With recent figures showing that Gingerbread (Android 2.3) has only just reached 50% distribution as we enter the Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) era, there’s no denying that Google's OS is well and truly fragmented. Or is there?
During CNET’s Next Big Thing SuperSession at CES, Schmidt tried to pull the wool over our eyes by claiming that Android is all about differentiation, not fragmentation.
"Differentiation is positive, fragmentation is negative," explains Schmidt. "Differentiation means that you have a choice and the people who are making the phones, they're going to compete on their view of innovation, and they're going to try and convince you that theirs is better than somebody else."
Fragmentation, according to Schmidt, occurs when there’s an app that runs on one phone but not another.
Er, we reckon a better example of Android fragmentation is a smartphone less than 12 months old being abandoned by its OS and told not to expect the latest version.
While Cupcake (Android 1.5) and Donut (Android 1.6) are now a distant memory (less than 2% at last count), almost 40% of users are still on Eclair (Android 2.1) or Froyo (Android 2.2).
And remember Honeycomb (Android 3.0)? What the heck was that all about?!