It depends on just who you ask.

So we’re going to be able to buy the Note 8 or the LG V30 (or both) soon. They have more in common than being the “luxury” model from the companies who make them: they are both launching with Android Nougat instead of Oreo. How much does this really matter, and to whom?

These two phones are important to the companies selling them, the people who will be buying them, and to the Android ecosystem as a whole. And more often than not, these three different groups of things don’t have the same goals or needs. And that’s important when talking about what it means to launch with an older version of Android.

For the Android Platform

We’ll start with the Android ecosystem here because it’s the easiest to talk about. It matters.

Android, like every other computing platform, exists and prospers because of the companies and people building applications that run on the platform. When developers stop spending time and resources to make third-party apps, even the best platform can die off. We’ve seen this happen with Windows on mobile. Most anyone who has used a Windows phone will tell you it was a great product or at least a great starting point for something bigger. Because developers weren’t there, sales never took off and Microsoft has had to halt the platform while they reimagine it. When it returns, the same thing might happen if the apps people want and need aren’t available.

Developers want as many people as possible using their app.

For Google — which is Android’s caretaker — phones not running the newest version that can take advantage of the newest features is not an ideal situation. Developers build apps that appeal to the largest number of users, and an app that only 3% of the total user base can use isn’t it. Developers can either target the version with the most users, work to provide multiple copies of their apps or build apps in a way to work on both the new and the old, or go for that 3% of users with the new version. We all know what happens, and new apps launch without new Android feature support and don’t get updated to use them until there are enough users to justify it (if they get updated at all).

Compare this to iOS, where thousands of apps are ready the minute a new version is released and the rest soon follow. Google could force developers to update within a certain period, but that would drive developers away because phones just aren’t running the latest version. And by not forcing them to do it, developers just aren’t. It’s a catch-22 and there is no way to fix it, other than getting the companies who build phones to ship with the latest version as well as update older models on – Source