Google aims, shoots itself in the other foot
to figures released by IDC and Appcelerator, developers’ interest in Google’s Android OS seems to be waning.
Out of 2,100 surveyed developers a total of 78.6 percent said they were keen to develop Android apps in Q1 2012. It looks like a solid figure, but it is dropping. In Q4 2011 some 83 percent of developers were interested in Android, while the figure stood at 87 percent in Q3 2011.
The main concern expressed by developers in fragmentation, and it is only getting worse as more Android devices show up on the market. In addition, fragmentation is also hampering efforts to roll out new OS versions. According to Google, only a mere 1.6 percent of devices accessing the Android Market are running Android 4.0. We believe that the figure would be even lower if it did not include unofficial ICS builds, as there are still next to no ICS devices on sale.
Despite the fact that ICS was introduced four months ago, Android 2.3 still dominates the Android world with a 62 percent share. So, more than half of Android users are still stuck with an OS version introduced in 2010. To put things in perspective, the Gingerbread launch platform was the Nexus S, with a 1GHz A8 core. More than a year on, Gingerbread is still shipped with high-end phones powered by dual-core A9 chips and we are only weeks away from quad-core phones that will feature ICS out of the box. Google has even proven unable to offer a timely ICS update for its own Nexus S, so it is a few months late on its own platform, with no fragmentation to speak of.
We said it before and we will say it again, Android updates are a joke and they could end up costing Google a lot in the long run.