Several industry watchers have been commenting with dismay on the number of versions of Android in the marketplace, and now IMS Research has released a report tackling the problem.
“Fragmentation is a concern first and foremost for developers,” noted IMS Research analyst, Chris Schreck. “Differentiating between strains of an OS, modifying code for each strain, and ensuring that a user obtains the appropriate version of a program, aren’t practical possibilities for many mobile developers. Developer resources are notoriously limited, and adding incompatible strains within platforms to the already crowded smartphone OS space makes their uphill climb even steeper.”
He added, “In the case of Android developers, you already have a much smaller installed base of devices than exist for some of the other smartphone platforms. When you further segment that group into different OS strains, the actual potential market for your application starts to look pretty small. Without Google addressing this issue, Android developers are going to find themselves working harder to reach fewer people.”