Angst could drive Android developers to focus on far fewer mobile OSes

Android developers lose steam over fragmentation, but not just over Android

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Interest in Android dropped from 87 percent to 85 percent since the last quarterly survey; interest in Android tablets fell three percentage points, to 71 percent, after rising 12 percentage points two quarters ago.

Only 52 percent are interested in developing for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the highest-rated individually named Android tablet in the survey.

Conclusion? Developers don't like building apps for half a dozen OSes, half a million form factors and a million-and-a-half apps stores all at the same time. The mobile market is the best game in town right now, though, and keeping up with all the pieces is the price for getting in the game.

Don't expect them to pay it forever. Look for some consolidation – a lot of consolidation – in the number of developers trying to hit more than one or two operating systems, and don't expect a year from now that every Android app will work on every Android device.

A couple of categories each of smartphone and tablet would still fragment the market, but would set expectations more effectively for both developers and customers.

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