On Thursday we reported the latest figures from Android Developers concerning the distribution of Android users across different versions. Scouting around on ye olde interweb, it’s interesting to see how different sites report the news.
Pocketnow, for example, reckons Android fragmentation is “no longer an issue”. But is that really the case?
Inevitably the Android bloggers will be somewhat biased in favour of their favourite operating system. Indeed, they acknowledge the Cupcake and Donut stats as "significant" but they're content that the figure is ever-decreasing. Those guys only make up 8% of the user base after all. But another way of putting that, if one were being negative, is: “Almost one in 10 Android users stuck on antiquated operating system”. See? Interpretation.
They’re also keen to point out that 92.2% are on “Android 2.1 and above”. Android users unite. On the other hand, I’m thinking that that figure encompasses Éclair, Froyo, two slices of Gingerbread, and the tablet-specific Honeycomb. Five different versions of one operating system.
And while 90.3% of Android users are partying in Eclair and Froyo land, that figure is bound to decrease in the coming months as more smartphones are released with delicious Gingerbread, not to mention the numerous Honeycomb tablets.
In time, Eclair and Froyo will become the new Cupcake and Donut. It’s inevitable. We’re merely in the midst of a transitional phase where one can twist the figures to suggest fragmentation is old news. It’s not. Can anyone say: Ice Cream?
To further confuse matters, two rumoured handsets from HTC are said to rock Honeycomb. And here we were thinking that it was exclusively for tablets. But even dismissing the HTC Revolver and Pyramid, Android fragmentation is here to stay, baby. Deal with it.