87 percent of Android developers worried about fragmentation, survey says

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
According to a new survey, the overwhelming majority of developers for Google's Android mobile OS see fragmentation as a problem for the platform.



In a Q1 2011 survey of 250 developers conducted by analyst William Powers of Baird Research, 87 percent of Android developers responded with concerns over fragmentation, Fortune reports. Additionally, the percentage of developers who see device fragmentation as either a meaningful or huge problem increased over the last three months to 57 percent.



Developers also see store fragmentation as an issue for the Android platform. "Generally, developers seem to prefer a unified, single store experience like Apple's App Store," Baird wrote.



The survey found that 71 percent of respondents develop for Android, while 62 percent develop for Apple's iOS.



According to the report, iOS outscored competing mobile operating system platforms when it came to developer's perceptions of ease of development, app visibility and the ability to get paid. Regarding app visibility, Baird noted, "iOS continues to lead, followed by Blackberry, with Android still receiving poor marks in this category."







For its part, Google reportedly began implementing new restrictions on its Android partners last week in hopes of stemming fragmentation.



In late March, the Mountain View, Calif., search giant closed the source code to its Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform, ostensibly because the release is not designed for smartphones. The first device to feature Honeycomb, which Google touts as having been designed "from the ground up" for tablets, is the Motorola Xoom.



Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs warned of the increasing risk of Android fragmentation last year during a quarterly earnings call. "Unlike Windows, where PCs have the same interface, Android is very fragmented. Many Android OEMs, including the two largest, HTC and Motorola, install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The user's left to figure it out," Jobs said.



Jobs also warned of application store fragmentation, calling them "a mess for both users and developers." "Many Android apps work only on selected handsets, or selected Android versions," he noted.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 86
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,303member
    Glad to hear they are realistic!
  • Reply 2 of 86
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,223member
    For a better, more pithy, more pungent take on the story, see this article from Fortune, "Android is a mess, say developers":http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/...azines_fortune



    AI: Please put a bit more elan into your stories, a la DED. Take a stand? Thanks.
  • Reply 3 of 86
    ~90%!



    Enough said!



    I maintain MS and now Google both with their mis-guided approach to software development have done more damage to business development than any other factor. There is the MS/google way of doing things and there is the Apple way.



    Go ahead and argue amongst yourselves on whether or not the above is true!



    Best
  • Reply 4 of 86
    stourquestourque Posts: 354member
    Once again, Steve was right.
  • Reply 5 of 86
    iedsriiedsri Posts: 26member
    Of course this is not surprising news, but if it's true that most developers prefer iOS to Android, why do significantly more of them now develop for Android than for iOS -- especially when by all accounts they stand to make more profit writing Apple coded apps? Puzzling.
  • Reply 6 of 86
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    And as fragmented as android gets, it still produces market share numbers Apple is losing to. It doesn't matter if it's BOGO or very very cheap, you just can't beat the numbers. Yes Apple takes profits android can only dream of, but whatever floats your boat. I use an iPhone BTW.
  • Reply 7 of 86
    srathisrathi Posts: 29member
    Where are those holy souls who claimed that Android was finished when iPhone launched on Verizon. I still see a 7% growth for Android compared to a negligible 0.02% for iPhone. According to a survey, the Thunderbolt is selling more than the iPhone at most of Verizon stores nationwide.
  • Reply 8 of 86
    srathisrathi Posts: 29member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iedsri View Post


    Of course this is not surprising news, but if it's true that most developers prefer iOS to Android, why do significantly more of them now develop for Android than for iOS -- especially when by all accounts they stand to make more profit writing Apple coded apps? Puzzling.



    They are going where the money is. iPhone is not growing anymore and is at a flat 23% since last six quarters.
  • Reply 9 of 86
    nkalunkalu Posts: 315member
    Steve Jobs has been proven right once again.
  • Reply 10 of 86
    alandailalandail Posts: 689member
    android developers need to stop looking at fake market numbers and look at the real numbers



    http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os...-201101-201103



    exactly how do they keep claiming Android has more US market share? THe answer, they exclude almost half of iOS devices sold because they can't compete with them,
  • Reply 11 of 86
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,876member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    And as fragmented as android gets, it still produces market share numbers Apple is losing to. It doesn't matter if it's BOGO or very very cheap, you just can't beat the numbers. Yes Apple takes profits android can only dream of, but whatever floats your boat. I use an iPhone BTW.



    Actually those numbers only represent smart phone market share, it is not "winning" share from Apple's iOS platform, of which the iPhone only accounts for less than half of. Furthermore, all the so called Android tablets are figured into those numbers as there is no differentiation in the OS when running on a phone vs. tablet (for non-Honeycomb versions of Android).



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by srathi View Post


    Where are those holy souls who claimed that Android was finished when iPhone launched on Verizon. I still see a 7% growth for Android compared to a negligible 0.02% for iPhone. According to a survey, the Thunderbolt is selling more than the iPhone at most of Verizon stores nationwide.



    The survey was of sales people at Verizon stores. Even Verizon has gone on record saying that the iPhone was their number one selling smartphone. No one considers the fact that many, many iPhones are sold directly from Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 86
    srathisrathi Posts: 29member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post




    The survey was of sales people at Verizon stores. Even Verizon has gone on record saying that the iPhone was their number one selling smartphone. No one considers the fact that many, many iPhones are sold directly from Apple.



    And many, many Thunderbolts are sold directly from Amazon, bestbuy, WireFly etc etc. By your logic, sales of Thunderbolt should be triple that of iPhone.
  • Reply 13 of 86
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by srathi View Post


    They are going where the money is. iPhone is not growing anymore and is at a flat 23% since last six quarters.



    The money is not in Android.
  • Reply 14 of 86
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iedsri View Post


    Of course this is not surprising news, but if it's true that most developers prefer iOS to Android, why do significantly more of them now develop for Android than for iOS -- especially when by all accounts they stand to make more profit writing Apple coded apps? Puzzling.



    I work for a company that develops mobile apps for all major platforms, mostly for third parties. It is in this business before the iPhone, when Symbian was the king and Windows Mobile was about to take over.

    Currently the requests for mobile apps from third parties (larger number first) are in the order:

    1. iOS

    2. BlackBerry

    3. Android

    4. Others



    (I expect BlackBerry to slow down).



    Some clients want apps for several platforms. Usually they want a pilot version on one platform first. And that platform in most cases is iOS.

    The iOS team was expanded recently and is about to expand further. Windows Phone team was reduced.
  • Reply 15 of 86
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Jobs has been telling the truth the whole time. Multitasking by RIM and Android sucks the life out of the battery. Without code vetting viruses and malware will run rampant as on the Android platform (go check Symantec's list of threats for Android). Lastly, multiple hardware vendors, handset device form factors, and app stores creates fragmentation that causes even more frustration for end users.



    The Verizon iPhone and AT&T-T-Mobile merger will put the nails in the coffin for Android at least in the US. Ironically the biggest winner may be Microsoft. That's my prediction.
  • Reply 16 of 86
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,652member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    According to a new survey, the overwhelming majority of developers for Google's Android mobile OS see fragmentation as a problem for the platform.



    Wait... do you mean the fandroids criticizing everyone about spreading the fragmentation FUD were actually in denial??? Say it ain't so!!!
  • Reply 17 of 86
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by srathi View Post


    the Thunderbolt is selling more than the iPhone at most of Verizon stores nationwide.



    How many Thunderbolt sold to date?
  • Reply 18 of 86
    d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iedsri View Post


    Of course this is not surprising news, but if it's true that most developers prefer iOS to Android, why do significantly more of them now develop for Android than for iOS -- especially when by all accounts they stand to make more profit writing Apple coded apps? Puzzling.



    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that anyone with a computer can be an 'Android developer' and register as one, even though you have no experience or talent, and are unlikely to ever release anything meaningful? Even my little brother is probably counted as an 'Android' developer some way or another, since he registered himself and got into the Google App Inventor program at some point.



    If you wan't to register as an iPhone developer you need a Mac, and to develop and release your work you'll need to fork over $99. This already weeds out all the naive 'I want to be a developer but I don't want to invest anything'-types of people, and limits the pool of 'potential developers' to the less-than-10% Mac marketshare. Plus you need to know Objective-C, which is almost exclusively used on Apple platforms these days. Android is Java, and probably about anyone with a background in computer science or programming know will at least have had to program something in Java that once or twice.



    As always, numbers and statistics are deceptive. Just like this '87% of Android developers worried about fragmentation' statistic by the way. It does show that fragmentation is not imaginary on Android though.
  • Reply 19 of 86
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    android developers need to stop looking at fake market numbers and look at the real numbers



    http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os...-201101-201103



    exactly how do they keep claiming Android has more US market share? THe answer, they exclude almost half of iOS devices sold because they can't compete with them,



    Especially outside the US, like here in Australia:-



    http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os...-201101-201103



    Moving on, Google released details of Android platform versions, Honeycomb makes up 0.2%



    http://developer.android.com/resourc...-versions.html



    That indicates low sales numbers, no wonder no one is developing programs for the Xoom.
  • Reply 20 of 86
    ruel24ruel24 Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    And as fragmented as android gets, it still produces market share numbers Apple is losing to. It doesn't matter if it's BOGO or very very cheap, you just can't beat the numbers. Yes Apple takes profits android can only dream of, but whatever floats your boat. I use an iPhone BTW.



    Apple hasn't lost a single percentage point to Android. Android's gains are At the expense of Blackberry. Considering it was only on one cRrier until recently, that's actually impressive. I suspect that if iPhone was on all carriers from the beginning, there wouldn't even be Android phones.
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