I fully agree with this editorial by Chris Ziegler calling for the Android OEMs to stop making so many phones each year. His intro:
The seed for this editorial was planted in my brain the day that the HTC Amaze 4G was released on T-Mobile 120 days after its predecessor, the Sensation 4G. It bears repeating: one hundred and twenty days. Even now, it makes my head spin.
If I had bought the Senstation 4G, the senstation I’d be feeling is something akin to a swift kick in the nuts.
Ziegler’s graphic in the post is pretty amazing when you consider that it’s Apple versus only HTC (and not even all HTC phones) — just one Android manufacturer. Factor the others in and it would look like a big gray mass — exactly what I see when I look at the Android phone market.
Ziegler does say there’s hope given that manufacturers like Samsung seem to be trying to establish routine updates and branding with their Galaxy S line. Of course, not mentioned is that this very line made headlines this morning for its inability to upgrade to the newest Android version — even though it was released just 18 months after the phone itself.
Reading this piece over, another thought popped into my head: what if this once-a-year phone upgrade mentality pushes the carriers more towards one-year contracts? I could see someone like Sprint doing this to differentiate themselves and win customers. Of course, either the subsidy would have to be less upfront or the monthly contracts a bit more to sustain such a move. Still, I don’t think it’s so crazy.