Jordan Crook at TechCrunch:
Unfortunately for owners of the original Google phone, Google has confirmed that the Nexus One is just “too old” for the new software.
Apple often gets dinged for cutting support to older hardware, forcing users to upgrade if they want the latest and greatest software. So I feel it’s necessary to point out that the iPhone 3GS is 7 months older than the Nexus One. And guess what it runs? Apple’s just-released latest and greatest operating system, iOS 5.
The Nexus One was the flagship Android phone, from Google itself: an example to the other manufacturers on how to make great Android phones. Even though there weren’t a lot of them sold, cutting off support less than two years after its launch (and even less time after it stopped being sold) sends a message to the other manufacturers that it’s acceptable not to care about the long-term usage of Android devices.
This isn’t new, of course. Other Android-phone manufacturers usually cut off software updates to “old” phones even faster.
Most Android phones in the U.S., representing a huge chunk of Android’s total market share, were sold to Verizon customers on 2-year contracts. And among those, a very large portion were sold before there was a Verizon iPhone.
As these contracts come up for renewal over the next 1-2 years and these customers buy new phones, how many of them will stay with Android?
Long-term satisfaction might have a large effect on the Android retention rate and, therefore, its long-term market share. Cutting off software-update compatibility to so many phones while they’re still under contract isn’t going to do any favors for customer satisfaction.