It's that time of month again: Android's platform distribution numbers are up for the period ending September 1, and things are looking pretty good. Android 2.1 is up to nearly 41.7% of the market, and 2.2 checks in at 28.7% - between the two, 70% of Android phones are running 2.1 or better.


Android 1.5 and 1.6 still measure at a combined 29.5% of all devices. Obviously, any number above 0 isn't good, but as long as the rate is dropping, we'll take it.


In early August, we found some data from Chitika which suggested that fragmentation is worse in iOS than Android. Given the continued consolidation of Android, it's not surprising to see that iOS fragmentation is still substantially worse than that of Android.


Interesting stuff indeed, although the mandatory disclaimer: the Chitika data is a sample, whereas the Android data is from the population.

Thoughts? Sound off below.

[Source: Android Developers, Chitika]

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • godsfilth

    iOS fragmentation is most likely due to the fact that ipod touch users (3.1.3) have to pay for upgrades to significant versions where as the iphone is a free upgrade. also there is no 4.x update for the ipad its still 3.2.x. in other words apple is a greedy company and screwing over its customer base royally in an attempt to get everyone on the iphone

    • momo

      @ godsfilth --Your conspiracy theory is ill-informed. The paid upgrades are due to US financial regulations regarding products that are either subscription based or non-subscription based. Google it.

      • dave

        bullshit. i don't pay for updates to plenty of things that are subscription based and i don't pay for updates to plenty of things that are not subscription based. what the hell are you talking about?

      • http://blog.iangclifton.com Ian G. Clifton

        Apple announced at WWDC 2010 in June that iOS upgrades for iPod Touch would be free.

  • Andrew

    I think the so called "fragmentation" is a result of people not updating their idevices whatever the reason. They have the os to upgrade to. Whereas android if your on a specific device the carrier or manufacturer has not actually released the os. For example someone on a 3GS maybe on 4.01 cause they don't want to lose jailbreak, but the G1 they are stuck on 1.6 because they can't go to 2.1 or 2.2 cause it's not available

    • http://blog.iangclifton.com Ian G. Clifton

      I would think a user who is willing to jailbreak a device would also be willing to change ROMs on the phone, in which case you can run 2.2 on the G1.

      • Ravrahn

        In his example the iPhone was jailbroken. You can't jailbreak 4.0.1 AFAIK.
        In Android it's called rooting, and I don't think the example G1 owner had rooted, otherwise they would definitely be running CM6.

  • Dano

    Here's a thought - Maybe iOS users don't upgrade because their devices just work exactly the way they want them to?

    Why upgrade just because? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    It think this just proves that Apple's iOS is extremely polished (no matter what version) compared to Android.

    • k0zmic

      Good point. I doubt some iOS arent even aware updates for their device exist

      • Assid

        maybe they feel it isnt broken, because apple told them the bug they faced is a feature and that no such bug exists, and like herds of sheep they blindly followed it.

    • Sean

      The point is that Apple blogs constantly point at Android and laugh for many silly reasons, one of the more consistent ones being this so called "fragmentation". Regardless of WHY that fragmentation exists on either side (Android or iOS), the point is that it is WORSE on iOS, but no Apple blog would ever admit to such a thing. Make sense?

      • jerome

        Fragmentation only matters if Applications don't work. The IOS API is very stable but Android has only had a stable API since 2.1 and but the real problem is the various Skins, Sense UI, Touch Wiz etc. which isn't covered by this survey. These skins while great in themselves cause the general experience to be fragmented and do stop particular applications from working. Add to this the different screen sizes on android phones and you have a potentially huge problem for developers.

        • http://blog.iangclifton.com Ian G. Clifton

          What do you consider a requirement for API stability? Android apps written against the 1.5 SDK will run (even better) on 2.2. Can you give a specific example?

          Apple makes changes to their API as well, but with the arbitrary sense of what is "private" and what is not. For instance, they made UIGetScreenImage available to devs for several months and then started rejecting apps for using it, encouraging people to use AVCaptureVideoPreviewLayer, yet that's only available on iOS 4... an OS version that's not available on the original iPhone or the iPad (yet). That hardly seems stable to me.

      • Dano

        Hey man - THIS site is more guilty of that than any Apple blog!

        If you go over to Androidcentral.com, they just report the numbers -- minus the iOS hate...

        If may be WORSE on iOS but, nobody gives a crap! (except for THIS site!)

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          We like to throw a bit of personality into our posts. That is what differentiates AP from other sites.

        • Dano

          "We like to throw a bit of personality into our posts. That is what differentiates AP from other sites."

          --Do it too often and it begins to seem like AP feels threatened by iOS....

        • Aaron Gingrich

          iOS hate? I've said many times that I have a lot of respect for Apple (including in my "Why Apple Will Win The Smartphone War" editorial...) and I think they make great products. I've purchased 4 iPods over the years (including a new shuffle about 2 months ago). There is no "hate" in this article.

          The issue was that everyone made a huge deal about Android fragmentation a few months back, and nobody looked at Apple. Honestly, I see it as the opposite: we're simply trying to even things out by pointing out that the Apple numbers are arguably worse than the Android numbers.

          Since you seem to think we hate on Apple all the time, could you give me a few examples of what articles you mean?

    • ari-free

      dano get out of your fantasy lala land. Many people jailbreak their iphones to get missing features from Cydia.

  • KS

    Apple iOS users are convinced that their product are nearly perfect that an upgrade is almost considered a downgrade for their device

  • Aaron Gingrich

    Wow guys, I'm lovin' the comments and replies on this one. Every comment I went to reply to already had one saying exactly what I wanted to say.

  • NYC_dave

    You folks seem to forget that for most people not on iPhone 4, iOS 4.x is making their devices slows as molasses. Good if you're on an iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, but not so good on anything else.

    Me for example, i have a 2nd Gen iPod Touch on 3.1.3 and it works just fine for what i mainly use it for, music and video. A friend of mine wrongheadedly went ahead and put 4.0 on his iPhone 3G and it crawled like a tortoise. We had to "downgrade" back to 3.x.

    At least older Android devices can handle Android 2.1, even the 2yr old G1.

  • bunnyhero

    iOS 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 should be combined into one: they only differ by bugfix release, not API change. same with 4.0/4.0.1.

    • Pete2kh


      And each Andriod version should be further broken up into its various incompatible skins.

  • Keefers

    F### apple. In one year they will be in the rear view mirror. Steve jobs and tony romo will retire and start a family. Don't worry,... be happy.

    • Dano

      Dream on! Once Apple gets out of their stupid contract with AT&T and start making either Verizon or Sprint iPhones, try to guess how many more of 'em will sell?

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        I'm with Dano here. And frankly, Android need Apple for innovation. I always say Apple is the best thing that ever happened to Android.

  • jr

    i have a question why aintn there apps like apples on android there alot of cool games on apple but not on android why is that?

    • Pete2kh

      because Apple is closed?