Android manufacturers may start following Amazon’s lead

Though Android fans like to downplay the problem, platform fragmentation remains a huge problem that manifests itself in a myriad of ways. Whether it means that your brand new Android device isn’t up to snuff to play the latest game or take advantage of the latest Android update, or that the user experience varies wildly from device to device, the continued success of Android has the simultaneous affect of increasing the fragmentation woes faced by users.

To this end, the MIT Technology Review is reporting that a number of hardware manufacturers are taking a closer look at what Amazon did with Android, namely fork it and come up with their own concoction, thereby negating their blind allegiance to Google’s requirements.

Ted Morgan, CEO of Skyhook Wireless, has a unique window onto this phenomenon, because his company provides geolocation services for these yet-to-be-announced devices.

“I’m spending a lot of time with companies forking Android,” says Morgan. “Nobody wants to just be a manufacturer for Google. You see that with what Amazon has done, where they made it their own, and you also see a whole host of manufacturers taking Android down their own path.”

Meanwhile, Google CEO Larry Page recently noted that total Android activations are up to about 865,000 a day. Not too shabby, but it’s quite telling that less than 3% of current Android handsets are currently running Ice Cream Sandwich.


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