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Is Fragmentation on Android Really a Problem? Android’s Co-Founder Thinks its ‘Overblown’

July 11, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

A big topic among Android’s competitors is the F word, Fragmentation. Yes, it’s true that only about 5% of the Android population is on Android 4.2, the latest version of Android. Well, the co-founder of Android, Rich Miner had some words about the issue. “I think this is a bit of an overblown issue, frankly,” Miner said when he spoke at MIT’s Leadership Council’s technology forum. “don’t forget, there are 1.5 million Android phones being activated every single day. There are 900 million devices out in the market.”

Miner also believes that while some level of fragmentation is inevitable, simply due to the number of Android devices out there, enthusiasts like us are much more aware of the issue than the average user. “Us techies read the blogs and know what features we may be missing,” said Miner. “I think if you asked a consumer, ‘do you feel like your phone OS needs to be updated today?’ they’re pretty happy with the results and the performance they’re seeing. So I’m not sure it’s a major issue.”

Every platform experiences fragmentation to some degree. The reason why Android’s fragmentation is always under fire is because Android is the top dog. So our competitors are always looking to throw us under the bus. Since Android has so many different hardware manufacturers, different processors, different everything, it makes it harder to get Android on each device.

Miner also said “The OEMs, sometimes they might be a little bit too conservative. But they have to make sure that those releases are verified and tested, as do the carriers. Because it’s a Verizon or an AT&T that’s getting the phone calls from customers if that release isn’t robust.” Which is completely true. The techies like us are always complaining about a carrier or manufacturer taking so long to push out an update, that we forget that if it’s a bug ridden update, they are never going to hear the end of it.

What do you think? Is the whole fragmentation issue overblown?