Android version distribution history – December 2013 – 2015

Second and final update of the year of my 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: December 2013 to December 2015 and it’s the first one with data on Android Marshmallow 6.0.

Android version distribution raw data

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 displayed):

Android Distribution History December 2013 - 2015 - raw data

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 represent a growing distribution share.

I should probably point out that since August 2013 this data is gathered from the new Google Play Store app, which supports Android 2.2 and above, devices running older versions are not included, but at that time they accounted for about 1% of devices that checked in to Google servers which probably means now they represent less than 0.1% of the Android market.

Android version distribution highlights

This is a summary of what happened in the Android ecosystem this year:

  • Version 2.2 (Froyo) slowly disappearing, but now it seems to be stable on a 0.2% market share.
  • Version 2.3.3 – 2.3.7 (Gingerbread) keeps losing share, but at a very slow pace, that’s probably due to all the old low-end Android devices still using it.
  • Version 4.0.3 – 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) keep having a lower market share than Gingerbread and will probably disappear faster than it.
  • Version 4.1 (Jelly Bean) keeps losing market share at a stable rate (about 1% each month).
  • Version 4.2 (Jelly Bean) is starting to decline faster, at a similar rate than 4.1 even if it still holds a slightly bigger market share.
  • Version 4.3 (Jelly Bean) is now slowly disappearing in a similar fashion as Ice Cream Sandwich.
  • Version 4.4 (KitKat) started to lose market share in May this year and it’s constantly losing at least 1% per month, but it’s still the most used version of Android and it will be so for a long time.
  • Version 5.0 (Lollipop) after a fast growth the first few months has now stabilized around the 16% mark and further growth is unlikely due to the release of 5.1.
  • Version 5.1 (Lollipop) is showing a fast growth and will probably end up consuming most of the 5.0 userbase.
  • Version 6.0 (Mashmallow) was released in October and hit the charts for the first time in November 2015, but after 2 months has not passed the 1% mark yet.

The big players of Android version distribution

To have a better visual understanding of the data I have also created a graph of the evolution of the 8 main versions over the past 2 years. These are the Android versions with more than 1% of market share which overall cover 99.3% of the current Android market.

Android Distribution History December 2013 - 2015 - graph

The left axis represents the distribution percentage of a version respect the whole market, whereas the horizontal one is the time.

Overall Kit Kat is still the most used Android version with a 36.6% of market share, but it has dropped 4.8 points in the last 7 months and it’s likely it will lose more market next year especially to Lollipop.

Previous Android version distribution history

If you are interested in older periods than the one considered in this post you can check the previous posts of this series:

Conclusion

The next update will probably be in 3 or 6 months, so keep an eye on the blog for more.

For any question or suggestion leave a comment below.

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