Android’s fragmented hell stew is only getting worse for app makers

Android handset fragmentation in 2013 vs 2014

Android handset fragmentation in 2013 vs 2014

Now that Samsung is pretty much the only Android handset manufacturer making any money, you’d think that Android’s fragmentation problem would start to get better, but the latest Android fragmentation report from OpenSignal reveals the madness of developing for multiple screen sizes, hardware specs, and various versions of Android, has only gotten worse over the last year.

Android’s fragmentation has increased nearly 60% over the past 12 months. Last year OpenSignal detected 11,868 distinct Distinct Android devices that had downloaded their Android apps, but in 2014 that number has ballooned to 18,796 distinct Android devices demanding developers’ attention.


Android fragmentation breakdown by brand

Samsung is the largest contributor to Android’s fragmentation hell stew, both in terms of marketshare and the raw number of different devices pouring out of Korea. Samsung currently commands 43% of the Android market and has more devices than any other Android maker.

Compared to developing for iOS, the Android operating system is more fractured now than its ever been. Only 20.9% of Android smartphones are even running Android 4.4 KitKat, while iOS 7 is now running on 9 out of every 10 iOS devices in the world.