Android Fragmentation: 11,868 Devices and Growing

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Kristin Leighton's picture
Kristin Leighton on July 31, 2013

We have written in the past about the crazy amount of fragmentation that exists among Android devices and operating systems, and the problem only seems to be growing. New data released this week from OpenSignal, which makes an app that measures network performance, shows that the sheer number of unique Android devices accessing the OpenSignal app has grown by nearly 8,000 in the past year alone.

OpenSignal examined the last 682,000 unique devices to download its app and found that 11,828 distinct Android device types were present, up from 3,997 distinct Android devices last year. Of those devices, Samsung devices accounted for a massive 47.5%, followed by Sony-Ericsson with 6.5% market share.



And it's no secret that device fragmentation is only part of the problem for developers when building for the Android platform. The number of operating systems being used on these devices is staggering as compared to iOS, as OpenSignal found 8 different Android versions still in use, with 37.9% still on Jelly Bean.

OpenSignal also highlights the variances in screen size amongst Android devices as another issue for developers trying to design and code layouts that work well across all Android screens, noting “no other smartphone platform boasts such a proliferation of different screen sizes.” On the flip side, in the iPod-touch, iPhone and iPad device world, there are only 4 different physical screen sizes.

This report is another interesting look at both the promise and challenge that surrounds the Android platform. We've seen this fragmentation firsthand in our own customer base, and we understand the challenges it creates for both developers and for content owners who need to ensure their video content works across all of these devices and operating systems. This problem is near and dear to us, and while we’re always fascinated to see new data from organizations like OpenSignal, we are committed to continuing to remove this complexity from our customers so they can focus on producing great content.
 

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