This is the first update of a series of posts dedicated to tracking and analysing the Android version distribution over time. The time frame considered in this update covers the last 2 years of Android: since June 2012 to June 2014.
I published the first edition of this series 7 months ago, it was November 2013 and at that time there were no stats on Android 4.4 KitKat yet. When I wrote that post I was planning to release an update every 3 months, but in that time frame not much changed, so I opted for a 6 months cycle instead and decided to “restart” in the middle of the current year: June 2014.
In this post I’ll be analysing the Android version distribution over the last 7 months, or the year so far, basically. If you’re interested in reading more about the previous months you can read the first post of this series.
The following table contains the data I gathered from the Android developers dashboard in the last two years and shows the distribution share for each Android version (versions with less than 0.1% distribution are not shown):
As you may have noticed, numbers in red are used when a version of Android has lost distribution share (respect the previous month), whereas green numbers show a growing distribution share.
In the last 7 months much happened in the Android ecosystem:
- Version 2.2 dropped below the 1% share and will probably disappear in few months.
- Version 2.3.3 – 2.3.7 keeps losing share, but, according to my projection, it won’t disappear before August 2015.
- Version 3.2 has finally disappeared (again) from the stats, dropping below the 0.1% this month.
- Version 4.0.3 – 4.0.4 keeps going down and will probably disappear before 2.3 or around June 2015.
- Version 4.1 is still leading the Android market, but it started to lose market 6 months ago.
- Version 4.2 keeps gaining market and it’s now the second most used version even if it seems its growth has come to an end.
- Version 4.3 had a temporary decrease the last 2 months, but has restarted to gain share this month.
- Version 4.4 is gaining market fast and this month has passed 4.3 and 4.0 for the first time.
The big players
To have a better visual understanding of the data I’ve also created a graph of the evolution of the 7 main versions over time (including for the last time Android “Froyo” 2.2 as its market share dropped below the 1% threshold this month):
The left axis represents the distribution percentage of a version respect the whole market, whereas the horizontal one is the time.
In conclusion it’s clear that Android KitKat has not delivered yet what many were predicting: a fast growth that would have demolished the market fragmentation. Nevertheless many devices have received an update recently and it wouldn’t surprise me if next month KitKat became the second most used Android version. Time will tell.
The next update of this series will probably be in 6 months, but I may decide to go for 3 months if something interesting happens or if enough people are interested, so if you are, leave a comment and let me know.