Why This Isnt Totally Googles Fault
While noting that Google is correct in making sure that new applications and features are available on the proper devices, Tofel echoed Google's comments that Google alone is not responsible for consumer discontent. For example, he pointed to the Motorola Devour, which runs Android 1.6 and therefore does not support Google Gesture Search or Google Buzz for mobile.Moreover, he noted that Microsoft faced the same issues when Windows Mobile 6 came out, leaving Windows Mobile 5 in the dust. So, how does one solve the fragmentation in favor of uniformity? Tofel said to look to Apple's iPhone and its tightly controlled ecosystem, where the profit has been maximized along with great customer satisfaction. Who is right, Spoonauer or Tofel? Both or neither, depending on where your sympathies lie, according to Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle. "It really depends on who you think should own the customer," Enderle told eWEEK. "If it is Google then Mark is right and Google should aggressively assure a common user experience across all phones. If it is someone other than Google then Kevin is right and the OS has to roll according to the designs of whoever else owns the customer experience. "As accurately pointed out, this is a problem for all of the platforms and Microsoft faced the same issues that Google faces and both are playing the game a bit differently this year. In the end, for cell phones, Mark talks about how the market should be to maximize profit and customer satisfaction, Kevin talks about the market the way it currently is." Add this to the proverbial wish list: a single button that lets Android smartphone users click to upgrade to the latest version of the OS. That's not going to happen (blame hardware incompatibility, carrier and OEM restrictions or whatever you want), but it can't hurt to dream.
"Who chose to put Android 1.6 on this new Android device? It certainly wasn't Google," Tofel wrote. "If you have to 'blame' someone, choose either Motorola who made the phone or Verizon who decided to sell the phone. All Google does for this phone is provide versions of its mobile platform to the phone maker."