably just blame their network connection and don't realise its the browser choking on JS that makes it slower.

who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185153)

Most users don't even know what version they are using. Most apps run on any version.

When did this become a big deal? I bought a computer with MS-DOS, and then with win 3.1, 95, 98, ME, XP, vista, and 7. Once or twice I upgraded, but usually I just replaced the hardware. Phones are replaced even more often than computers. Buy the one with the OS you want, or root it and install yourself. My car is not a 2013 model, but it still drives me from one place to another.

windows phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185189)

Proof that shills are real? With the number of pro windows phone posts in ms threads, I expected the windows numbers to be much higher than that. I'm going to mod hell for this post.

Android versions (1)

techtech (2016646) | about 2 years ago | (#42185227)

Have been running different versions of Android on my average phone; Galaxy S which I got for free from a friend. It would of course be stuck with a sluggish 2.3.6 if I used samsungs offical releases; with the explanation from them that it is not capable of running 4+. They just lie, it works much better and more stable with CM7 and 9 and I am planning to upgrade to the 10 stable now... I mean the old galaxy s looks so up to date GUI-wise (vanilla android 4+) and the smoothness of GUI motion that casual people believe this is current gen. That people buy the new Samsung stuff and argue against apple is beyond me. Samsung just rip you off by stopping updating the phones after maybe less than a year. Smart users like slashdotters of course can hack and tweak, but the casual person do get this. and just create e-waste by design. If it was cars, an iPhone would be maybe a BMW / Audi with a good service deal, and Samsung a top model Daewoo or Hyundai, with no service. And all the the androids out there (50%) does not accelerate any development of real good apps either, people does not want more keyboards, useless widgets... and I guess many users that is stuck on 2.3 variants, is looking on their friends Iphone and would buy that as their next phone. It is really hard to argue for android for the casual user. The only good Android out there is vanlilla, either in CM variants or Nexus, but that is again for advanced users. *CM = Cyanogenmod.org

Re:Android versions (1)

techtech (2016646) | about 2 years ago | (#42185269)

FYI:

CM9->CM9.1= 4.0->4.04
CM10->CM10.1=4.1->4.2

So, for developers, what to aim for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42185233)

Is there any super huge awesome features in the newest versions that cannot be done _at all_, or at least cannot be effectively emulated in software?

I'm getting a tablet just now to look in to developing on and for them soon.
If it comes down to it, most likely I may have to have multiple versions installed at once so I can dev for most and take advantage of those features that some people do have in newer versions.

Also, speedwise, how good are the browsers in terms of HTML5?
I know how to optimize the hell out of working with HTML5 graphics, but the browser in the end defines the limits and they could be heavily gimped to save power.
I read that Android freezes threads in a rather neat way that may or may not have consequences for such things.
I guess I will find out when I receive that wonderful present from myself.

It won't be a smooth distribution of versions (2)

steveha (103154) | about 2 years ago | (#42185323)

Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" was the newest phone OS for a long time, because it was followed by Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" which was only for tablets. A whole bunch of phones shipped with Gingerbread.

After a long time Google released Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" and then, after a much shorter time, Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean". ICS was a big enough change that the phone companies were a bit slow to roll it out, with many phones shipping with Gingerbread and a promise that ICS would be provided as an update. Early adopters made an effort to get new phones, but most people kept on using their existing phones (which after all still worked).

Thus I would expect Gingerbread to still be a large chunk of the Android phones in current use, with ICS or Jelly Bean as an ever-growing segment. I've seen articles claiming that the large amount of Gingerbread still in use is a "problem" or a "failure" but I don't see it that way.

At this point, new phones no longer come with Gingerbread so over time the old phones will be replaced with ICS or Jelly Bean.

I don't think we can learn anything useful about the merits or weaknesses of Android 2.x versus Android 4.x by looking at market share. It's almost purely related to what was available and when. Early adopters always want the newest, other users mostly just buy a new phone when they need one and take whatever system the phone is running.

But I will say that there is no way the Galaxy SIII would be as popular as it is if it were saddled with Gingerbread.

No carrier updates (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 2 years ago | (#42185365)

Perhaps this is telling in how little support is given to phones after they are sold. Mine runs Gingerbread (2.3.3). It is 2 years old, yet was released 2 years, 4 months ago. No updates were provided past 2.3. Sure, I can install CM on it or another flavor, but most consumers will not do that. I expect the numbers to reach Froyo levels in 2013 as users start swapping carrier-subsidized phones for ICS or JB. One thing Apple does get right...phones get new versions of the OS long into the future. The Android handset manufacturers don't bother. Each phone has 1, maybe 2 OS updates and you are done...while sitting on a 2 year contract. This chart proves that that most phones are on the 2+ year upgrade cycle.

Android version fragmentation is google's fault (1, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 2 years ago | (#42185517)

If Google would have made it so that OS upgrade directly came from them and not the scumbag carrier, most phones would be running v4.0 or better.

Instead if the carrier thinks it will benefit them (the carrier, not their custmers), then they will crapify the OS and impose it on their captive customers. Most times they wont do this because the new OS is what will sell a new phone.

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