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Research reveals there are almost 19,000 different kinds of Android devices in use

OpenSignal Android Fragmentation Report

No wonder you may be having trouble buying the right Android smartphone and/or tablet for you, as there are simply so many devices to choose from. OpenSignal has released its “Android Fragmentation Visualized” report for August 2014, revealing there are 18,796 distinct Android devices this year, a significant increase from last August, when 11,868 devices were registered.

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The company says that of all those devices, 43% are made by Samsung. What’s more, just 20.9% of current Android users are on KitKat – something Google revealed in its own report for early August.

“Fragmentation” is probably one of the most hated words in the Android ecosystem, right next to “Apple” and “malware.” However, no matter what word you use for it, the Android world is still made of thousands of devices running various official and unofficial OS versions, and that’s a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it.

“This [image above] is the best way of visualizing the sheer variety of Android devices that have downloaded the OpenSignal app over the past couple of months,” the company wrote. “This graph shows the challenge that faces Android developers; over 18,000 distinct devices can immediately use their app, making optimization a real challenge. Compared to last year, fragmentation has risen by around 60%, with 11,868 devices seen last year compared to 18,796 this year. Compared to our first report, in 2012, device fragmentation has more than quadrupled – with our first report showing that there were ‘only’ 3,997 distinct Android devices.”

OpenSignal has plenty of other interesting graphics that describe brand fragmentation, Android OS fragmentation, screen and sensor fragmentation, as well as fragmentation vs GDP/capita, all available at the source link below.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.