Android Versions Visualized In Graphs By Google [STATISTICS]


You’ve got an old version of Android and you’re dying to have that crucial upgrade beamed down to you. How many others are like you? How many users are running Android 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, or 2.2, and how many have thus far been blessed with Android 2.3? Google answered that question in a couple charts showing the current and historical distribution of Android versions.

Looks like the majority of users are on Android 2.2 which is a great sign and Android 2.1 is in a second place landslide. Just over 10% of users still run Android 1.X. Now take a look at how these numbers have changed over time, since August:

So in August, it looks like less than 5% of Android users had 2.2 while a massive amount had Android 2.1. How would you explain this graph and it’s implications?

For the most part, I’d say this is a good indication that despite all of the complaints about individual devices not getting their updates, carriers and manufacturers are doing a pretty good job as a whole in terms of adopting the newest versions of Android. It’s interesting to point out that most of the new Android 2.2 users probably came from one of two places:

  • Those upgrading from 2.1 to 2.2
  • New users buying 2.2 phones out of the box

While being stuck on 1.X stinks, you can see they’re slowly fading out. I’d bet that a large chunk of this population doesn’t even realize or really care they don’t have the latest update. Still, over 30% of users had 1.X devices in August and now that numbers is around 10%. I’d say that indicates a pretty good push towards new versions.

The other interesting point to note is how numbers can be misleading. A few of examples:

  • The data only counts unique devices that have been to Android Market in the previous 14-days and folks on 1.X who have had their device a long time probably don’t check Android Market as often as people who have recently purchased a phone
  • Similar to above, tech enthusiasts are more likely to have devices with more recent versions and also more likely to check Android Market
  • Perhaps the biggest wrench to throw into all of this is the number of devices. If millions of Android 2.2 phones have been sold recently, it may appear that the historical graph is showing Android Updates when in reality it’s simply showing that lots of new phones with Android 2.2 were sold.

Make of the data what you will. There are a lot of ifs, ands, ors and buts, but I think that in the end this illustrates that manufacturers and carriers should get a little more credit for embracing newer versions of Android.

[Thanks JBart!]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. I’d bet that the swing is not because the older phones have been getting updates, but Android has recently picked up so much steam that the new amount of sold 2.2 devices just makes the 1.x user base look tiny now.

  2. As a side note it’s lovely to be in the lucky 0.8%. Thanks CM.

  3. haha agreed… thanks CM, love the EVO support

  4. I feel like upgrading that ancient POS myTouch 3g(my current device) helped a little in there.

  5. I’m waiting for ice-cream on Samsung or HTC or ZTE. Android kicking arse with all the honeycomb coming in the pipelines. In China Android is everywhere without US spyware installed. Chinese and Koreon flavored ice cream coming to stores by middle year. Androids rocks ask way round.

  6. So… the rule here is *never* to be an early adopter. Bought my HTC phone a year ago on a 2 year plan. Still stuck on 1.6 and no possibility of an upgrade.

    I think Aaron is right; we are the sidelined minority of forgotten fans. Sigh.

  7. I wonder though is it counting the rooted phones?

  8. Pretty sure it is.

  9. I think if we depended just on the carriers and manufacturerthe number of the ones running 1.5 would be higher than this. Thanks to devs we have a small part of the devices running on 1.5 which I hope not to have this year anymore!

  10. BTW, Milestone running 2.3 thanks to Edgard and Shadowmod BR

  11. I am still using a G1 so 1.6. I think i make up that whole 10% because i am in the market non stop just to kill time. Yes a lot of wasted time lol. Root is to slow with CM6 so one day new phone.

  12. Nathan, I rooted my G1 to the latest CM6 back in August. I saw no slow down, just an increase in features! When did you last try?

  13. Most likely the majority of the 1.5 users are those with Motorola Cliq XT’s who just found out yesterday that Motorola has forever abandoned them to 1.5. The promise of upgrading to android 2.1 was apparently worth the same as Samsung’s promise to upgrade the behold 2, which was worth nothing.

    I guess that blur crap finally caught up with moto as they could not get the cliq xt to work with 2.1 and blur. Hope the market at least supports apps for these people until their contracts run out.

  14. “The data only counts unique devices that have been to Android Market in the previous 14-days and folks on 1.X who have had their device a long time probably don’t check Android Market as often as people who have recently purchased a phone.”


  15. Hey Google! Nexus One owner here who does not want to root. Has it been more than “a few weeks” yet? I’m hungry for Gingerbread.

  16. Thanks to root and Team Whiskey i’ve been apart of the 2.2 crowd for a while now. Just waiting on some of that 2.3 action on my Vibrant

  17. Wow I am running honeycomb I would have thought by now more than a fraction of a percent were running it. Go cyanogenmod! Oh and if yourlooking for a sick theme check out Rover for cm7 the transitions and fly outs are amazing.

  18. I am running AOSP 2.1 on a Moto Quench (international Cliq XT) since 2 months now without any issues. So if Motorola with its thousands of engineers cannot put 2.1 on a Cliq XT because of BLUR (Yesterday they give up)and said that 1.5 is the best for this phone I WILL NEVER BUY A MOTOROLA AGAIN. BIG FAIL. 2.1 runs flawlessly in this Phone and Blur 1.5 has many many bugs that Moto never solved…

  19. Would you Cliq XT people just stop. I’ll bet over 50% of you got your phone free anyway with a promotion of some sort. Just give it a rest, and upgrade to a better phone when you get the chance. You’ll be happier with newer hardware anyway.


  20. “The data only counts unique devices that have been to Android Market in the previous 14-days and folks on 1.X who have had their device a long time probably don’t check Android Market as often as people who have recently purchased a phone.”

    When I had my aging G1 I pretty much had a set of apps and didn’t change them around or look for new ones all that often. But Every week or two I would get app updates that required me to go into the market to update them. I’m willing to bet this is also the case for many users still running 1.5/1.6.

  21. I just want to warn all users to not get Samsung android phones as they seem to only support their “newest” phones with updates, anyone who doesn’t buy one of their 3 most recent models will not be getting updates. which means if your phone is a year old you are SOL.

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