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Android Fragmentation Isn't Hurting Its Adoption

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes | about a year ago

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Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Apple’s developer Website offers a new, handy graph of iOS fragmentation—which is to say, the mobile operating system isn’t fragmented much at all. A full 93 percent of iOS users are on iOS 6, the latest version; another 6 percent rely on iOS 5; and a mere 1 percent use an earlier iOS. Compare that to Google Android, which really is fragmented: some 33 percent of Android devices run some variant (either 4.1.x or 4.2.x) of the “Jelly Bean” build, while 36.5 percent run a version of “Gingerbread,” which was first released in December 2010—ancient history, in mobile-software terms. (Other versions take up varying slices of the Android pie.) For years, Google’s rivals have used the “Android is fragmented” argument to hype their own platforms. But is Android’s fragmentation really hurting the platform? Not as far as global shipments are concerned. According to recent data from research firm IDC, Android’s market-share stood at 75 percent in the first quarter of 2013—up from 59.1 percent in the same quarter a year ago. Meanwhile, iOS owned 17.3 percent of the market—compared to 23.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. Whatever the drawbacks of fragmentation (and people can name quite a few), it's clear that it's not really hurting Android device shipments or adoption."
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