KitKat running on almost 25% of Android devices according to distribution numbers for September


Android Platform Versions Sept 2014

We like to think of it as a little “state of Android” snippet and today, Google has updated their official Android Platform Distribution numbers for the month of September. Although it’s not much, KitKat is now running on almost a quarter of all active Android devices, well, the ones that have recently made contact with the Google Play Store in the past week.

What’s interesting is Jelly Bean took a slight dip, dropping from 54.2% last month to 53.8% this month. This is likely due to Android devices finally receiving their KitKat updates, and we’d imagine we’ll start seeing that number drop even further as more older flagships receive KitKat. Still hanging in is Ice Cream Sandwich at 9.6%, Gingerbread at 11.4% and Froyo (yes, someone out there is still actively using an Android 2.2 device) at .7%.

As Android L looms on the horizon, we don’t imagine we’ll see the numbers change dramatically before then. The only time we see a major shift in the numbers is when flagship devices launch with the latest Android version, and all those launched earlier this year (but there’s still a few more on the horizon). While someone could paint these numbers as embarrassing when compared to iOS, it would be like comparing apples to oranges. Android runs on a variety of hardware, ranging from low (rarely sees Android updates) to high-end (usually more up to date). If Apple’s flagship device is the iPhone, then comparing it to something like the Nexus or even flagship devices from HTC or Samsung would be much more fitting.

For those curious to see last months stats, you can check them out here.

[Android Developers]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I understand what you’re saying about comparing apples to oranges, but it is still embarrassing. If Google wanted to put their foot down and make the carriers rollout the updates in a timely manner I’m sure they could.

    1. I feel like they tried that with vz and got spanked (with toro at least)

  2. Like i say every month, try a gingerbread phone, you can use 90%+ of apps I’d say. Mostly os upgrades just allow you to use new hardware features, and thus have no real benefit on older devices. Sidenote- is this the first time more than 75% of users were on last 2 desserts?

    1. yeah but all it takes is not being able to get 1 or 2 major apps to have you completely rethink your phone purchase.

      1. What apps can’t you use on an older android software that don’t require newer hardware to run anyways? I know there are a couple but really not many.

        1. Off the top of my head just instagram and something else thats quite popular with the kids these days. I also could be mistaken but i think apex and nova launcher require 4.0 as well.

          1. I think you could probably side load an older version of Instagram or most other apps. Just found the apk for version 5.2.1 says it will run on Android 2.2.

          2. well yeah but i’m referring to the general consumer. They aren’t really going to be side loading anything.

          3. Yeah the general consumer is not very tech savvy but aren’t most of them using the iphone anyways lol

          4. for most part, but i pulled a couple to the dark side. My mom has a gs5 and my little brother has a moto g, gave my cousin my old nexus 4, and one of my uncles has a note. I’m doing my best lol.

          5. I’m trying to get my Girlfriend’s parents to switch. Her sister and brother-in-law switched because their teenage son has hung out with me. I think he talked them into it. I think they all have the S4. I’m not even going to try to get my grandparents to switch they are in there late 70’s. I think it too late for them.

          6. You don’t have to sideload, google play allows you to load the most recent version still compatible w/ your OS, and many apps continue to receive updates just with incompatible features disabled in a forked version. Developers theoretically could pull old versions/discontinue support for older OSes but there really isn’t a reason for most apps to do that. Have you ever noticed when you are on a computer viewing play.google.com, itll say size varies for this app? Thats because different OSes get different versions of that same app.

    2. I used a GB phone for three months besides a KitKat phone, I missed having chrome loved having flash

  3. If history is any indication, most of us android smartphone users won’t get current or future android updates from our phone manufacturers. The data needs to differentiate between XDA custom ROM(which is excellent in addition functionality but hardly stable) install and phone manufacturers supplied/installed Stock ROM ? Than you will know that the real kitkat stock update from phone manufacturers is very low. My LG Optimus G AT&T is waiting over a year for the kitkat update and I bet that will never happen. Jump the android ship and embrace IOS with large screen iPhone 6. You will be happy knowing that ios updates come fast and for older version iphones without boat load of crapware and malware.

    1. Yes because nexus devices are bloated. Android often comes with malware preinstalled. You bought a carrier branded device, you won’t get great updates on it.
      Nexus 4 should still get L at most.

      1. This FUD, paid for courtesy of Microsoft.
        Absolutely nothing you wrote is true.

        1. What is FUD? Everyone knows I am very pro android.

    2. This FUD, paid for courtesy of Apple. You should have bought a Nexus, or a Moto X if all you cared about was updates. How much did Apple pay you for this FUD?

  4. Froyo needs to die.

  5. This is why we need “Updates” out of Carrier’s hands. Tell Verizon they need to SHARE their CDMA code and google can include it for those devices.

  6. Fragmentation has a lot to do with people holding on to older devices.. thats why you see froyo and gingerbread still on this list.

    Carrier interference is a problem.. but those really old OSes are people who refuse to get a new device till the screen finally burns out lol

  7. I believe android user would be ok with fragmentation long as within say 3 monhs of google android release, phone manufacturers release on their last 3 versions of phones. For example, Samsung must release android “L” for Galaxy S5,S4, and S3 within 3 months of google release of android “L”. If carriers don’t want to agree to abise the schedule than phone manufacturers go straight and release stock version on their web site(if not over the air) for you to download and install. Is that rocket science to follow ?

  8. What is the total number of android devices represented by the pie chart?

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