Android fragmentation has been a point of contention for many, many years. And the latest report from OpenSignal, the world’s largest database of crowdsourced coverage information, suggests that it’s only gotten worse over the last year.
Based on the number of and types of devices around the world that have downloaded its app, OpenSignal believes that Android’s fragmentation has tripled since last year. The above image shows just how many different devices there are running different versions of Android (you can see an interactive version at OpenSignal).
In 2012, there were some 3,997 distinct Android devices. This year there are a whopping 11,868. Eight versions of Android are currently in use and 37.9 per cent of users are running Jelly Bean, the latest version of the mobile OS. Samsung’s apparent share of the market is 47.5 per cent.
Click to embiggen
Whether it’s the skins that manufacturers lay over Android to create a unique product or the different size screens, it’s probably not going to get any better. What’s actually important to take away is that Android fragmentation is based around socio-economics more so than anything else. Android is free and not everyone can afford an iPhone or HTC One. Fragmentation or whatever you want to call it will always exist. [OpenSignal]