ANDROID FRAGMENTATION continues to increase and cause developers headaches, with almost 7,000 new devices having joined the market in the past 12 months.
According to the latest figures from Opensignal, there were 18,796 different Android devices in use worldwide as of August 2014, a 60 percent increase from the 11,868 in circulation this time last year. Compared to 2012, this figure has more than quadrupled.
While the report notes the benefits of Android fragmentation, such as the extensive global reach of device running Google’s mobile software, Opensignal highlights the headaches it is causing for developers, who have to ensure that apps work across the whole range of Android devices.
"Fragmentation is both a strength and weakness of the Android ecosystem, a headache for developers that also provides the basis for Android's global reach. Android devices come in all shapes and sizes, with vastly different performance levels and screen sizes," the report says.
"What this means is that developing apps that work across the whole range of Android devices can be extremely challenging and time-consuming."
The report also reveals that Samsung remains the dominant force in Android, claiming 12 of the 13 most popular devices - with the Galaxy S3 ranking as the most popular - and accounting for 43 percent of the market.
Underlining Samsung's dominance, Opensignal's figures reveal that Sony is the second biggest player, with just 4.8 percent of the Android market. LG, Motorola and Huawei follow Sony in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.
In terms of mobile operating system (OS) versions, 20.9 percent of devices Opensignal tracked are on Android 4.4 KitKat, while almost 50 percent remain on Android 4.x Jelly Bean. These figures match Google's latest Android statistics, which show that the latest version of the mobile OS now commands more than a fifth of devices. µ