Have you ever wondered how many different devices are there in the Android ecosystem, or why people describe Android as being fragmented?

Thanks to OpenSignal, we now have a much better idea of just how many different Android smartphones and tablets there are out there and why Android is sort of like the Wild West for app designers.

If you’ve never heard of OpenSignal before they’re the company behind the app of the same name and rely on crowdsourced information to build a map of the 3G/LTE and free WiFi signal around the world. The app is useful, particularly if you’re planning on moving house and are wondering whether you’ll have signal and, more importantly, data coverage for your smartphone.

According to OpenSignal’s latest report on the state of Android fragmentation there are at least 18 796 unique Android devices out there, up from the 11 868 that they recorded during 2013. (They got to this number by surveying the last 682 000 devices that installed the OpenSignal app.)

There should be no surprise. Samsung smartphones garnered 43% of the total pie which, while down from the 47.8% that the company’s smartphones garnered last year, was still light year’s ahead of the second placed Sony who managed just 4.8% of the app’s market share stat.

GDP per capita Vs Androi fragmentation

The most interesting graph is that of a countries GDP per capita – a basic measure of individual wealth in acountry –  against the fragmentation of the various versions of the Android API – the higher the API the newer the version of Android being used.

What can be concluded from the graph is that the higher a country’s GDP, the higher the percentage adoption rate is for the latest version of the API. This is most likely due to the fact that the devices that are kept most up to date in terms of software are most often the higher end devices from major manufacturers which would naturally garner higher prices that would be more easily afforded by those in countries with a higher GDP per capita.

There is a bucket load of information in the report and if you have a bit of free time over the weekend, you should most definitely give it a look.

[Source,Images – OpenSignal]


David is a technology enthusiast with an insatiable thirst for information. He tends to get excited over new hardware and will often be the one in the room going "Its got 17 cores, 64GB of RAM and a 5" 4K flexible OLED display, oh it makes phone calls too?" Currently uses: Too many phones. Wants: World peace... and more phones.