Fragmentation and security flaws cause major corporate user to ban Android handsets


Fragmentation – a dirty word in a land filled with Android handsets of all shapes, sizes, and hardware. No matter how anyone spins it, it is still alive and well, and causing irritating issues to both developers and BYOD (bring your own device) companies. If you are unaware of what exactly "fragmentation" is, here's the gist of it – the market is currently saturated with all sorts of Android handsets – old ones, new ones, low-enders, midrangers, and flagships, all having their specific hardware kinks and, more importantly, running different versions of Android. This complicates things for developers, who have to build their apps for many different systems, and for user security, especially since there has been a major flaw found on Android versions below 4.4 KitKat.

Reportedly, it is the security issue that plagues Jelly Bean devices that caused a “major corporate user” to ban any Android handsets from being used by its employers. A representative of the company told iTWire that it just prefers to support iOS 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x handsets, instead of “coping with managing the plethora of android devices and apps”.

It is a fact that there have been malware-infected apps on the Play Store before, and that Jelly Bean is still the most widely distributed Android build. Google did say that it will not be fixing security flaws below 4.4 KitKat, but will leave that up to manufacturers (and we all know how that goes). On the flip side, the company seems to be making an effort to better the quality of content it has on its Play Store, as it has now implemented a new review process for apps, but, unfortunately, the whole fragmentation issue doesn't seem to have an easy fix.

source: iTWire via WMPoweruser; image: Dadaviz

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35 Comments

1. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

That's the beauty of Android.

7. Iodine

Posts: 1478; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Yeah exactly. People are so fragmented they can't even agree on what is the best android phone while Apple users have it clear. It's beautifull how half of android users is on a year old OS, it will only help to crash android down and that can only be good for humanity.

8. seven7dust unregistered

one reason why people buy Apple devices is support , something PA readers seem to forget is a importnt for good user experience it also has a big impact on resale value. more manufacturers should focus on support IMO.

21. sgodsell

Posts: 7195; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

"Fragmentation and security flaws cause major cooperate user to ban Android Handsets". How many corporations are still using WinXP or Windows 7? Shouldn't they ban those OS's since they have way more security holes. I notice one of the sources of this article is WMPoweruser, which endorses WP and Microsoft.

23. engineer-1701d unregistered

i dont understand what this frag is i have a gs3 and i know it hangs up now and again sometimes hard core and it drives me insane but i also know its a 16gb old as s$%t phone and i need a new one {gs6} but i also have 50 plus apps and gear s bt watch and wifi on it and its on sprint, i do have stock kitkat but the network is a huge problem.

10. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Samsung has always made the best android phone for the most part anyway.

12. willard12 unregistered

What exactly are the capabilities or features that exist in the most updated version of iOS 8.x that do not exist on a year old OS? It would seem that the employer could just buy the exact same device, which is exactly what they are doing when purchasing a device running ios.

32. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

No company has a single device. Either due to stock or pricing. A lot of employers buy their android and/or other devices at discount times. So buying their entire stock yet again is futile just to make sure their OS is up to date. I know the accounts i have, range from s2's, BB, Android and WP handsets all bought at different times. These are not small companies, these are companies that can break our system sometimes when loading, in example, Texas Instruments.

16. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

How is crashing down an OS good for humanity? Are you this dimwitted?

20. uggman

Posts: 58; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Apple is just brand name, they make devices with mid to high end specs, put in fancy names for their hardware and software and call it innovation, hey put it this way heart rate monitor its nothing now but when apple puts it con their devices and change its name to somethin else, then it will become a thing, hey they might sue samsung for using HRM, even if they used it firs, thats apple and please dont get me started on FPS, the 2011 motorola atrix had that.

33. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

It is not about use, its about the technology behind it. A fps from 5yrs ago will not use the same coding or technology from 5yrs ago. If you think that, here is a bridge.

11. JaneChenLong

Posts: 374; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

So, how many user still using WinXP or Win7 as their PC OS?

22. engineer-1701d unregistered

i want to know what flagship phone still has jb on it, hgahahahahahah if you have below kitkat google should do what apple does and brick the phone with an update force new sales on mid or high phones. also i bet the article is talking about verge banning android devices or apples cupertino hq banning the use of android. lol

2. AlikMalix unregistered

Is the company making all this rokus Apple by any chance? This is really not a story unless you name the company... Who is it?

3. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

They lost credibility when I read this: ITWire notes the average consumer with an Android device must run an antivirus/malware product and pose a risk of infecting corporate networks. More than 98% of mobile malware is written for that platform. This is the biggest nonsense ever. Especially if you have your mobile device management in order, they are absolutely no threat to the corporate network. Also the source is WMPoweruser.. a site for Windows enthousiasts.. hardly an objective source.

24. engineer-1701d unregistered

right thats why we buy the $6000 cisco firewall switch ports just one small part of the network control

31. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Not only that, but 98% of the mobile malware is on Android. Malware doesn't infect others let alone corporate networks. There isn't a virus for Android that can multiply itself and infect other systems.

5. seven7dust unregistered

why would Apple use android devices ? This is prabably a pro iO.S company , maybe they prefer the closed eco system. A lot of people think open source is great , but it has it's issues. I for one would love it if google starts taking more control over Android rather than the hardware manufacturers and carriers. companies from china and Cyanogen should be put in their place.

6. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Its not on the OS but in the apps itself. Several Android apps can snoop personal data without the user knowing it. Also the fact that majority of Android users are using the susceptible OS versions and Google is nowhere fixing the security flaws makes the "unnamed" company think twice of using Android as their choice of OS.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Several iOS apps can snoop personal data too, same goes for Windows apps. If the IT guy of the company in question was a bit capable, he would push an alternative browser using MDM and forbid using the one with security flaws.

25. engineer-1701d unregistered

also key block for any sites and smart packet detection looking for heavy data use on a app thats not supposed to be on.

4. surethom

Posts: 1662; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Hopefully the ban was on work phones & not personnel phones, most Android user would not want to be Forced to a more restrictive software like iOS or Windows phone on a private phone.

9. g2a5b0e unregistered

It's personal, not personnel. A personnel phone is the same thing as a work phone.

34. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I would argue that most android users dont even know its android or if they do they have no clue what version it is....of course both of our 'most' is all opinion and hearsay. Though i do get it tons throughout the day at work (customer not knowing what os it is).

13. Tomfromsouth

Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

Very vague document. Went the source. So the person won't name himself or company. What kind a complaint is that. Unless he names himself it's most probably a nerd who want the latest update and trying to make his cause sound legit.

14. JaneChenLong

Posts: 374; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Maybe that dude name is Joe Belfiore, and the company name is microsoft.

17. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

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18. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

This is from the ITWire piece: "Android Lollipop 5.x was released ‘for general availability’ in November 2014. Why are only 1.4% of Android devices running it?" That's a stupid question to ask. It's only available for devices running stock Android which is primarily Nexus devices. Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony's version of 5.0 is not widely available. If those versions are not available then logic would dictate you can't download them.

26. engineer-1701d unregistered

i would say because most mid and low end phones would not be able to handle 5.0 and crash like iphone 4 trying to run ios8.2

35. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

It's a question because it shows how much more reliant the users are to OEMs and Carriers. Even WP suffers from this, though not to the extent android does. Near 60% of windows users are on 8.1. and i think iOS hit 50% as well with thier forced updates if not higher.

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