Gingerbread’s Sluggish Roll Out: Fragmentation for All!

Android 2.3 a.k.a. Gingerbread is an Android platform released by Google in December 2010, but the newer OS version hasn’t been integrated into many smartphones until recently.  The platform features enhancements for game development, rich multimedia, and new forms of communication among others.

AT&T announced that all Android phones released in 2011 will be upgraded with the Gingerbread.  The upgrade is done over the air, but some devices may need to be connected to a computer to run the install.  The handsets receiving the update are HTC Inspire 4G, Motorola Atrix, Samsung Captivate, Pantech Crossover, LG Phoenix and the Samsung Infuse 4G.  The Motorolla Atrix4G was already updated last week, and the Nexus S will already have the Gingerbread at launch.

Verizon is also upgrading Motorola Droid X2 with Gingerbread remotely, so users are advised to keep their Wi-Fi connection active as the update takes 20-45 minutes to download depending on your connection speed.  Lagging even further behind are Sprint subscribers, who are warned to hold off on upgrading their Nexus 2 4G with the Gingerbread until the official rooted version of the upgrade is released as they may lose their tethering options.

It’s really not clear why it took so long for the Gingerbread to roll out but that doesn’t really matter.  Consumers are just happy the update is now rolling out and are quite excited about the added and improved features.

The disparate upgrade rollout across carriers also speaks on the fragmentation within Android’s ecosystem.  It affects all parties involved, from manufacturers to carriers, tricking down to consumers who can have vastly different experiences across Android devices.  But as this mobile OS takes on many of the characteristics of the PC era just a decade or so ago, consumers are also accustomed to these things.  Nevertheless, it’s something Google will have to consider, and improve upon, as it struggles to gain a foothold in the tablet market, where its OS is expected to mimic its success in the smartphone arena.