86% of Android developers think that Android fragmentation is a problem

According to a new survey by conducted by William Powers of Baird, 86% of Android developers believe that Android fragmentation is a problem. Out of the 250 developers that were posed the question, roughly 86% (or 87% because chart equals 101 instead of 100) thought that fragmentation was at least somewhat of a problem while 14% thought that it wasn’t a problem at all.

Here are the results, broken down:

33% thought it was a meaningful problem
24% thought it was a huge problem
17% thought it was a problem
14% thought it was not a problem
13% thought it was somewhat of a problem

I think that Android fragmentation is a small problem, not as big as this 250 participant survey makes it seem to be. When things are open, fragmentatio is bound to happen to some degree. Look at your web browser for example. There are many web browsers out there, but deep down inside, they do not all work the same, and webmasters have to make changes to their code to make sure that their pages properly work in all of the major browsers that are out there. That is the same case with developing on the Android platform.

We are all certain that if Google were to manufacture their own phone like Apple does with the iPhone, there would be no fragmentation problem. The gamble that Google took is finaly starting to pay off. Yes, fragmentation might be a problem at the moment, but it’s nothing that’s stopping Android from becoming the number one smartphone OS.

On another note, I think that a sample size of 250 respondents out of a pool of 10,000+ Android developers is simply too small to judge the entire landscape. On top of everything, the question that these Android Developers were asked to answer was fragmented itself. 80% of the answers on the poll was a +1 for fragmentation while only 1 answer was against fragmentation.

I think instead of having 5 answers to choose from, the poll should’ve only had 3:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Somewhat