Happy 5th Birthday Android… sort of!

The HTC G1. A white plastic slider phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard and a trackball for navigation. Back, home and menu buttons that we've grown to love (or hate) sit under a relatively small touchscreen display. It's 2008. It's the first commercially available phone to ever run Android.

One billion activations and five years later, Android is massively popular, and is virtually unrecognisable from the days when it would cower under the iPhone and Microsoft's measly attempts involving Windows Mobile 6. Android 4.4 KitKat, the next major version, now sits on the horizon, and we wait for greatly-anticipated app redesigns and an accompanying new Nexus phone

While the G1 – with a 320x480 display, 528 MHz processor and 192 MB of RAM – was the first commercially available Android phone, it's worth noting that the software was in development for some time prior to this announcement. Originally planned to be software for a digital camera, Android was written over a span of five years, notably after Google acquired the company in 2005.

Since then, the platform has suffered some controversy, whether over the amount of malware found in apps available on the Play Store, or the fact that in its early years, the software was slow and far off the competition. With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google redesigned the software and brought it in line with the iPhone and other competitors; later they removed most signs of lag in 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Nevertheless, the issue of fragmentation has remained: Less than 40 percent of phones run Jelly Bean, and a whole 30 percent are still running Gingerbread, a 3-year-old version. In comparison, iOS 7 is currently installed on 58 percent of Apple devices, less than a week after launch. In addition, skins such as Samsung's TouchWiz have arguably damaged Android's reputation, as they remove much of the design initiative that Google have spent so long working on.

But remember: Android is big and successful. In its stock form, it is a fantastic mobile OS, and we cannot wait to see what Google have in store in the future.

Image: Hexmar on Flickr

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Future versions - more NSA backdoors including fingerprint sending regardless if such feature is officially available.

Ulpian said,
Future versions - more NSA backdoors including fingerprint sending regardless if such feature is officially available.

link to source?

Ulpian said,
Future versions - more NSA backdoors including fingerprint sending regardless if such feature is officially available.

Troll comment. You do know it is Open Source? You do know anyone can point out these backdoors you speak of. You do know that nobody has ever found one on Android?

Did anyone find it on Microsoft tor Apple? Oh wait, they have a walled garden and are making secret deals with the government to steal the poor saps that use it.

You see anyone can play your stupid game but you have to be smart about it. YOU FAILED!!!

Ooops. Seems everyone forgot to mention the herd of elephants in the room:

1. Android is stolen property. It was simply ripped off from Apple, Nokia and even Microsoft. These companies are now piling on lawsuit after lawsuit against Android - and winning every single one of them in Germany, USA and Asia. Every Android manufacturer (except Motorola) now (voluntarily, no lawsuits) pays up to $35 per handset as patent fees to Microsoft, Nokia and Apple. Android (free hahaha) is now the most expensive OS for mobile manufacturers.

2. Android is Java in disguise. Software for kiddies. Even worse, Oracle owns Java and wants it back. Major lawsuit in 2014 will likely see the end of Google's ownership of Android. What then?

3. Same as 2. Android is Java. Java is a defunct and technically backward platform. iOS and WP8 are modern designs that can be extrapolated for ten or more years. Android/Java is already on its technology deathbed. Samsung needs to use 8-core processors to make Android run as fast as WP8 on a single core.

4. Without Samsung Android is a failure. Samsung are busy developing their own, Tizen-based OS that they'll switch to as soon as Intel can make low-power chips. Using the alien-dalvik technology, Tizen will run Android apps faster than Android can. Tizen is open-source, Android isn't. Other manufacturers will follow Samsung in 2014.

5. Malware. Android makes Windows look like OSX. 'nuff said.

I had the G1 once, it's the reason i don't like Android today. It was super laggy, apps crashed a lot, took really bad photos (when the app didn't crash), but what i really hate was the stupid trackball, it got on my nerves everyday, really bad battery life. I liked the keyboard.

After a while i installed the "Cyanogenmod" ROM, I overclocked but the battery life was worse than before, it looked better but it didn't run as smooth as I would like. So the phone was keep in my drawer for years until I sold it.

I know Android is not what it was, over the years the hardware has been improved a lot, today is very powerful and that help a lot to the OS, the cloud integration is really nice, cameras take better photos, etc. Some apps are still pretty ugly though.

Competition between Apple, Google and now Microsoft it's a good thing for consumers, copying/using features and ideas from the others, better user experience at the end of the day, that's is what matters.

I believe that Android or Ubuntu phones will close the gap the phone and the PC someday, to the point that your phone will be your PC.

I've been a happy Apple & iPhone fan/user since the first iPhone. The only thing that I like of the modern Androids is not the faster processors or the huge RAM the manufacturers dump in the hardware; but the big screens that some Androids have. But I think my iPad fills that scenario.

I'm a big android fan

What annoys me is people who buy those £99 android tablets, then moan that android is rubbish. Grrrr! They don't realise it's the cheap hardware and not the OS.

Android still has a long way to go on tablets. I have a new nexus 7 and some of the "tablet" apps are extremely inferior to their android phone counterparts, maybe its a screen size issue. I haven't tried a larger android tablet with jelly bean but the ones on honeycomb really sucked.

anothercookie said,
Android still has a long way to go on tablets. I have a new nexus 7 and some of the "tablet" apps are extremely inferior to their android phone counterparts, maybe its a screen size issue. I haven't tried a larger android tablet with jelly bean but the ones on honeycomb really sucked.

Hmm, maybe it depends on the tablet. I have the first Galaxy Tab 8.9 and for the most part the apps are great. I got it when that size first came out and there were some scaling issues at first, but I think that's understandable--it was the first tablet out there in that size IIRC. I would think they'd be sorted by now! Guess not... but the major devs have it together anyway.

anothercookie said,
Android still has a long way to go on tablets. I have a new nexus 7 and some of the "tablet" apps are extremely inferior to their android phone counterparts, maybe its a screen size issue. I haven't tried a larger android tablet with jelly bean but the ones on honeycomb really sucked.

Yeah like ESPNFC app. Juuuuuunk!

glen8 said,
I'm a big android fan

What annoys me is people who buy those £99 android tablets, then moan that android is rubbish. Grrrr! They don't realise it's the cheap hardware and not the OS.

My friend is like that with phones. he always had a cheap Android phone and said he was going for Apple because Android is crap. I convinced him not to be so stupid and wasting so much money on Apple ($650 for iPhone 5S on T-Mobile) and spend $250 for a Nexus 4. He feel very foolish now. He's happy he got the Nexus 4.

glen8 said,
I'm a big android fan

What annoys me is people who buy those £99 android tablets, then moan that android is rubbish. Grrrr! They don't realise it's the cheap hardware and not the OS.

The first Nexus 7 is slow as molasses and that was, until recently, Google's flagship tablet.

It may be cheap but they don't offer a more expensive better version, so what can you do? It's slow or nout!

Hardcore Til I Die said,

The first Nexus 7 is slow as molasses and that was, until recently, Google's flagship tablet.

It may be cheap but they don't offer a more expensive better version, so what can you do? It's slow or nout!

what? Its not slow at all.

Kalint said,

what? Its not slow at all.

My mum has one but I can use it whenever I want. It's slooooow. It always gets stuck when I'm flicking between home screens and takes about twice as long to load web pages as my iPad 2.

It's not smooth at all compared to iOS.

I have both Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013) as well as the iPad 3. I don't notice any difference on any of these devices. The only thing I notice is that iPad doesn't zoom to fit text on screen and Android does. Other than that, they are pretty similar.

Must be something wrong with yours, as mine zips along very nicely thanks, never had any issues flicking between homescreens, guess it depends which browser your using for web page load times but Chrome,stock Browser and InBrowser perform well enough - been ages since I tried Dolphin, Boat, Maxthon etc etc

Hardcore Til I Die said,

The first Nexus 7 is slow as molasses and that was, until recently, Google's flagship tablet.

It may be cheap but they don't offer a more expensive better version, so what can you do? It's slow or nout!

You either need to do a firmware update and factory reset, or return it to the shop. Whilst not as fast as the mkII model, the original Nexus 7 was still a fast machine. If yours was slow and jerky, it's either a software glitch, or a hardware fault.

glen8 said,

You either need to do a firmware update and factory reset, or return it to the shop. Whilst not as fast as the mkII model, the original Nexus 7 was still a fast machine. If yours was slow and jerky, it's either a software glitch, or a hardware fault.

It's not mine, but I take your point

20legend said,
Must be something wrong with yours, as mine zips along very nicely thanks, never had any issues flicking between homescreens, guess it depends which browser your using for web page load times but Chrome,stock Browser and InBrowser perform well enough - been ages since I tried Dolphin, Boat, Maxthon etc etc

I read about a glitch with Google Currents slowing down the whole OS, and I turned it off. That seemed to solve the lagginess for a while but it has reared its' ugly head again now.

I use Chrome.

Spicoli said,
If current trends continue, WP8 will pass the iOS global marketshare in a few years.

Believing this. Keekeekee

Android is more appealing for device makers because its open source. at the same time its the biggest weakness it has because developer has no idea about the target device spec, other hardware driver support. Windows chose the middle path, not as closed as apple but not as open as android. the reason its in the bottom because of wrong decisions has been made for past 2 years. Next year is going to be Windows Phone year. gaining market share and bumping specs and features.
Look at cortana voice AI. notification center, quad core support and so on.

iwillneverstop said,
android 5 years on top,WP 3 years at botoom:D

Why bring windows phone into this, it`s basically a Happy 5th Birthday for Android yet still people like to shoot it down with their negativity...

And where`s the botoom? Next to the butoock

Happy birthday, Android! I'm most impressed with the progression over the years. And Android does everything that I need as far as I can think. The only thing I still need to do is root my S4 and install the Google Play Edition ROM. Maybe I'll get round to it this weekend...

Intrinsica said,
Happy birthday, Android! I'm most impressed with the progression over the years. And Android does everything that I need as far as I can think. The only thing I still need to do is root my S4 and install the Google Play Edition ROM. Maybe I'll get round to it this weekend...

The camera software is much better in TouchWiz. It's designed for the S4 camera hardware.

Hmm...I don't really use my camera all that often, so I don't think that'll be too big of an issue for me. So long as it at least still takes a photo, that should be fine.

Intrinsica said,
The only thing I still need to do is root my S4 and install the Google Play Edition ROM. Maybe I'll get round to it this weekend...

You will lose a few functionality like the camera quality, IR blaster, gesture control, humidity and temperature sensors. If those don't bother you, go for it.

Ah, I'd forgotten about the gesture control. Although that really is more of a gimmick for me, I'd be able to live without it.

Well Happy B-Day! I will most likely come back to you one day but for now I am satisfied with BB OS10

This fragmentation is an advantage and not a problem. If you buy Apple, you're completely stuck with a couple options no matter your needs. With Android and Windows Phones I can get magical things like spare batteries.

I'm not sure what fragmentation has to do with being able to get a spare battery? Fragmentation causes headaches for software developers as they need to decide whether to cater to the lowest common denominator. The ability to remove the battery is the hardware manufacturer's decision, not Google's.

The lack of ability to have a spare battery is Apple's function. You're stuck with only what they want to sell and paying what they want to charge. It's the reason the Mac has consistently failed to gain market share over the decades.

Spicoli said,
The lack of ability to have a spare battery is Apple's function. You're stuck with only what they want to sell and paying what they want to charge. It's the reason the Mac has consistently failed to gain market share over the decades.

No, I see what you're saying (although I disagree with it), I just don't understand what a spare battery has to do with fragmentation. The battery "issue" also has nothing to do with the article here.

How is fragmentation a good thing?

Intrinsica said,

No, I see what you're saying (although I disagree with it), I just don't understand what a spare battery has to do with fragmentation. The battery "issue" also has nothing to do with the article here.

How is fragmentation a good thing?

It's because the only way to avoid it is to have a closed system without OEMs. The OEM model has always won just like it did with Windows and now Android. Fragmentation is just another way to say lots of choices.

Fragmentation is just another way to say lots of choices.

Well I guess that is true to an extent, but what's the point in having lots of choices when half of them won't be able to run apps due to being outdated?
Fragmentation is caused by the manufacturers, like Samsung and HTC. They release a device with a version of Android, Android gets updated by Google but then the manufacturers don't push the updates out to the users. When that happens, the phone starts to lose the ability to run apps, because they [the apps] may get updated to take advantage of a library that earlier versions of Android won't have/understand.

I love my Android device, and I love that Google allow us to open it up if we want to. But no one would say that fragmentation is a good thing. You make it sound like fragmentation is a good thing because it allows us to access the internals. The reality is that accessing the internals is a good thing, but it comes with the downside of causing fragmentation.

Intrinsica said,
I'm not sure what fragmentation has to do with being able to get a spare battery? Fragmentation causes headaches for software developers as they need to decide whether to cater to the lowest common denominator. The ability to remove the battery is the hardware manufacturer's decision, not Google's.

There is 3 kinds of fragmentation in Android. Hardware, Operating System and Framework.

Yes a removable battery is not going to affect software developers but it does affect hardware developers. This is why Apple has so much 3rd Party support for cases, audio devices that plugged in, etc... Nonetheless, it is still fragmented.

He's pointing out to you the difference in devices and why fragmentation is a good thing.

An example of hardware fragmentation: "I don't like the HTC One because it doesn't have a non removable battery or removable storage so I will get the SGS4 instead." or "The SGS4 is a piece of plastic garbage, I am going for the HTC One, it has aluminum"

An example of framework fragmentation: "I don't like the SGS4 because TouchWiz looks like crap. I am getting the HTC One because Sense looks prettier."

An example of OS Fragmentation: "I don't like the SGS4 or the HTC One because you have to wait X amount of months to get the latest version of Android, I am going for the Nexus #"

All of these are examples that a user may say. Keep in mind they may not know the technicall things like TouchWiz or Sense but they do see the difference. Forget the technical limitations of developers. They know if there are a lot of users who bought the HTC One, they will make their app work for it. Google Play Services actually eases a lot those issues from years before.

Spicoli said,
This fragmentation is an advantage and not a problem. If you buy Apple, you're completely stuck with a couple options no matter your needs. With Android and Windows Phones I can get magical things like spare batteries.

Fragmentation is not an advantage and there's a simple way they can avoid it.

Make manufacturer skins OPTIONAL. Every phone should come with either stock Android or a skin, but should come with the option of using the other, should the user so require.

That way, if a new version of Android is released that the manufacturer doesn't support, the user can choose to update to stock Android.

The glaring problem with this is missing out on the added features in Touchwiz, Sense, etc. Especially when they involve hardware that stock Android doesn't use (e.g. temperature sensor - correct me if I'm wrong).

The way Android deals with software updates at the moment is a sorry mess. It's one of the reasons I ditched it for iOS.

Fragmentation is bad because developer doesn't know about target device minimum spec. which is how Microsoft fixed it by setting minimum requirement. Android fixed it too by convincing everyone that if you want to get Android get either Samsung GS or HTC one

Hardcore Til I Die said,

Fragmentation is not an advantage and there's a simple way they can avoid it.

Make manufacturer skins OPTIONAL. Every phone should come with either stock Android or a skin, but should come with the option of using the other, should the user so require.

That way, if a new version of Android is released that the manufacturer doesn't support, the user can choose to update to stock Android.

The glaring problem with this is missing out on the added features in Touchwiz, Sense, etc. Especially when they involve hardware that stock Android doesn't use (e.g. temperature sensor - correct me if I'm wrong).

The way Android deals with software updates at the moment is a sorry mess. It's one of the reasons I ditched it for iOS.

Wrong on so many levels.

1) First off it is not a skin. If it were a skin as you call it, then updating wouldn't be an issue. It is a framework!
2) Those frameworks are there for a reason. For instance, TouchWiz supports different kind of sensors and a better JPEG compression than stock Android. Take away the framework from Samsung and you'll have a pure Nexus device. For example, compare the HTC One with Sense to the HTC One GPe or the SGS4 with TouchWiz to the SGS4 GPe. How about a GPe of the Moto X if that existed? You are stuck with hardware that isn't optimized.
3) What advantage does one app have of being installed on Android 4.3 over it being installed on 4.2.2?
4) The way Android deals with Software updates? Did you seriously say that? It is manufacturers that deal with software updates not the Android team. In fact do you want them to rush out something that hasn't been tested against their framework? I would say they are going at a good pace. Especially Samsung.
5) AOSP Android works off the shelf with little configuration on most Nexus hardware. But what happens when you have a Octa-core processor like Samsung or a Motorola's coprocessors. The manufacturers still need to configure it properly if it is to take full advantage of the hardware.

You think you know what you are talking about but you obviously don't know a lot about what goes into configuring hardware and software to work together.

IMO, Motorola is doing a great job with their phones (Moto X, Droid Max/Ultra/Mini). My guess is they will probably skip the 4.3 update and go into 4.4 when it is released. Like I said before, there is no advantage in having 4.3 over 4.2.2. I say this only because after Android went to ICS, the OS looks really nice. I prefer the stock look now over Sense (which was my choice pre-ICS).

DarkNet said,

Wrong on so many levels.

1) First off it is not a skin. If it were a skin as you call it, then updating wouldn't be an issue. It is a framework!
2) Those frameworks are there for a reason. For instance, TouchWiz supports different kind of sensors and a better JPEG compression than stock Android. Take away the framework from Samsung and you'll have a pure Nexus device. For example, compare the HTC One with Sense to the HTC One GPe or the SGS4 with TouchWiz to the SGS4 GPe. How about a GPe of the Moto X if that existed? You are stuck with hardware that isn't optimized.
3) What advantage does one app have of being installed on Android 4.3 over it being installed on 4.2.2?
4) The way Android deals with Software updates? Did you seriously say that? It is manufacturers that deal with software updates not the Android team. In fact do you want them to rush out something that hasn't been tested against their framework? I would say they are going at a good pace. Especially Samsung.
5) AOSP Android works off the shelf with little configuration on most Nexus hardware. But what happens when you have a Octa-core processor like Samsung or a Motorola's coprocessors. The manufacturers still need to configure it properly if it is to take full advantage of the hardware.

You think you know what you are talking about but you obviously don't know a lot about what goes into configuring hardware and software to work together.

IMO, Motorola is doing a great job with their phones (Moto X, Droid Max/Ultra/Mini). My guess is they will probably skip the 4.3 update and go into 4.4 when it is released. Like I said before, there is no advantage in having 4.3 over 4.2.2. I say this only because after Android went to ICS, the OS looks really nice. I prefer the stock look now over Sense (which was my choice pre-ICS).

1) Skin, framework, who cares. Let's not argue over semantics. Just make it an optional install. I would rather update to the latest version of Android than keep an old crappy version of Touchwiz.

2) I did touch on that in my previous comment. Given that choice is so important to most Android users, shouldnt the user have the choice whether to sacrifice some features/optimisation for the benefit of being able to upgrade to the latest version of Android? A lot of people who root and/or flash custom ROMs already do this. Just look at XDA-Developers and you'll see masses of people willing to give up special features just to run the latest version of Android.

3) Any new APIs. It's not just that though. Sometimes people just want the latest OS. For example, with the introduction of project butter in Jelly Bean, ICS and below just seemed archaic.

4) Yes, I did just say that. Even though updates are down to manufacturers, it is still Android that you're using as the platform. Updates are very hit and miss from one manufacturer to another. Google/the Android team has ultimate control over the platform. Obviously it's open source software but they could license it only if certain conditions are adhered to by manufacturers. Timely updates, for example. Google instead allows it to be a complete free for all with some devices not even getting one major Android update.

5) I understand that. There has to be a solution other than leaving users to stay on stagnant, old software though.

You don't have to give up any 'special features' when you get rid of a manufacturers stock ROM really - you could just extract the relevant APK from the stock ROM and install / push to system and set permissions. The custom ROMs offer far more in additional functionality than you would ever lose from a bag of crap like TouchWiz.

The more shocking bit, at least to me, is that the average US customer is only half-way through their third Android. There are far too many people trapped on two-year contracts when there are incredibly awesome phones coming out several times per year!

The progress is definitely palpable when looking back at that once-long-rumored "Google Phone."

Hardcore Til I Die said,

1) Skin, framework, who cares. Let's not argue over semantics. Just make it an optional install. I would rather update to the latest version of Android than keep an old crappy version of Touchwiz.

2) I did touch on that in my previous comment. Given that choice is so important to most Android users, shouldnt the user have the choice whether to sacrifice some features/optimisation for the benefit of being able to upgrade to the latest version of Android? A lot of people who root and/or flash custom ROMs already do this. Just look at XDA-Developers and you'll see masses of people willing to give up special features just to run the latest version of Android.

3) Any new APIs. It's not just that though. Sometimes people just want the latest OS. For example, with the introduction of project butter in Jelly Bean, ICS and below just seemed archaic.

4) Yes, I did just say that. Even though updates are down to manufacturers, it is still Android that you're using as the platform. Updates are very hit and miss from one manufacturer to another. Google/the Android team has ultimate control over the platform. Obviously it's open source software but they could license it only if certain conditions are adhered to by manufacturers. Timely updates, for example. Google instead allows it to be a complete free for all with some devices not even getting one major Android update.

5) I understand that. There has to be a solution other than leaving users to stay on stagnant, old software though.

1) Buy a Nexus or a GPe. GPe exists now for people like you. You have 3 choices. It's not semantics. It's a huge difference. It is the crux of my argument.
2) LOL. A lot of people really? Just because you see them on XDA doesn't mean that it is the majority of people buying these phones. If you were to count the Rooting/ROMing Community they would be very tiny compared to the total Android users. Manufacturers don't need to make it optional. People are buying them. Which do you think sold more the SGS4 or the GPe version? Oh cool I have a IR blaster that doesn't work, a humidity sensor that doesn't work. A Temperature Sensor that doesn't work and a gesture sensor that doesn't work. Let me purposely bork those features. P.S. I am a typical consumer who doesn't know what TouchWiz and rooting and roming is. Sign me up /s
3) Most people don't know what APIs are. They bought a phone that works. Tell your mom about Project Butter or TRIM.
4) Timely updates, you just said it. So 3 - 6 Months is not timely? When did Apple introduce iOS 7 again? When did it come into consumer hands? Manufacturers have to make it work with their framework. This is something you don't seem to understand.So you buy a SGS4 and tomorrow Android 4.4 is out when do you want it by?
5) Android 4.2.2 is not stagnant. What makes it Stagnant? If let's say Android 4.4 is not introduced next month and Google will hold it until I/O and Samsung doesn't update the SGS4 to 4.3 and it stays on 4.2.2, is that stagnant old software?

DarkNet said,

1) Buy a Nexus or a GPe. GPe exists now for people like you. You have 3 choices. It's not semantics. It's a huge difference. It is the crux of my argument.
2) LOL. A lot of people really? Just because you see them on XDA doesn't mean that it is the majority of people buying these phones. If you were to count the Rooting/ROMing Community they would be very tiny compared to the total Android users. Manufacturers don't need to make it optional. People are buying them. Which do you think sold more the SGS4 or the GPe version? Oh cool I have a IR blaster that doesn't work, a humidity sensor that doesn't work. A Temperature Sensor that doesn't work and a gesture sensor that doesn't work. Let me purposely bork those features. P.S. I am a typical consumer who doesn't know what TouchWiz and rooting and roming is. Sign me up /s
3) Most people don't know what APIs are. They bought a phone that works. Tell your mom about Project Butter or TRIM.
4) Timely updates, you just said it. So 3 - 6 Months is not timely? When did Apple introduce iOS 7 again? When did it come into consumer hands? Manufacturers have to make it work with their framework. This is something you don't seem to understand.So you buy a SGS4 and tomorrow Android 4.4 is out when do you want it by?
5) Android 4.2.2 is not stagnant. What makes it Stagnant? If let's say Android 4.4 is not introduced next month and Google will hold it until I/O and Samsung doesn't update the SGS4 to 4.3 and it stays on 4.2.2, is that stagnant old software?

1) iPhones exist for people like me. I used Android for 3 years, having a HTC Desire, Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3. I love the OS, but I prefer iOS at the moment. The fact that a lot of "Google Edition" phones are coming out now is a welcome change... but surely a better way of doing it is to sell one phone and let the user choose whether or not to install the manufacturer's software on top. With the current way of selling two phones, you can't change your mind later.

2) I said a lot of people WHO ROOT ALREADY get rid of features so they can update to a later version of stock Android, I didn't say a lot of people root.

3) You asked "What advantage does one app have of being installed on Android 4.3 over it being installed on 4.2.2?" - I replied any new APIs. That IS an advantage that the APP has. And that's the case for any new Android version.

An example is the enhanced notifications in 4.1. I'm sure a lot of people find those useful and time saving.

4) 3 months, perhaps. 6 months, hell no. The problem with Android updates is that the software goes through a Google beta testing stage, then the manufacturer has to beta test their own framework (happy?) on top of Android, so the wait for users is twice as long.

5) It might not be stagnant compared to 4.3 or even 4.4, but what about when 5.0 comes out? Or 6.0? iPhone customers usually get 3 major software updates. The iPhone 4 was released with iOS 4 and has been updated to 5, 6 and now 7. The 3GS started with 3 and got 4, 5 and 6.