Here's what Android fragmentation really looks like

Data reveals thousands of devices running wild in the global Android jungle.

Samsung's Galaxy S II is the most prevalent Android device, trailed by almost 4,000 others. Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

Open Signal Maps is a nifty free Android app and Web site that crowdsources where the strongest and weakest cell signals are. But along the way, it's also managed to amass a ton of data about what kind of Android devices are out there in the wild and they pulled it all together into some visualizations that dramatically show the extent of Android fragmentation .

OSM started logging the Android devices that download the app six months ago and created the above visualization -- the interactive version on the site is a little more informative -- from a sample size of 681,900 devices . What it reveals is that Samsung's Galaxy series, particularly the Galaxy S II, is far and away the top dog, followed distantly by the HTC Desire series. After that, it turns into quite a mess of devices ranging from other heavy hitters like Motorola's Droids down to the Hungarian Concorde Tab, which showed up once.

Fragmentation might not be quite as awful as it looks though, because custom roms were counted as unique devices in this particular study. But even if you remove the more than 1,300 devices that only came up once in the count, well...that's still some serious fragmentation.

The big winner in all this is clearly Samsung, which lays claim to 40 percent of all the devices logged. HTC comes in second.

Most of the pieces of the Android puzzle originate in Korea. Screenshot by Eric Mack / CNET

The introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich has only added more flavors to the Baskin Robbins franchise that is the Android universe, too. While there's not quite 31 flavors, there are more than last year, yet the overwhelming majority still run some version of Gingerbread -- no surprise there.

Perhaps it should also be no surprise that a free operating system yields as much as one unique device for every 170 users. Makes you wonder why all of us here haven't gotten together yet to come up with our own CNET phone.

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Hot on CNET

Saving your life at speed and in style

Volvo have been responsible for some of the greatest advancements in car safety. We list off the top ways they've kept you safe today, even if you don't drive one.