“Android devices come in all shapes and sizes, with vastly different performance levels and screen sizes,” OpenSignal reports. “Furthermore, there are many different versions of Android that are concurrently active at any one time, adding another level of fragmentation. What this means is that developing apps that work across the whole range of Android devices can be extremely challenging and time-consuming.”

“This graph shows the challenge that faces Android developers; over 18,000 distinct devices can immediately use their app, making optimization a real challenge. Compared to last year, fragmentation has risen by around 60%, with 11,868 devices seen last year compared to 18,796 this year. Compared to our first report, in 2012, device fragmentation has more than quadrupled – with our first report showing that there were ‘only’ 3,997 distinct Android devices,” OpenSignal reports. “Another way of looking at how fragmentation affects developers is to see what % of the market is occupied by the top 10 devices – as developers generally only own a few devices to test on. Last year having the 10 most popular devices in the market would represent 21% of the devices out there, this year that number has fallen to 15% – making testing on a few devices less representative.”

Fragmandroid: Android device fragmentation, August 2014 (via OpenSignal)

Fragmandroid: Android device fragmentation, August 2014 (via OpenSignal)

 
Android fragmentation of all kinds is usually illustrated in comparison with iOS. These two pie charts clearly show the difference in API fragmentation between the two competing operating systems.

Mobile operating system fragmentation, Apple's iOS vs. Google's Android, August 2014 (via OpenSignal)

Mobile Operating system fragmentation, Apple’s iOS vs. Google’s Android, August 2014 (via OpenSignal)

 
Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, the Mobile OS comparison doesn’t even include forked versions (Amazon Kindle, Fire Phone, etc.) into the fragmandroid morass.

Smart seller (example: Steve Jobs): “I’m going to focus on delighting the people with money and the proven will to spend it.”
Result: The world’s most valuable company. By far.

Mentally challenged seller (example: Michael Dell): “I’m going to make it up on volume.”
Result: Company delisted from Nasdaq on October 29, 2013.

Related articles:
Fragmandroid: Bounden delayed on Android due to widespread fragmentation, faulty or faked gyroscopes – May 21, 2014
Fragmandroid: Android fragmentation visualized – July 31, 2013
Fragmandroid: Google Android fragmentation visualized – May 17, 2012
Fragmandroid: Google’s mad dash to Microsoftdom – December 15, 2009