Android Co-Founder Calls Fragmentation “An Overblown Issue”

One of the biggest discussion realted to Android that comes every time market share of different systems come forward is fragmentation. Critics say that the Android platform is too fragmented with so many custom-made versions. Android co-founder Rich Miner thinks that the discussion has over inflated.


At a tech forum hosted by Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, Miner said, “I think this is a bit of an overblown issue, frankly.” And Miner offered his arguments to support this view.

The key to Android’s growth was handset makers’ ability to use and tweak the platform. This led to many custom-made versions on top of Android’s Google controlled versions such as Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean etc.
But the control that was bestowed upon to handset makers has led it to be the number one in terms of market share. Miner pointed out that with the huge number of Android devices in the market, a level of fragmentation is natural. “Don’t forget, there are 1.5 million Android phones being activated every single day. There are 900 million devices out in the market,” he added.

Miner also pointed out the issue that regular customers often don’t look at which version of the OS they’re using. “Us techies read the blogs and know what features we may be missing. I think if you asked a consumer, `Do you feel like your phone OS needs to be updated today?’ they’re pretty happy with the results and the performance they’re seeing. So I’m not sure it’s a major issue,” he said.

And these are not all. Miner thinks Google is much better now at working with its OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners. Recalling how fast a recently identified security flaw has been patched by Google Miner said, Clearly, in the early days of Android, there was some learning that had to be done between Google and the ecosystem—the handset OEMs. I think Google is much better, as we’ve seen with the latest security release. Google got a patch out … very quickly to the OEMs.”

Miner emphasized on extensive testing of custom-made Android releases by OEMs and carriers before those are pushed to the customers.

Thanks to: Xconomy

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Manoj Pravakar Saha is an Editor of TheTechJournal. He was one the founding members of TheTechJournal. He was working for the telecom gear-maker Ericsson before joining TheTechJournal team. Manoj searches for meaning in this chaotic world. Find him on Google+.

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