You don’t go to the store and buy a new computer with Windows 2000. Why do it with your smartphone? [Android fragmentation]

I could point this post in th direction of the Twist and how it in and of itself is a lower-end cellphone, but really, it’s probably going to end up something like “Fragmentation is killing Android”. Well, the truth shall set you free they say. So here goes nothin’…
The Motorola Twist (rumored designed pictured below) is the latest Android handset to be pushed out by Moto. The supposed specs on the document above show that instead of wowing us with Another DROID-like device of awesomeness, it’s straight laced averageness with the Twist. Things such as a 2.8″ QVGA display, 3G/WiFi/aGPS and 3-megapixel camera just aren’t that inspiring. Why are so many new Motorola devices are relatively similar without any real differentiation? Could it be that Motorola is falling into the same “succeed on one device and copy it until it’s long past old, tired, and decrepit” methodology that they used on the Razr era of things is coming back. Some people just never learn… But that’s for a different day.

The real problem with the twist is it’s reliance on Android 1.5. What the hell Motorola? What the hell goes to anyone who doesn’t use at least Android 2.0. I honestly don’t see the reasoning behind releasing such old version of Android on “new” phones. It’s not like there’s a licensing cost to upgrade to newer version so Android — it’s free! There is absolutely no reason why Android 1.5 or 1.6 should be utilized in 2010.

Yes, changing up in-house development when Google changes OS’s is a financial thing to worry about when apps and processes have to be re-written for a new OS. But really, that’s part of doing business in this field. The mobile sphere moves quickly. Companies such as Motorola should budget for that and equally be prepared for it.

It’s pretty much guaranteed that any phone with anything less than Android 2.0 in the 2010 and beyond market isn’t worth anyone’s time of day. It’s not worth the money nor the design/development costs to bring said device to market. It’s phone’s like the Twist (if the spec’s do materialize) that are destroying Android and pulling deeper into the hole of suck as developers are constantly faced with what OS version(s) to support.

It could all be fixed though with one simple rule mandated by Google and/or the OHA — All Android devices after the launch of a new OS have to be released with the new OS and older devices (if possible) upgraded to the new OS within a rather aggressive time schedule. How aggressive? Mmmm, let’s say 3-4 weeks tops. None of this Motorola (I know it seems like I’m only harping on them, but as seen by the recent *multiple* screw ups on the Moto DROID rollout) 1-3 month now it’s out now it’s not nonsense.

I don’t think it’s too strict of a requirement mandating all “new” Android devices be launched with the newest OS or at least quickly upgraded. Do you? You wouldn’t go to your local electronics store or e-retailer and buy a computer with OS9 or Windows 2000 marketed as “new”. So why do the same thing with your smartphones?


[Image Source]

  • bebe

    why it ‘s not :D

  • Vlad Bobleanta

    RT @tomiahonen: Android OS fragmentation hassles starting as well, now Moto accused of introducing obsolete phones

  • tomiahonen

    Android OS fragmentation hassles starting as well, now Moto accused of introducing obsolete phones

  • synaesthete

    I think you hit it on the head with Android fragmentation as the problem. Add to that lack of transparency on the part of Google. acompany like Moto invests a ton of resource in its own custom UI (MotoBLUR) without any idea of what the Android roadmap will look like down the road. Cost is probably too high, and they probably dug too deeply into the code base, for them to easily port BLUR to 2.x.

    You don’t walk into a store now and buy a computer with Windows 2000 – but you also don’t go buy a new laptop every time there’s an OS upgrade. Google could certainly make it easier for Android phone developers to update their customizations along with OS updates — and for end users to get (I’d even go so far as to say buy) software upgrades. I’d buy one.

  • Android News

    From News: You don't go to the store and buy a new computer with Windows 2000. Why do it …: The Motorola… #android

  • EM

    I pretty much agree with you, here. Google needs to work harder to consolidate Android.

    The Nexus One was a positive step in that direction, representing a “minimum requirements” hardware for Android 2.1

    The Droid is also an admirable performer, just receiving Android 2.1

    Bottom line: Motorola is rounding out its line of products for those who don’t need the latest top-of-the-line Android phone, but instead want free phones with easy social networking.

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  • able89

    Bout time you posted something! Been waiting all morning!