Originally Posted by Brainless
Apple ? Fragmentation ? How that can be ?
life cycles of obsolescence as models age is not "fragmentation." it's "legacy" support of older devices, which is of course an inevitable situation for anything that lasts a while.
smartphone purchases are financed with two year contracts, so that is their economic lifecycle. as a practical matter you pay $x a month plus $50-$200 or more downpayment every two years to get an updated model. sometimes you can sell your old phone to recover some of that downpayment too - there is a real market for used 3G iPhones today, even trade-ins. but for old Android phones?
so if the 3GS had problems with iOS 4, yes that would be a fragmentation issue because the 3GS is still in its initial lifecycle and you're still paying for buying it. but the 3G and 2G are past that point for most people. my old 2G is now my iPod (with wifi!) and remote control, and it still does a very good job of that for me - i'll never need to buy another iPod, just will recycle old iPhones.
microsoft's curse is mandatory "legacy" support of its hundreds of millions of Windows XP PC's and servers still in use, which prevents it from re-inventing NT from the ground up like it should. Apple doesn't have this problem with the iPhone and never will. because almost no one will ever have a 5 year old smartphone for primary use that needs to be supported like that.
android however is "fragmented." because all its models are still in their initial lifecycle. some phones less than a year old can't get the latest 2.2 update and may have problems with the latest apps, but their owners are locked into contracts with a year to go or a huge prepayment fee. the phones 1 to 2 years old, forget it.
and just compare a June 2008 3G iPhone now running iOS 4 with the original Android October 2008 HTC Dream/G1 forever limited to Android 1.6 and still locked in to a contract. how do they stack up!?
or even the much newer HTC Droid from October 2009 that will be forever limited to Android 2.1 - and it's not even a year into its contract!
now that's fragmentation, poor suckers.