Talks of Android fragmentation may be slowing and it seems that Google’s Android 2.1 strategy may be working as the latest numbers show that nearly 60%–58.8 to be exact–of all Android devices today run the current and latest Android OS. Fragmentation is an important concern for both consumers and developers as certain apps developed on or for later Android versions may be incompatible with prior Android OS releases.
Additionally, as Android gets more mainstream following popular pushes such as the Motorola Droid and the HTC EVO 4G, new users to the platform may not be knowledgeable enough to either differentiate what version their device is running nor understand the reasons that apps may be incompatible. That issue will be heightened with Dell’s forthcoming entry into the Android smartphone/tablet/MID/UMPC category with its Dell Streak release later this month–a modern day Android device with all the powerful features but cramped by a dated Android 1.6 OS instead of Android 2.1 or 2.2, though the device will be upgradeable to 2.2 at a later unspecified date.
However, with all those concerns listed, it is still pretty impressive that a majority of the devices on the market today run the current OS. We’ll see how fragmentation persists and its implications on consumers once Android 2.2 becomes more mainstream; Android 2.2 will bring compatibility support for Adobe’s Flash 10.1 plugin.