OpenSignal, creators of an Android and iOS app that helps you locate better mobile signal and free Wi-Fi hotspots, has made my day with a series of intriguing stats and charts and that.
Looking at downloads for its Android app in particular, OpenSignal observes a frankly ludicrous number of devices in play, and while the operating system is the most fragmented it’s ever been, that’s arguably a good thing, man.
The visualisation above shows all the different Android devices from the past 682,000 downloads of OpenSignal for Android. There are 11,868 distinct Android devices versus just 3,997 in last year’s report.
Unsurprisingly, that top left corner is utterly dominated by Samsung, with the Galaxy S III (yellowy orange), Galaxy S II (pinky purple) and Galaxy Note II (vomit green) standing out.
Going by OpenSource’s stats, Samsung accounts for 47.5% of the Android market, followed by Sony (Ericsson) with just 6.5% - less than a seventh of Samsung’s share.
Furthermore, OpenSource notes eight different versions of Android in use, from Donut (Android 1.6) through to Jelly Bean (Android 4.2). Combining both versions of Jelly Bean, it accounts for 37.9%, with Gingerbread (Android 2.3) close behind on 34.1%.
But while the figures above might prove troublesome for developers, the flip side of the coin is the overwhelming array of choice for consumers, which has ultimately helped Google secure Android’s position as world’s most popular smartphone operating system.
Or as OpenSource puts it: “Too often [fragmentation] is treated as a problem with Android, rather than a strength, but we feel that this misses the bigger picture.
“While there are certainly problems associated with fragmentation (and as developers we know them all too well), it is wrong to suggest that it is only a downside.”