The biggest problem we can see with Android itself in the near future (and, in some cases, now) is fragmentation. Google’s rapid development and update schedule makes it hard for manufacturers – especially those who’ve developed their own custom Android skin and framework – to keep up.
While they continue to hammer away at the issue which they’re hoping gets closer and closer to being solved with Flan and Gingerbread, Google decided to give us a little update on the state of the matter. Looking at the deliciously-green pie chart, there’s still a pretty evenly-balanced amount of devices with different firmwares sitting out there. 2.1 adoption has risen, 1.6 usage has fallen, and it looks like 2.0.1 is all but dying (while 1.1, of course, is completely dead).
There are still a huge number of 1.5 handsets out there, though, that make up for a good amount of users. It’s going to take one hell of a finish to bring most people up to the latest and greatest version of Android if these numbers are any indication of overall platform usage (it should be noted that this data was taken during the 2 weeks ending April 12th, 2010 and only accounts for phones that have accessed the Android market during that time).
So there you have it. I find it hard to imagine there could be people out there who don’t access the market at least once in a 2 week period – especially considering the need to update apps over time – so it’s my assumption that this is the most reliable data that we can get and that Google can provide.
[Source: Android Developers Platform Versions]