Bloomberg News

Google’s Android Faces Growing Fragmentation, Flurry Says

June 07, 2012

(Corrects year-earlier figure in final paragraph.)

Google Inc. (GOOG:US)’s Android software is powering an increasingly fragmented array of mobile devices, making it costlier for developers to craft applications that run smoothly on every product, a report found.

Just three of the 20 most popular Android devices held a usage market share greater than 6 percent last month, according to research published today by Flurry, a provider of app analytics software that tracks use of more than 100 million devices globally. Only one phone, the Samsung Galaxy S II, commands a double-digit market share among Android products, Bloomberg.com reported on its Tech Blog.

The vast product array may deter some developers, who often have to customize apps to accommodate each device’s screen size and features. As the Android marketplace becomes increasingly fragmented, developers’ costs of building applications for that platform are mounting, Flurry said.

Developers write 10 apps for Apple Inc. (AAPL:US)’s iOS operating system, which powers iPhones, for every seven done for Android Flurry found. And for each $1 earned on Apple apps, developers reap about 24 cents on Android.

“Android delivers less gain and more pain than iOS,” said the report, which comes before Google and Apple hold their developer conferences this month.

Christopher Katsaros, a Google spokesman, declined to comment.

Flurry measured market share by tracking each time users launched an app from a unique device. The top 10 Android products were used for 24 percent of sessions last month, down from 47 percent a year earlier, Flurry said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at okharif@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net


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