Fragmentation Remains an Issue for Android Developers
A high degree of fragmentation is a problem that Android app developers have had to deal with since day one. Next to the fact that Android devices come in an endless variety of screen sizes and processing power, developers are also facing a high degree of software fragmentation. Many device manufacturers superimpose their own user interface on top of Android (think Samsung's TouchWiz), often making it impossible for users to get future Android updates. As a results, adoption of the latest version of Android has traditionally been slow.
KitKat, the latest iteration of Google's dessert-themed Android updates was supposed to change that. It was designed to be more compatible with low-end devices in order to get it to more devices quicker. Thus far, it doesn't seem to have worked though: according to Mixpanel less than 10% of Android devices are currently running KitKat, which was released in October 2013. By contrast, iOS 7, released in late September has been adopted by 85% of iOS users and even iOS 7.1, released as late as March, has a significantly higher adoption rate (42.77%) than Android KitKat.
- Number of available applications in the Google Play Store from December 2009 to February 2015
Google Play: number of available apps 2009-2015
- Global tablet shipments from 2010 to 2014, by operating system (in million units)
Global tablet shipments by operating system per quarter 2010-2014
- Global market share held by tablet operating systems from 2010 to 2014, by quarter
Global market share held by tablet operating systems 2010-2014, by quarter
- Market share held by mobile operating systems in the U.S. 2012-2014, by monthMarket share held by mobile operating systems in the U.S. 2012-2014, by month
- Global market share held by mobile operating systems 2012-2014, by monthGlobal market share held by mobile operating systems 2012-2014, by month
- Forecast: global market share held by smartphone operating systems 2013-2017Forecast: global market share held by smartphone operating systems 2013-2017
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