The age-old Android fragmentation issue has kept a relatively low profile of late – monthly looks at the distribution figures and occasional digs from Apple aside.
There are two opposing schools of thought on fragmentation, but Android co-founder Rich Miner, for one, reckons the whole thing is “overblown”.
School of thought numero uno: Just over a third of Android users are on the latest version, Jelly Bean (Android 4.1 or Android 4.2), with almost a quarter on 2011’s Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), and – worse still – 34.1% stuck on Gingerbread (Android 2.3), which debuted in 2010.
The alternative theory: A lot of those on older versions couldn’t care less, and those that do will do something about it and/or invest in devices wisely. And heck, what difference does it make anyway? It’s not like there are tons of apps that demand Jelly Bean as a minimum requirement, y’know?
Subscribing to that second notion (unsurprisingly), Miner says: “I think this is a bit of an overblown issue, frankly. Don’t forget, there are 1.5 million Android phones being activated every single day. There are 900 million devices out in the market.
“Us techies read the blogs and know what features we may be missing. 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.”
Rich? With my trusty iPhone at my side, pretty much guaranteed support for a good while yet (had to get that in somewhere), I think I actually agree with you.