Android 5.0 Lollipop is still on less than 0.1% of all Android devices, but how long will that last?


android platform distribution december

Google has released the latest platform distribution numbers for Android, a periodic report that gives developers an idea of what they should be targeting when developing their apps. The biggest takeaway for the 7-day period ending December 1st? Android 5.0 Lollipop isn’t even represented on the chart. Google doesn’t show platforms which account for less than 0.1% of the total install base, which means Android 5.0 Lollipop hasn’t yet made a meaningful dent in adoption rates.

But that’s not to sound doom and gloomy — Lollipop is still relatively new, with most folks only getting a taste if they have a Nexus or Google Play Edition phone. That, or be one of the happy campers who bought Motorola’s latest phones. New platforms always take a few months to get off the ground and into many of the popular handsets so this shouldn’t be alarming anyone at the current juncture. KitKat didn’t have a hot start either, but it went on to command a 33.9% of the share as of yesterday.

All of that is to say that the lack of Lollipop isn’t something to be worried about. It will come, and it will be a glorious time when it does. For now, just sit tight and enjoy KitKat (it’s always getting new features at a frequent pace thanks to Google Play Services).

The rest of the numbers lay out as you’d expect them to. Alongside the aforementioned KitKat and Lollipop percentages, Jelly Bean combines for a whopping 48.7% of the share, Ice Cream Sandwich is still alive and well at 7.8%, and Gingerbread unfortunately still lingers around with a pretty good chunk at 9.1%.

[via Google]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. That is very sad. No wonder people choose ios. I am an android fan all the way but I am also a technology fan also. As of now android is the only mobile os that does what I want but ios and apple are doing things right when it comes to updates. Unfortunately due to androids openness this will continue to happen.

    1. Why does it matter to you?

      1. What does what matter to me? Don’t understand your question.

        1. Well you said “This is very sad”.


          1. I said it’s sad because android is great but because of how it’s marketed and handled I know several people who choose ios or iPhone because of that. I try to explain to them all the features of android on my phone and they just can’t get over their iPhone. It was just an observation.

        2. Well most of us here are running either Lolipop or Kitkat so fragmentation doesn’t concern us. In fact I have five devices running Lollipop right now – Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Moto X 2014, Nexus 7 2013 and the Nvidia Shield Tablet.

    2. So for updates sake, you would rather update iOS just to have the latest iOS, which an older model iPhone can’t use new iOS features and make your phone slow as snails? It’s not sad, like you said, it’s the openness. Plus, new APIs are being pushed through Google Play Services instead of through entire OS updates.

      1. Nope, I said “people” choose ios because of this. It’s just the way apple markets their product, they do a good job. Doesn’t mean its good but that’s the way it is. I also said I love technology or am a fan of it and I try all phones and you are right that on older model iphones it does slow it down but that was on the 4s. On the newer iphones it actually works ok. I still prefer android but I’m not getting into a fight on which is better or what does what. I look at the pros and cons of everything and decide then. So far android always comes out on top.

    3. Why do you think this is a problem?
      Fragmentation is a meme the Apple users made up to try and score a point. What difference is there, one that really matters, whether you are using Lollipop, KitKat or JellyBean?

      1. Fragmentation is not really an issue in most cases but when updates like security patches are only available with a newer update then it becomes a problem. For me its not an issue since I try to get a new phone every 2 years and most of my phones are rooted so i can do things you normally can’t. I was just stating something that I see happening a lot.

    4. Most people couldn’t tell you what version of Android their phone is running much less care. Fragmentation is not an issue for them.

      1. That is very true. I guess it’s different for me since I’m constantly trying new phones. But this is one reason why people complain about android, when they buy a low end $50 android phone and expect it to work like a high end android phone. I guess in the end it’s all about researching for yourself.

        1. If someone is complaining about their low end phone not performing like a high end phone they’re an idiot. Buy a high end phone if you want a phone that performs like a high end phone.

          1. That is true. But the issue is that many android phones are sold like a they are going to be great phones and just because it runs android they think they all run the same. Unfortunately the market is flooded with these. I saw this all the time when I worked with Verizon and I still see it when a friend or co-worker asks me a question about a specific phone. Most consumers just don’t know.

          2. But it would be kin to bitching about a 3GS running poorly. Its not a factor of is updates but crap (as in dated) hardware. Its only not an issue because apple only sells expensive phones, if you get an expensive phone you still get a great experience on android.

            Or buy a relatively cheap n5 and get that expensive phone experience.

          3. The thing is, that most people who buy an iphone, because it is so expensive will use their subsidized pricing option or finance it so most of the time they will have a newer iphone.
            But I do agree with you about the android experience and buying an expensive phone or buying an affordable phone like ‘nexus’. My wife had the iphone 4 way back when and then she used an s3 while I did something with her iphone for some reason and she never went back to iphone. The bad thing is that nexus phones are no longer affordable like the the nexus 5. Either way, with lollipop and kitkat more phones will work better no matter what they are, like the moto x or moto g.

  2. I have the update ready for my G3, but I haven’t installed it yet. I have to unroot to get it, and I’m waiting to know that I can get root back afterwards.

  3. This monthly discussion misses all sorts of nuance. I have an old gingerbread phone that we run a white noise app on for my baby overnight and during naps. It checks into the play store for updates, it’s part of the “unfortunate” 9%…do we think it would be better if I threw that phone in the trash?

    Do phone manufacturers update their devices too slowly? Yeah, but this chart isn’t just about that, it’s also a testament to the durability and longevity of devices. Not everyone wants to or can upgrade every 18 months, and the fact that their device still works as it did when they bought it is a GOOD thing. And plenty of us repurpose out old phones, which is ALSO a good thing.

    If android is at least partially about choice, some of those choices will result in older OSes in the wild, and that’s OK.

    1. my droid 3 still backs me up with gingerbread sweetness, I know a girl still rocking the LG esteem, some government phones are old boost devices using GB

    2. I agree with you. My sister is still using a HTC chacha and doesn’t plan on buying a new device as long as it works. At the moment I have a Nexus 5 and plan to use it till it stops working. What’s the point in buying a new device if the old one is still working fine?

    3. I’ve repurposed a Gingerbread phone as a spare wifi appliance. It didn’t stop being a great device and fun to use just because there are later Android versions. It’s still easier to use than the latest iPhone and has more features in areas I care about for its use. Updates, schmupdates, if something is getting the job done and it’s not broken, don’t fix it. We used to need to update, Android was missing basic features. Everything now is either for security or enhancements. If you care about security, root and get the bugs fixed faster. I buy phones for the hardware features, if they work, updates are gravy.

      I won’t run Windows 8 at gunpoint either. I far prefer Windows 7. I skipped Vista because XP SP2 wasn’t broken. I’m not updating to the latest OS X either.

  4. It would be a bigger percentage if Google updated the nexus 7 2013 version!
    I cannot believe that the nvidia shield tablet got android L before nexus 7. It’s almost like last year when moto X got the 4.4 before the nexus 4. I am slowly losing faith in the nexus brand.
    I do realize that I could root and install the OS myself, but Google have stated that they will update the nexus 7. Therefore I want them to keep their promise and update the tablet.

    1. sorry to make you more angry but man my N7 got its lollipop update about 2 weeks ago, even my gf N5 got it about 3 days before my N7.

      if you are in an android site you should be able to sideload the damn rom

      1. Knowing that some have the gotten the update is good news. I know I can sideload it, but I am afraid that I’ll break the tablet. Yes, I am that useless with ROM’s.

        1. You’re not gonna ‘break’ the tablet. I loaded the ROM image the 1st day it hit Google’s servers. Waiting for the OTA on a Nexus is kind of defeating the point to owning a Nexus.

          Just use the Nexus Root Toolkit (by WugFresh), and follow the instructions. It’s dead simple.

    2. Glad to hear I’m not the only one. It’s a bit shocking as to how slow they do this.

    3. I have been complaining about not having it on my N7 all month so I sided it today. Video playback is bricked, DO NOT load!

  5. My Sony Z Ultra GPe just recieved 5.0, happy about that.

  6. As google presented Lollipop very early this time, I was hoping that by the time they had the official launch, some phones would receive the update in no-time… It seems to me that Motorola was faster with KitKat…

  7. What’s really amazing is that I’m even running Lollipop on my old Asus Transformer TF101. Wonders never cease.

    1. How’s it run? I’ve got one of those and it runs like crap. Maybe a new romwould make it usable again.

      1. I actually have 2 TF101’s. #1 has the last official Asus ROM on it…4.0.3, I believe? #2 has a Lollipop ROM (Katkiss), which can be found on XDA, of course.

        I haven’t spent much time with #2 since installing Lollipop, but in the limited usage I’ve had, it actually felt significantly more sluggish than #1 (4.0). Moving around the GUI is much slower. Now, I don’t know if that’s because it was still ‘settling in’ (loading apps, getting services setup, etc) or if it’s just because the ROM is in early stages, and needs optimizations. However, other people on XDA have reported that their TF101’s felt fast and fluid w/ Lollipop installed, so YMMV. If you have a TF101 collecting dust, might as well have some fun with it.

    2. I’m also curious how this runs as I still have a TF101. Found this one XDA I take it?

  8. You know what would be nice? Lollipop on my AT&T Moto X 2014 that I’m stuck with. Can’t even unlock the boot loader and run anything custom in it. I literally have to wait. Got it as a present and I didn’t want this version but I got it.

    I guess the only good news is I have Lollipop on my broken Nexus 5 (doesn’t read SIM cards). Sucks so bad.

  9. Lately Google has been handling updates like they do Nexus devices’ sales. If I liked guessing games I’d say they want Nexus devices’ owners to side-load or flash the factory images. Google knows that about 80% of those buying Nexus are not developers but people that don’t like bloats and want quick updates.
    Another thing is Nexus where not as popular ( Nexus 1 & 2) when they where sold at full retail price, I hope that the retail price of the 6th edition will not affect it’s sales or popularity.

  10. Nexus or Moto X, otherwise good luck.

  11. My Nexus 7 (2012) updated and it has rendered the tablet basically useless. Many apps do not work and most close out after some type of use. No warning, just close. Always lags and freezes. It worked perfectly smooth and not a single problem before the update. I bit the bullet and did a factory reset and not a single improvement. I dread updating my phones.

  12. Same, essentially unusable, even on the launcher. There’s a humongous thread on the google product forums about it.

  13. Pretty long probably considering how terrible Lollipoop is.

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