Every Man Is An Island: The Fragmentation of Android

Android as a working system has had some terrific achievements over the previous few years. For a while, Android producers took a back seat to Apple; Android became excellent. However, iOS was higher, the critics stated. Over a previous couple of years, Android’s success has critics seeing the Apple enemy in an entire new mild, with some suggesting that the destiny of the phone industry lies with Android producers and not with the Apple Corporation – a corporation that many as soon as a concept becomes invincible and beyond fail.

Android’s success was presupposed to come to be an amazing factor; it changed into speculated to assist Android producers in seeing the fulfillment that they may acquire and propel them to heights of which they’d by no means dreamed. Android’s fulfillment changed into purported to be the inducement and impact its manufacturers had to surpass Apple and iOS. I fear the worst, however: with Android’s rising fulfillment, its manufacturers are beginning to see their personal man or woman organizations as “superstars,” dividing Android, once a cohesive entire, into individual portions or fragments. We are getting ready for the fragmentation of Android.

Before you placed this article down and walk away, allow me to explain. Earlier this week at the International CES, LG Electronics announced that the Nexus 4 turned into best the first of collaborative efforts with Google:

“Through our collaboration with Google, we launched the LG Nexus four telephone. This is the primary of many gadgets to return from our developing partnership with this very selective business enterprise” (underline mine).

What this indicates is that we can stay up for a Nexus 5 and six, in all likelihood a “Nexus 9” or “Nexus eleven” one in all in recent times (depending on how the Nexus smartphones are named, in contrast to the Nexus pills). Sometime after LG made this statement, however, the International Business Times claimed that “the Nexus 4 manufacturing ‘is said to have [been] halted,’ with LG interested in building its next-gen devices” (Chris Smith, “Nexus four production reportedly halted, as LG is specializing in destiny smartphones, Nexus five blanketed?”).

What is that this meant to intend? To be blunt, LG has determined to abandon the Nexus four in favor of its personal smartphones. Supposedly, the LG Optimus G has made the enterprise grow confident in shifting forward to develop its personal motive. As for its assignment with Google? Well, LG appears to paintings with them in the future, but no particular time body turned into given wherein the 2 organizations would come together. Consumers who desired to get their palms on a Nexus four at the moment are left watching for the subsequent Nexus venture (which might be in 12 months or two).

In an article I wrote on the Google X Phone, I said that it’d not be a wise circulate for Google to push Samsung out of the manner. I assumed that Samsung would need to live within the Android manufacturing organization. While Samsung’s phones have made Android the OS to be envied, Samsung has also been working on an OS of its personal: Tizen. Reports have surfaced inside the closing two weeks that Samsung will produce extra Tizen phones this year than ever before. What this indicates is that Samsung, which has never gone public about its “OS inside the wings,” intends to sell its personal OS in its very own hardware this 12 months. Some say that this is in reaction to Google’s plans to create an X telephone; thinking about that Google posted its declaration first, I might no longer be amazed if Samsung’s selection to press forward has something to do with Google’s preference to rule Android (and Samsung’s desire to rule Tizen).


Now, LG has advanced and made the equal pass as Google: determining to put its very own paintings ahead of the partnership among itself and Google. LG’s pass can also be a political reaction to Google’s X telephone assertion: given that Google is moving ahead with its very own cellphone, LG seems to do the identical. Unlike Google or Samsung but, it no longer has the monetary sources to preserve generating one line of smartphones even as working on a new line, so it has determined to tug its resources together and start on some other phone (past the LG Optimus G and Nexus 4). What this says to the client is the following: “whilst LG and Google produced a first-class smartphone collectively, not anything topics more than our own cell phone line and organization called. If left to pick out between our telephones and a partnership cellphone, the companion phone challenge may be the primary to head.” This does no longer bode properly for a corporation that, until the Optimus G and Nexus four, became unknown for its cellphone collections.

With Google’s flow to create a one hundred% Google phone, Samsung’s move to have its personal independent Tizen OS, and LG’s withdrawal from its Google project to pursue its very own line, we have the start of what’s referred to as “the fragmentation of Android.” This curious assertion refers to the breakdown of a unified OS, a group of cellphone and software program manufacturers who, once unified, are determined to head their personal separate ways and create their own Android flavors that stick out from the relaxation. The fragmentation of Android refers to the breakdown of a unified OS into person businesses and their tech achievements. In other phrases, businesses that once said, “it is approximately we” (a couple of producers) will now say “It’s approximately me” (our one enterprise)!

This mindset, lamentably, will show detrimental to Android as a whole. Android has grown to be a hit thru no longer simplest its cohesion, however also its diversity. The variety of the Android atmosphere, operating together with the settlement of its hardware producers, has stored the running device collectively – even though the times while it struggled to compete with Apple’s iOS. There is team spirit in variety and diversity in unity, and these concepts have made Android what it’s far today. Unfortunately, Android producers are beginning to agree that there can be no variety in team spirit (handiest in the department); this mindset will allow Apple to divide and overcome its method to remain on pinnacle within the phone international.

Apple has made its success happen with a dictatorial, special approach. The organization produces its personal OS and keeps stern control over its companies and plans. It does the whole lot for itself, and simplest does what it wants to do. Samsung had already shown in 2012, whilst it beat Apple within the closing sector ($8.3 billion vs. Apple’s $eight.2 billion), working with Google has been a successful challenge, as opposed to going on the tech industry by myself. Now that Samsung has verified that “there may be no ‘I’ in ‘crew,'” Android manufacturers must do what they can maintain to push their economic earnings above that of Apple. This yr, but, Android producers are starting to think that they can accomplish extra on their own than they can in collaboration with others. This is a dangerous attitude, a good way to most effectively depart a route of destruction in the back of. The fact is in the sales: If consumers are compelled to choose between organizations in place of operating systems, Google and Samsung will rack up income while businesses consisting of HTC, LG, and other lesser-regarded names will lose within the smartphone warfare.


Englishman John Donne once wrote the statement, “No man is an island”; if that is real, Donne’s phrases could not be truer than in the current Android situations. Android’s achievement has come via its collaboration and innovation – a mixture rather than isolation. Take away one of the two elements of the equation, and the Android “I-land” will become nothing in any respect.

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