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The Android ecosystem is more fragmented than ever

August 5, 2015, 2:00 PM UTC

Android devices come in all shapes and sizes and may run any one of more than a half-dozen active versions of Google’s operating system.

This diversity is both a blessing and a curse, as OpenSignal reported Wednesday in its latest survey.

On one hand, fragmentation gives app developers a wide audience to build for—far wider than Apple’s iOS. On the other, trying to develop an app that will run on the entire range of Android devices can be a nightmare.

One striking finding in this year’s report is the increased fragmentation of manufacturers, with over 1,000 manufacturers seen this year that were not seen three years ago in OpenSignal’s first survey.

How fragmented has Android become? From OpenSignal’s report:

  • 24,093: Distinct Android devices seen this year
  • 18,796: Distinct Android devices seen last year
  • 682,000; Devices surveyed for this report.
  • 37.8%: Samsung’s share of those devices.
  • 1,294: Device manufacturers seen this year


By contrast, if you want a device that runs iOS, you have to buy from Apple.

Below: Android fragmentation by manufacturer:

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 9.26.43 AM
Source: OpenSignal
Source: OpenSignal

LINK: Android Fragmentation Visualized (with cool interactive graphics)

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.