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Mobile Device Fragmentation And Its Impact On Business

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October 5th, 2022

In an era where 91% of the world’s population is dependent on smartphones. No wonder the mobile industry would aim to blanket over the complete population anytime soon. As technological advancement has already taken over the world, the mobile industry strives to gratify its users by integrating various features within its mobile interface. This has bought certain chaos in the mobile industry, mainly among the brands that function with the specific operating system (Android). In the past few years, the mobile industry has witnessed an enormous pool of smartphone manufacturers available in the market. The smartphone industry is facing challenges in implementing additional features or software within their mobile devices that help them in enhancing user experience.

Since the advent of mobile phones, the industry has analyzed a smooth swift of users towards digitally advanced smartphones. This makes it important for mobile manufacturers to cater to their audience according to their tastes and requirement. As they are paying a hefty amount to experiment with the brand service, brands must consider integrating various feature that helps in enhancing usability. Manufacturers rely on the inbuilt application within the mobile phone to manage critical operations for users. But as user preference expands, it will lead organizations to fragmentation, which can be a massive issue for the manufacturers.

Furthermore, mobile device fragmentation is a huge factor that restricts mobile phone manufacturers from enhancing user experience.

What is Mobile Device Fragmentation?

There are various reasons why users experience a certain disruption while functioning in a mobile application. The one that tops the list is the outdated version of the operating system that impacts its functionality. This compels users to update their system for better functionality, but it is impractical for a mass audience to switch toward updated mobile devices as it requires high cost and effort. This leads to an imbalance among mobile phone users, termed mobile device fragmentation.

According to the app founders, the term mobile device fragmentation also accommodates various other factors. Understanding different versions of a particular operating system through OEM modification is one of the extended branches of understanding mobile device fragmentation.

Mobile Device fragmentation occurs due to several reasons. Users who run different operating systems or versions of a particular OS simultaneously are likely to experience a fragmentation issue. Such an issue can severely impact user experience and disrupt mobile device infrastructure in a fraction of the time. Android operating systems are likely to witness more massive fragmentation issues than IOS. This is due to the several impacts that cause Android user experience on a large scale. Some of it being.

  • The software launches and releases depend on vendors, which will tweak the enhancement accordingly and land on the user shelves. At the same time, the IOS releases purely depend on end-user needs.
  • IOS users constantly update their software due to the slight price margin between the devices. In contrast, Android users are still counting on Marshmallow and Lollipop versions as they are bound to update through business vendors.
  • IOS only caters to a specific brand, Apple Inc., While android has a wide array of brands, making it complex for software developers to create a smooth streamline for users with a certain flow.

Causes for Android Fragmentation. 

Android has been the standard operating system for the mobile industry for over a decade. That said, it is at a high risk of getting attacked by vulnerabilities and fragmentation issues. Android operating system has blanketed various devices and brands over a decade, which makes it challenging for in-app developers to resolve fragmentation issues to a large extent. This is mainly due to the rapid growth of Android versions being launched in the market. Many business vendors lack in optimizing their features within the updated versions. This severely impacts other brands that are consistently optimizing their devices with updated versions. Such an imbalance in the Android operating system is causing fragmentation issues.

Effects of Android Fragmentation. 

Mobile device fragmentation is a major flaw in the Android operating system. Not only does it have a diverse impact on digital marketing, but it has become a nightmare for developers for quite a time now. However, Android developers are in consistent efforts to eliminate fragmentation issues. But it seems unreal as mobile device fragmentation has largely impacted the digital ecosystem of Android for years.

Some of the common effects that have been observed in Android fragmentation are:

1.    Inconsistency. 

Inconsistency is a common effect that can be caused due to mobile device fragmentation. Android OS, the gigantic monster, is likely to witness inconsistency due to the pool of Android devices being functional or operational simultaneously. Android app launches depend on business vendors who make them crucial for Android developers to maintain a certain flow with their users. Although over 3 million mobile apps are available on the Android Play Store, an average user relies on 6-7 mobile apps for their daily operations. This makes it challenging for Android developers to optimize their applications per the user’s device specification.

2.    Complex Development and QA. 

Android developers will likely encounter QA and development issues due to mobile device fragmentation. This is especially true for mobile applications based on native applications. Native software requires a single codebase for a particular operating system. Mobile app developers embedding their applications with native applications might face issues in development and QA. This is due to the difference in device specifications and the outdated version of the Android application that makes it complex to eliminate fragmentation issues. Mobile apps based on cross-platform software have minimal chance of observing such an effect.

3.    The Approach of BYOD. 

The Approach of BYOD (Bring your device) can be a great cause of Android fragmentation. In the past two years, businesses have seen immense growth in enterprise mobility. Android device, the major mobile device host, faces challenges among companies. By using personal devices, there is a great chance of fluctuation within the organization, as not every employee counts on the Android system. Even if they do, they function through different Android versions. Such an impact can be alarming for organizations as they face severe imbalances. This lacks management and security issues.

Key Aspects testing

Aspect Android Fragmentation  Effects of Fragmentation on Android 
Dependency on Smartphones testing 91% of the world’s population depends on smartphones testing Mobile industry aims to gratify users, challenges in enhancing user experience testing
Mobile Industry Chaos testing Increased chaos due to integrating various features testing Fragmentation among Android brands, challenges in implementing additional features testing
User Preference Expansion testing Users prefer advanced smartphones testing Manufacturers rely on inbuilt applications, leading to fragmentation issues testing
Mobile Device Fragmentation Definition testing Disruption due to outdated OS, impractical for mass updates testing Various factors, including different OS versions and OEM modifications testing
Causes of Android Fragmentation testing Rapid growth of Android versions, lack of optimization in features testing Vulnerabilities, fragmentation issues, challenges for in-app developers testing
Effects of Android Fragmentation testing Inconsistency, Complex Development and QA, BYOD Impact testing Impact on digital marketing, nightmare for developers, challenges in QA and development testing
BYOD Impact on Android Fragmentation testing Bring Your Device approach causes fluctuations and imbalances testing Challenges in enterprise mobility, management, and security issues testing
Conclusion on Fragmentation testing Common cause with severe impact on business efficiency testing Common issues: Inconsistency, complex development, QA challenges, BYOD impact testing

Mobile device fragmentation is a common cause that can be occurred very frequently. Moreover, it does hold a severe impact on making your business inefficient in a matter of time. Several reasons can cause mobile device fragmentation. But the most common issues that are effective to mobile device fragmentation are Inconsistency, complexity development process, software QA services, and working through an approach of BYOD.

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