Ben Evans analyzes Android’s big milestone of 1 Billion. The most interesting part is the 4th graph, overlaying the version data on the activations. It shows almost no updating of devices. On one sense, this is obvious data we all know – nearly every android device (outside of Google’s own Nexus devices) is shipped with a specific version and never updated. But it also raises the question of how many repeat users are in there – are users willing to buy a whole new device to get the new version, or is the lack of any ability to upgrade in the 2 years average ownership something frustrating?
Google’s answer seems to be that they are moving aggressively to put everything in Play Services (and their support libraries), such that the specific device version matters less and less. A wise choice, considering how loathe the manufacturers are to offer any update.