There’s nothing iPhone fans like to throw at Android users more than the good old fragmentation argument. With so many manufacturers using the open-source Android operating system and building their own hardware as they see fit, the issue of a fragmented development environment has been thrown at Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) on a regular basis. The whole thing is a storm in a teacup, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit, Schmidt told his audience that Android is in fact not fragmented at all, and is using a ‘carrot on a stick’ approach in order to keep phone manufacturers in check and points to the fact that apps on the Android Market work across phones. Schmidt seems to have forgotten that not all devices sport the same resolution or screen size, and many don’t have hardware keyboards. All things software developers like to know before coding their apps.
The whole fragmentation discussion was re-opened recently by movie streaming giant Netflix. With Android being the only major smartphone OS to not currently have a Netflix app, the company pointed its finger squarely at Google’s Android, saying that DRM fragmentation is in fact to blame. To get an app on the Market, Netflix would need to negotiate individual DRM details with each manufacturer, which adds complications to the whole process that just aren’t there with Apple’s iOS or even Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.
So has Eric Schmidt done enough to silence all the Android detractors once and for all? No, not quite.