The maturity levels don't really differ much either, by then. I certainly know many people younger than 18 that are more mature than most adults. And yet the government gets to decide this. Okay, fine. In most cases, I could understand this. But this is the very same government that does not give those minors the full "freedoms" an adult has(or as much "freedom" as we currently have here, what with censorship running rampant). You do not have full freedom of speech. You can't vote on your country's leader(and yet they can coerce you into fighting, and dying, for that same country). You can't vote for any leader, really. You cannot legally marry. You cannot get medical treatment without parent consent(except in extreme circumstances). You must attend public school(and your parents are forced to pay for this, too). That's quite a bit of human right that you do not have. These are all things that I can't agree with. At least not until you hit close to that age.
So why does the government get to decide what you can do with your body, the one "property" they cannot take away from you(I'm starting to wonder if I should add "yet" to this. I get the feeling if left alone, they'll find a way...)?
Google has no way to push updates on it's own, and even if it did, the providers would likely block that. If they did come up with a way, you can bet your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and car that Apple would go berserker over it. Lawsuits everywhere. I mean, they're already doing that anyway. It's the Providers who are at fault, here, not Google. Plus, you do have to realize that like a computer OS, they keep getting more powerful, then computers need more power to run them. The same goes for phones. The newer the OS, the stronger the phone must be, no exceptions.
An older computer cannot run Windows 7, or 8(requires at least 1GB of memory), likewise, older phones cannot run stuff like Gingerbread, Honeycomb, ICS. The only way is to build a special version of that OS for that phone. Apple, as they have only about 7 phones, only 4 of which are currently supported, can do that. The teams for CyanogenMod do exactly what they do, make that special version. Apple has the resources, time to do that. Not to mention they handle the phones themselves. Google doesn't. HTC, Samsung, Nokia, LG...they all handle their phones themselves.
Don't blame Google for this. You cannot expect a company to manage that many different phones that need that many different ROMs for those phones. Gotta be at least 151 different Android phones out there, not even APPLE could handle that. 4 is something not bad. Pokemon-levels is not.