According to the latest data from OpenSignal, the market for mobile devices running Google’s Android operating system is becoming increasingly fragmented. The US company OpenSignal is working on a map, in which all mobile stations, their respective transmission strength and all Wi-Fi access points are recorded worldwide.
To this end, OpenSignal offers free apps for Android and iOS, the data of which are evaluated by the company. What is more, it also records the manufacturer and model of the device on which their software is installed. As a result, data from 682,000 terminals have incorporated into the statistics every year since 2012. This year, 24,093 tablet and smartphone models reported back to OpenSignal, which are sold under 1,294 different brands. Around 1,000 of these brands did not exist three years ago.
The newcomers to the market primarily cut into Samsung’s share. The market share of the Koreans fell from 47% in 2012 to 37.8% today. The number of mobile devices using Android, however, doubled in the same period from 11,868 to 24,093. All the same, the number of companies operating in the mobile device sector did not increase to the same extent as it did three years ago. While 400 new companies entered the market in 2012, only around 100 did so last year.
Open Signal sees both advantages and disadvantages in this high degree of fragmentation. On the one hand, the wide selection enables practically every customer to find a model that suits his or her individual needs and wishes. On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly difficult for software vendors to develop apps that can run on all hardware platforms and on various Android versions. In addition, the provision of security updates is an increasingly prominent challenge.