Android, Fragmented? Probably not as much as you think

Android, Fragmented? Probably not as much as you think

One of Androids biggest criticisms is the fragmentation of the mobile operating system. Cupcake was the very first version released in 2009 and we are now on our seventh iteration of our favourite dessert named mobile operating system – Jelly Bean (released in July 2012).

Google have just released some interesting statistics which shows that 86.9% of devices are using only three versions of the main releases of Android – Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. Unsurprisingly no devices are operating off of Cupcake but 0.2% of devices are still using Donut which was released in September 2009.

To give you a clearer picture of what is happening you can take a look at the following pie chart which is based on the number of Android devices that accessed Google Play within a 14-day period ending on the 3rd January 2013.

Android fragmentation chart

The breakdown of the current Android fragmentation is detailed here:
  • Donut (version 1.6) – 0.2%
  • Eclair (version 2.1) – 2.4%
  • Froyo (version 2.2) – 9.0%
  • Gingerbread (version 2.3 to 2.3.7) –  47.6%
  • Honeycomb (version 3.1/3.2) – 1.5%
  • Ice Cream Sandwich (version 4.0.3 – 4.0.4) 29.1%
  • JellyBean (version 4.1/4.2) – 10.2%

So what does all of this tell us? Well, Android isn’t as fragmented as we are led to believe by many people in the mobile / technology arena, okay it isn’t perfect but the very nature of Android is what has allowed it to grow so quickly and become the most used mobile operating system in the world. Personally I use both Android and iOS – and see strengths and weaknesses in both operating systems, however where Apple once led the way I now feel that iOS is starting to become tired and bloated whereas Android is ever-evolving. The next 12 months could be very exciting……………

For the full article please visit the Android developers site here: Android versions

One Response to “Android, Fragmented? Probably not as much as you think”
  1. Not quite.

    On a gross OS revision level, things have improved somewhat, true. However, you’ve still got virtually half of your devices on a version that’s at a minimum two and a half years old. That’s two and a half years worth of improvements and enhancements that developers can’t take advantage of without dividing their potential customer base in half.

    Add on the that who-knows-how-many device form factors, screen sizes, and other hardware variations, not to mention an additional who-knows-how-many variations of OEM “UX enhancements”, carrier modifications, etc.

    There’s still plenty of fragmentation out there, and Google still pays out half what Apple pays out to developers.

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