I have nothing against stats that put Android in a bad light. If anything, I’m usually glad they appear, because they highlight some problems that I had raised long before, hopefully prompting Google to do something and improve Android in that specific respect.
What I really can’t stand, though, is when statistical data presented as accurate is downright misleading. Like my all-time-favorites, the Net Marketshare guys, who keep publishing misleading data, over and over again, even though it’s a clearly inaccurate description of the mobile market share that they present as accurate.
But I think that soon I’ll have some new favorites, the guys over at Flurry, who either do it intentionally, or they really can’t figure out the numbers themselves. In a recent report, the analytics firms “shows” that iOS gets several times more new developers than Android, even though all points indicate the contrary. Flurry claims that they have twice as many users on iOS than on Android, and their growth rate on iOS seems to be around the same.
This leads them to believe that there are a lot of new developers coming to iOS, when in fact there are just more developers coming to them on iOS, than they are on Android, where they might prefer Google Analytics.
But even though you could put this on a misunderstanding, it’s strange how they try to amplify Android’s fragmentation problem, counting every single Galaxy S2 model as a totally different unit.
I do think that Google could do a lot more to standardize the Android platform, and I do hope they are working tirelessly on solving the problem. But I believe there’s too much FUD mongering about fragmentation, that blows the issue way out of proportion. Yes, there are many Android devices out there, but, at the same time, Android does a very good job of unifying all these devices, and making apps work pretty well on most of them.
The alternative to the current state of things would be a world with 20 different operating systems, which, make no mistake, would be 100x worse for developers. Alternatively, we would live in a world where 80% of the population would have an iPhone, which would ultimately be very bad for consumers. iOS already seems to be stagnating for a few years, and that’s only with 20-30% market share. Imagine if it had 80%.
Android is a good solution to a very hard problem, that of putting every single phone model under the same OS. The manufacturers do make it harder for Android, though, with their tons of slightly different (and unnecessary) models, and by not being as collaborative as PC makers are, by not giving out their drivers for their phones, and so on. But as the Android smartphone market matures, hopefully these things will be ironed out.
In the meantime, head-up for the source link below for more insights into Flurry’s questionable data.