We can argue to the moon and back as to whether or not Android fragmentation will one day result in the implosion of the ecosystem, but it’s hard to deny what the above graphic illustrates. One image makes a compelling case that fragmentation is a very real issue and it’s only getting worse. How much worse? The number of different devices in use has increased threefold since last year.
OpenSignal, who compiled the data, counted about 4,000 distinct Android devices in 2012. So far 2013 has seen close to 12,000. That’s a pretty staggering figure, but alone doesn’t prove the evils of fragmentation. Since the days when only a handful of devices ran Android industry folks have been warning that disparate versions of Android, varying screen sizes, and custom OEM skins would create a wall to platform adoption. Years later, fragmentation is still an issue. It’s just not the Android killer everyone made it out to be.