In OpenSignal’s recent report it claims to have seen 11,868 distinct Android devices this year, up from 3,997 last year. The numbers are based on downloads of the company’s app, which provides maps of wireless hotspots. 682,000 devices were surveyed for its report on the fragmentation of the Android market.
Android developers have their work cut out, the problem is the level of fragmentation within Android. There are many different versions of Android that are currently active at any one time including Gingerbread, Ice cream Sandwich, and the newest version Jelly Bean. In addition to the fact that the devices come in all shapes and sizes, so to the challenge lies with developing apps that will work across the complete range.
Fragmentation however, can have many benefits for users and developers. Android developers have a greater global reach than iOS due to the availability of cheap Android phones. Whereas for users, this scale of fragmentation means they are able to get the exact device that are looking for whether it’s cheap or expensive and with a variety of different features that works for them.
Have a detailed look at the report here. OpenSignal’s report also looks at the effects of system UI and believes the Android ecosystem is not only doing something right, but doing something to be imitated, as Apple are currently working on a lower-end device.
Image by netzkobold.