Android’s fragmentation problems seems to be coming down. Google made a pact with its manufacturers that they have to roll out the latest versions within 18 months. It is not clearly visible if this is counted in the current graphic, but something seems to be working in favor of the versions as 84% of the Android devices are running the latest 3 Android versions.
For Apple’s iOS, it is all white and black, with an old version and a new version. So the following graphic will not enthuse Apple group. For the Android group, this is the hope that things are finally looking up. Though Android now has new problem with Android forks.
Android OS version
More than half (51.2%) of all the Android devices which connected to the Android market in a 14-day period ending 2 September, 2011 are running Froyo (Android 2.2). 31.3% of the devices were running Gingerbread (Android 2.3 and Andriod 2.3.3, with 30.7% running Android 2.3.3). 1.4% devices are running Honeycomb.
Together 84% of the devices are running Android 2.2 or higher version. Less than16% of the devices are still running older versions of Cupcake, Donut and Eclair.
An encouraging trend indeed.
The screen size segmentation is more of a statistic than a segmentation problem. The smartphone world is still figuring out the sweet spot for the screen size of both smartphones and tablets. Some devices like Samsung Galaxy Note are flirting with the idea of a hybrid device (cross between a smartphone and tablet). The broad consensus for a smartphone screen size seems to be hovering between 3 inches and 4.5 inches.
Android splits the screens into a matrix of actual size of the screen and the density of the screen with four divisions in each category. The screen sizes are small, normal, large and xlarge. From the graphic above, Android phones with normal screen size (3 inches to ~4.7 inches) comprise of 91.8% of which hdpi screens comprise of 74%.
As you see from the screen size picture above, there is an overlap between smartphones and tablets. While we can safely assume that the xlarge ( screen size of 7 inches to 10+ inches) to be a tablet, there is some part of the large screen devices which can spill into the tablet section. Pure tablets constitute just 1.5% of the total Android devices. As per some estimates the total Android devices worldwide are now touching 150 million devices, which puts the total Android tablets count at 11.25+ million devices.
Though screen size segmentation isn’t a fragmentation for the general observer, it can still be counted as fragmentation by the developer community. A developer has to make sure that his or her app works on majority of the devices. The matrix of android versions and screen sizes, should be carefully dealt with by Android developers. A challenge iPhone developers don’t have to surmount.