The fact that the Android operating system is the most popular one shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Anyone can modify it and use it in their devices, so it’s currently running on a variety of smartphones and tablets and it has 1.4 billion monthly active users. Still, Google should address some concerns that were pointed out in a report by Business Insider such as fragmentation, their approach to emerging markets and their strategy towards the apps on the Google Play Store.
The report mentions that in the second quarter of the year, an approximate of 83% of all smartphones shipped globally used Android, this makes for about 282.5 million smartphones, while only 47.3 million smartphones running iOS were shipped on the same quarter. Fragmentation has been a part of Android since inception, it introduces a problem, because with so many devices it gets hard for the companies to update all of them, in fact, the report mentions that one-third of Android devices are running on a version of the platform released in 2012 or earlier. While new features and design languages have been introduced ever since, the biggest problem is that those platforms could be less secure than recent versions. Still, it is thanks to fragmentation that there are more than 24,000 different Android devices from more than 1,300 brands, so users have many options to choose from. Plus, users get to modify their devices by installing custom ROMs in case they don’t like the UI that came with their device.
While there were more apps downloaded from the Google Play Store than any of their competitors, a premium must be paid in order to make those apps more visible and easily discovered, so it becomes a problem for their marketers. The traffic generated by Android devices is obviously higher than the one generated by other platforms, once again, because there are many more Android devices out there. But, iOS devices generate more total revenue than the ones on Android, so it’s not hard to see why marketers and retailers sometimes favor those devices. Google has been approaching emerging markets with their Android One initiative, but some of the manufacturers already represent some competition as well as the carriers that support them.