Fragmentation, in our context, is when an application splits into many different versions or branches.
As an example, Google’s Android is constantly accused if being heavily fragmented, which detracts from the user experience. Android, and many different versions of it, are installed on literally hundreds of different devices. The large number of variations does present problems for development, carrier software releases, Android developers, and to a small extent end-users.
The actual significance, or the effect of of Android fragmentation on the end-user, is highly debatable. This author doesn’t believe it’s a big deal. Users can do 99.9% of what they need to do no matter what version is installed on what device. Most people just browse the web, check e-mail, the basics. This is easily accomplished across all releases of Android.