App developer’s user data reveal scope of Android fragmentation
Whether you think it adds to Android’s appeal or ruins it, fragmentation is a fact of life for users of Google’s mobile OS. But has it been exaggerated? One app developer examined its user data to find out, and what it discovered might surprise you. Based on an international user base that approached 700,000 users at the time of its study, One Signal Maps found:
- 3997 distinct Android devices, with Samsung’s Galaxy SII being the most common among them. It should be noted that custom ROMs can overwrite a device’s model information, so the actual number of devices is likely lower.
- 599 distinct manufacturers. Again, Samsung was chief among them, with a 40 percent share of the company’s user base. And again, custom ROMs might slightly exaggerate that figure.
- Scores of resolutions ranging from 240 x 180 to 2080 x 1152. Apple’s iOS devices, by contrast, come in just four resolutions.
- More than 55 percent of the users sampled still use Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Despite the emergence of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, that’s just 10 percent less than last year, when Gingerbread again dominated.
With a seemingly endless menu that puts Baskin-Robbins to shame, it would be easy to condemn Android. After all, so much variety makes universal apps scarce and meaningful updates few and far between. But One Signal Maps found a silver lining in the results.
We’ve collected signal data from 195 countries – the variety of Android devices and manufacturers has been crucial in allowing the OS to reach so many markets. For example the 5 countries where OSM gets most use are: US, Brazil, China, Russia, Mexico. From what we’re seeing the developing world is no longer developing but leading Europe.
Source: Open Signal Maps