After reading a couple of great pieces on Droid-life about how Android manufacturers seem to be moving at breakneck pace to advance hardware and iterate handsets like crazy, I had an idea - let's visualize it in different ways. First, we'll start with a pretty basic comparison, showing the US's four major carriers and the number of Android devices they currently offer.

graph1

*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. Based on respective carrier websites as of 10/28/11.

Next, we'll see how much each of the major handset manufacturers contributes to these numbers at the present moment.

graph2

*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus. Based on respective manufacturer websites as of 10/28/11. Shared platform duplicates excluded (eg, Samsung Galaxy S II variants).

Still seems like a lot of phones - even with the devices using similar hardware platforms accounted for. But how many of those are real competitors to something like the iPhone 4 or 4S? We need to break it down further, based on real-world pricing.

graph3

*data based on 2-year upgrade pricing and availability on Amazon Wireless as of 10/28/11. Includes Galaxy Nexus and DROID RAZR (price >$100 assumed). Includes all shared platform models. Phones priced at $99.99 and higher.

Shared platforms skew the data here a bit, though - particularly with four different versions of Samsung's Galaxy S II smartphone floating around here in the states. There's also the fact that QWERTY keyboard phones aren't typically considered competitors to something like the iPhone. Let's just go with touch devices. How does the data look once we account for those copycats and keyboards?

graph4

*data based on 2-year upgrade pricing and availability on Amazon Wireless as of 10/28/11. Includes Galaxy Nexus and DROID RAZR. Shared platform duplicates excluded. QWERTY keyboard phones excluded. Phones priced at $99.99 and higher.

After seeing the graphic, you're probably wanting to see which phones these are. Let's list them out:

LG

  • T-Mobile G2x
  • Verizon Revolution 4G

HTC

  • T-Mobile Sensation 4G
  • T-Mobile Amaze 4G
  • Verizon ThunderBolt 4G
  • Verizon Rhyme
  • Sprint EVO 3D

Samsung

  • Galaxy S II (all carrier variants)
  • T-Mobile Galaxy S 4G
  • Verizon Galaxy Nexus
  • Verizon DROID Charge

Motorola

  • ATRIX 2 (AT&T and Sprint Photon)
  • Verizon DROID BIONIC
  • Verizon DROID RAZR

What does it all mean? Well - that's a matter of how you look at the information. Verizon is definitely has the largest number of high-end Android handsets currently, though the carrier's high pricing on 4G phones has a lot to do with that.  It looks as though HTC currently makes the largest number of high-end touch platforms, and while the ThunderBolt is probably nearing the end of its life, so is Samsung's DROID Charge, meaning HTC would still be on top of the heap. But end of life and release timing is something we're going to save for part two of this series (if you can call it that), so keep an eye out.

Honestly, I just thought this would be some interesting information to plot out and share, so I hope you've enjoyed it.