Michael DeGusta has done some hard work compiling statistics that describe how carriers/manufacturers support their handsets. Click that link to see a fantastic chart that plots the release of a handset and subsequent software updates for that handset. You’ll see that the original iPhone was supported for 2.5 years (greater than the 2-year contract most are sold with). You can currently update the two-generations-ago iPhone 3GS to the newest iOS version (5).
On the other side of the fence, though, it’s a different story. To quote DeGusta:
7 of the 18 Android phones never ran a current version of the OS.
12 of 18 only ran a current version of the OS for a matter of weeks or less.
10 of 18 were at least two major versions behind well within their two year contract period.
11 of 18 stopped getting any support updates less than a year after release.
13 of 18 stopped getting any support updates before they even stopped selling the device or very shortly thereafter.
As noted in the article I linked earlier today, Apple’s strategy is to wow you with a great experience, and if they succeed, trust that you will buy more of their products. Most other manufacturers (of anything, really, not just smartphones or computers), however, are focused on milking you as quickly as they can.
Friends with Android phones, I love you. I do. I don’t judge. I am annoying about buying Apple products because I really believe in them. Stuff like this is exactly why.
Via Daring Fireball.