Google's a little late with the Android platform distribution numbers this month. It might have something to do with a rather large announcement yesterday, involving a candy bar, a statue, and the announcement of Android 4.4. But the numbers were just posted, so let's have a look at 'em, shall we?

platform distribution Sept

First of all, Android 1.6 and 2.1 have been dropped from active tracking because they don't work with the latest version of the Google Play Store app. According to a note on the Developers page, these two versions accounted for about 1% of devices that checked in to Google Servers, and perhaps even less actually visited the Play Store.

In terms of active users, Jelly Bean got a nice bump in both 4.1 and 4.2 flavors. 4.1 jumped to 36.6% of Android users, a gain of 2.6%, and 4.2 jumped from 6.5% to 8.5% in the last month. All other versions dropped, including a relatively dramatic drop of 2.4% for Gingerbread, finally bringing it under one-third of active users. (Yeesh, that only took two years.) Ice Cream Sandwich dropped less than a point, and Froyo dropped three tenths to 2.4%.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb was flat at .1%, and it looks like Android 4.3 still isn't prevalent enough to break the list. With multiple Samsung devices launching with Android 4.3 in the next month, not to mention updates to existing phones and tablets, we can hope that this will change soon. The Screen Size and Densities chart was also updated, but none of the DPI densities were swayed by more than one half of a percentage point.

Source: Android Developers

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • TylerChappell

    It's nice to see these numbers keep rising.

  • chris125

    Hopefully with 4.4 makes for faster updates

    • cy_n_ic

      Were going to see more and more updates to the google play services and less frequent os updates.

  • Trent

    If only OEMs would have stopped releasing Gingerbread/Froyo devices 1-2 years after 4.0 was released. That's extremely cheap. Even entry-level devices deserve decent software at launch.

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

      Somebody is still releasing Froyo devices? o_0

      • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

        What's funny, there might just be a company doing that... Most likely for a 3rd world country...

        • Thomas’

          These usually don't have access to the Play Store and hence are not counted in this stats.

          • AkhilSood

            Usually would mean majority, and that is not the case. Only around 10% of the countries in the so called third world dont have access to Google Play Services. Rest do.

          • Thomas’

            Good to know.

      • Eric Goh

        The new Proton Suprima S launches with Froyo/Gingerbread. But no Play Store/Google Accounts.

        • Hans Pedersen

          If it doesn't have Play store access it's not counted in these stats.

          • Eric Goh

            Understandable. Phones/tablets with 2.2/2.3? Haven't seen those in a while....

          • wlmeng11

            I have a Droid 1 running 2.3... but Nexus 4 should be arriving tomorrow.

        • Mobile Phones Fan

          So, now we're counting automobiles as 'Android devices'?

          Sheesh. :-p

      • discopig

        Why not?

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

          What's the point? Why yes?

      • Thomas’

        Releasing? Unlikely. But they produced so many of them that stores still selling the remaining stock.

        Picture from Germany:

        • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

          Same thing goes for Spain...you can still get the Galaxy Ace (first one) here with a carrier contract...and Galaxy Y (again, first one)...and I recall seeing a few HTC Wildfire's a couple of months ago...so no surprise Gingerbread is still out there so much

      • http://www.mayura4ever.com/ Mayura De Silva

        Probably the devices left unsold ;)

    • TY

      To be fair, on older hardware 2.3 sometimes runs better than 4.0+.
      If 4.4 indeed would trim down android, this situation may change.

  • lolniggallal

    Maybe with KitKat 4.4 they will be able to get the updates from the Google Play Store dirctly from google. I wish this would happen!

    • mgamerz

      ... That makes no logical sense. How would one be able to know an OS update doesn't break software made by the OEM? Imagine if you homescreen started to crash endlessly.

      • Ryan O’Neill

        Google could change the way OEM skins work. Think about it - when you upgrade to a new Android version, your custom launcher still works perfectly fine. If Google made OEM skins work like that, there would be no problem in upgrading the backbone OS through Google Play Services.

        • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

          The OEM's skins are a little more embedded to the OS vs launchers tho...

        • Skander

          Not possible, something like Touchwiz is deeply, deeply, deeeeply integrated into Android.

          • tyguy829

            well maybe Google will say touchwiz can't work like that anymore if it wants any of the google services...

          • Skander

            Samsung is the Android leader in terms of sales and revenue, it's the company that made Android even popular.
            They can simply switch over to tizen if they want, so no Google isn't stupid to do that.

            To prove this, remember when Acer tried to make their own OS? Google threatened to cut off services etc, Samsung did the same with Tizen and Google can't do shit.

            The term Samsung Galaxy is searched for more than Android, google it.

          • Ramiro Fernandez

            Acer didn't try to make their own OS, they planned to release a phone based on Aliyun. This was banned because it was against the terms of being part of the OHS, as Aliyun was a direct fork of Android, including the ability to run some Android apps.

            Tizen is a completely different OS and there is nothing in the terms of the OHS disallowing manufacturers from running any OS they want (HTC make Windows phones, for example), the only limitation is that they cannot dilute Android by releasing incompatible versions. If Samsung tried to release a forked version of Android they would run against the same problem.

            I don't think Samsung has as much power against Google as many people think. If anyone thinks that Samsung can just leave Android behind and run their own OS they're crazy. Samsung phones are popular but as soon as you take away the million Android apps, even the stupidest consumer will notice.

          • Skander

            Everyone will rush to make their apps for Samsung, if you notice, most POPULAR apps on the playstore use a galaxy for demonstration.
            Many are already available for Tizen (you can create a developer account and get a small peak at what is on the incomplete Tizen store now) It even has cut the rope.

            They won't notice ;)

          • Ramiro Fernandez

            When Tizen phones come out, we'll see what happens. But having a few games does not make a good phone. Galaxy phones are the most popular Android phones but they rely on the Android ecosystem.

            Just because Samsung have a good brand doesn't mean they can replace it with crap and expect it to still sell.

          • Christopher Lee

            You mean, they won't notice until they realize they need to rebuy all their apps/content.

          • Skander

            Happens with people moving from iOS to Android.
            People buy a Galaxy because it's a "The next Galaxy", not because it runs android, you have no idea how many of my friends think Touchwiz is the OS.

            Simple explanation "we're moving the platform and you'll have a new app store" and everyone will rebuy the apps they need.

          • Christopher Lee

            You're massively underestimating the influence that any degree of friction has: and "my friends" is anecdotal evidence at best. The distribution numbers don't show a whole lot of people jumping ship in either direction-- it's mostly new handsets/people joining in the fray.

            Unless, of course, you can put up any actual evidence that a large volume of people (of market significance, not just another anecdote) switch as fluidly as you imply.

          • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

            Please Don't Do Drug , Skander

          • Thomas’

            Even my frickin' toaster has Cut the Rope, this is not a really good example.

            Take a look at how huge Android is and how it is still missing many great games and apps from iOS. You really want to say that Samsung will get to this point while even MS struggles to get developer on its platform?

          • Skander

            Microsoft has no influence or power whatsoever to begin with in the mobile arena.

            Android in 2010 was a mess with barely any apps, the Galaxy S1 was the first device to sell millions and compete with Apple, because of the growing galaxy users, and the growing competition, companies started making apps for Android.

            The same will happen, when you have a huge userbase, it is the app developers interest to make an app available for you, not the opposite.

            I'm not going to argue with you any longer over this, Tizen is near and Android is nearing it's end of relationship with Samsung every year, we'll see where things go ;)

          • Jens Knutson

            There would be nothing "simple" about a switch to Tizen or any other non-Android OS. Samsung still absolutely needs Google. (Remember all those Samsung Bada OS devices? Me neither.)

          • omegavesko

            >They can simply switch over to tizen if they want, so no Google isn't stupid to do that.

            Switch to Tizen and lose the incredible advantage they have because of Google's services on Android. Come on, Samsung isn't stupid.

          • Skander

            Google will be forced to provide the main google services, just link in iOS.

            If you have a big platform, everyone kneels down.

            Not to mention most Google services can have clients from Samsung itself, they can make their own client for YouTube, and they can use Bing Maps instead - until Google kicks in to compete as usual.

            GMail is a mail client so they can make their own.

            See? not so much of a pain if they really really wanted to ditch Android.

          • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

            I think Samsung will go with Tizen before they allow Google to tell them what to do...

        • mgamerz

          That's not even close to how OEMs use the open source code, and there's a huge framework that it depends on. You can't just say 'you can't use it like this' and then say 'oh its open source!'

          • Ionut Costica

            The OS is open source, but Google services aren't. If you're not part of the OHA you can't use them. Android itself doesn't depend on the Google services (case in point: the Kindle tablets), even though it feels kind of crippled without them (and there're a lot of apps that *do* use them)

          • mgamerz

            Your point being?

          • Ionut Costica

            That the OS actually *IS* open source. And actually, you can use it like that, you just lose access to Google services... (IIRC, Amazon never was part of the OHA, and Acer backed down when it was threatened with dismissal from the OHA). And I kind of partially understand Google. Think of the chaos that would come into being if people with a forked, not-quite-compatible version of Android had access to Google Play. Apps would quickly gather enormous amounts of reviews complaining about them not working, even though they're not even *meant* to work on the forked version. And there are tons of other reasons...

          • mgamerz

            Yes but nobody buys non Google services devices except for kindles and some Chinese OEMS. Imagine if Windows automatically updated to the newest OS. Guess what a pain in the ass it would be if your custom oem software stopped working. Do you think the end user is going to have any patience?

        • sweenish

          You've been calling Touchwiz a skin for too long. TW and Sense and whatever else an OEM does is a full-on PORT of Android.

  • Ryan O’Neill

    Can't wait to see KK starting to show up :)

    • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      I like Android 2K better... :) KK looks to much like KKK...

      • cy_n_ic

        Wouldnt it be k2 (k to the second power) not 2k as in 2000

        • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

          I guess, never knew there was a difference...

          • squiddy20

            Please tell me you're 11...
            This is basic math at about the middle school (and maybe even grade school) level...

        • squiddy20

          k^2 or k² :)

  • train234

    wtf is froyo still doing there??

    • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      Most likely on phones that are re-purposed... I have a old LG Optimus V I use for a MP3 player at work... It's running froyo...

      • Leonardo Farage Freitas

        I'm just curious, but what your optimus v has that your current phone doesn't? Why not use your current phone as a mp3 player, storage capacity?

        • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

          There really isn't a real reason... But if the Optimus V gets stolen, I'm not going to care... I also don't believe anybody's going to want to steal it... I also keep my daily drive on my hip... So it' always with me...

          • Leonardo Farage Freitas

            fair enough :P

      • Ashwan

        I have the international version of that phone, the Optimus One. It's only my backup phone now and spends most of its time in a drawer with its battery removed.

        But there's a working build of CM 10.2 (Android 4.3!) for that phone! :)

    • Joshua

      A friend of mine has a hand-me-down Droid that still runs Froyo. I can imagine that there are many people in situations that lead to the use of Froyo.

      • Matt

        My mate has an S2 stuck on Froyo because the only way to update it is with Kies and he (understandably) refuses to install Kies :P

        • Vijay

          I call bullshit, s2 shipped with ginger bread

          • Matt

            Sorry you're right, I meant S1 :P

    • brnpttmn

      Virgin Mobile literally just stopped selling the Motorola Triumph a few months ago. I don't think it probably sold much over the last year since Virgin has gotten some worthwhile phones, but it was the best they had for a couple years (man, that was a terrible phone).

      • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

        The Optimus V came in close second, as far a performance goes... For what it is, I was impressed with that phones performance...

    • Ramiro Fernandez

      Every once in a while I get a brochure from Australia Post, who sell cheap prepaid phones. The majority of them are on Gingerbread, with a few on Froyo. People looking for a cheap prepaid phone (who don't know about the Nexus) will buy them.

  • Boldster

    Breaking reverse-compatibility of 1.6 and 2.1 is a bad omen for a company that's supposed to do no evil. For those of you that weren't born yesterday, the burning-the-bridges tactic with operating systems is sure sign that an code-base is destablizing. It is also another way to screw-the-little-guy in the third-world that may have benefited from old devices, rather than grind them up for scrap metals in some toxic factory. Welcome to the forced-upgrade treadmill...

    • Joshua

      Yes, I, too, see the discontinued support of obsolete software used by a minuscule minority of users as an attempt to screw over the underprivileged who are simply *incapable* of accessing technology that is even the slightest bit more recent. In no way is the assessment of destabilization hyperbolic or sensationalist.

      • louched1

        Indeed. If only there were a newer version of Android available for free to those poor, underprivilaged people in the third world who apparently own or have a need to own smart phones despite living in a third world country. Think of the children!

        • Hans Pedersen

          One KitKat could feed a starving family for a day! At least if it was as big as the one on that Mountain View lawn.

    • shadowx360

      Well, Windows 3.0 isn't support anymore, the Windows NT codebase must be destabilizing! Gotta screw those people in Africa who thought they could run DOS forever and keep getting updates!

    • Ramiro Fernandez

      Where's the broken compatibility? The play store still works, just not the new version. They still have the old version and can still download apps.
      If you're still running Donut then you can't expect to have all the latest goodies, but it's not like your phone stops working.

  • jamaall

    i would think that the new motorola phones will receive updates right away, considering that its almost stock android. But then Verizon comes in... nevermind

  • John Smith

    Just for posterity, I'm going to guess here that Kitkat is not a real update, but exclusively a marketing campaign. There have been no details whatsoever, and everything else about it has been tongue-in-cheek.

    And since they've used 4.4 in this way, they won't be able to use it as an actual update.

    Android 5 will be the next major release after 4.3.

    • Ray

      They are advertising that 4.4 KitKat is on it's way - more then likely with a new Nexus phone.

      I don't understand how marketing it the way they are now has anything to do with the actual release of it. If anything, I think it's excellent marketing - for both companies involved.

      Look at the amount of exposure and publicity it's getting. There are people on my Google+ feed having heaps of fun with the idea.

      • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

        Nokia is even taking swings at Samsung using KitKats give me a break...

        Have a break...
        #Kitkat #Nokia pic.twitter.com/6OuEQIVLLj

        • PolarBear

          You, sir, made my night.

        • Thomas’

          That's quite funny. But of course people got butthurt about this again... sigh.

      • John Smith

        Technically, it's should be here tomorrow, Friday the 6th. At least, that's when the promotion starts (if my sleep deprived brain recalls correctly)

  • Soontobeaandroidhater

    This is crap why are we still waiting for Samsung galaxy S3 android 4.3 update they haven't anything next time i think i get apple because they are doing things for their customers

    • PolarBear

      Apple is a hypocrite company...

    • dextersgenius

      If you care about updates, then seriously, just get a Nexus. For eg, the Nexus S, which is way older than the S3, can run 4.3 just fine. Problem is companies like Samsung bloat up the OS with so much crap that it not only increases the system requirements of a newer OS, it also makes it more harder to port it to an older device.

      • Peter Farac

        You are just regurgitating the line that all of the internet takes on these things. For Samsung to dedicate resources to upgrades it needs to be worth their while. They aren't going to hire 100 new developers so some guy on the internet can say he has Android 4.3, especially when the differences are so small. Porting a touchwiz ROM is no different than porting stock Android. The software is the same, the drivers are different, the same as stock Android.

        If I was Samsung I would also concentrate on getting 4.3 out for my new phones and then worry about old ones next. How is this so difficult to understand?

        • dextersgenius

          Um, except that it's *not* easy to port TouchWiz to a new version of Android.. TouchWiz integrates very deeply with the OS - it's not just a launcher and a skin, you know. At the very basic instance you'd have to recompile all your libs to match the ones included with the OS, and even then you'll have issues due to the API changes. For example, things like Samsung's multi-window takes a lot of effort to port between different versions of Android because of all the modifications Samsung did at the system level.

          Which is why I completely understand why Samsung would rather work on getting 4.3 for newer devices instead of wasting time/resources upgrading older ones - that is not a point of debate at all. I'm only saying that if the USER is really THAT concerned about always having an up to date version of the OS, he should really get a Nexus device. How is this so difficult to understand?

          • Peter Farac

            I'm not talking about adapting touchwiz to a new android version (which of course is an involved process), I'm talking about back porting this to older phones. If Samsung plans to sell a new phone in the future it must work on getting touchwiz to work with the latest version, so that is a given. I spoke about porting a touchwiz 4.3 ROM, rather than making it in the first place.

            But I'm referring more specifically to this throwaway comment "Problem is companies like Samsung bloat up the OS with so much crap that it not only increases the system requirements...". Apart from not being based in reality, the reason I wouldn't buy a nexus device is that they are made with cost reduction as the primary factor which explains all the problems with nexus 4/7/10 we have seen. I might have an old version of android on my note 2, but at least it is stable.

            But I agree, if you absolutely must have the latest for some reason, Nexus is the way to go. Just don't expect a perfect experience.

    • omegavesko

      Jesus Christ man, calm down. It's been what, a month?

  • Ryan

    Notice they only collect over 7 days now instead of 14 as before.

  • Anita khan

    Android, Android and Android......:)

  • Cristi

    So Nexus not even 1%. That makes me sad.

    • http://about.me/sarmedsiddique Sarmed Siddique


      • Sam Hollis

        4.3 didn't show up, which means that Nexus devices aren't even 1%.

    • Thomas’

      It's hard to believe that millions of Nexus 4, 7, 10 and Galaxy Nexus are less than 0.1%. Android is popular, but not *that* extremely.

      I think this has other reasons. I just don't know which.

  • http://goodkidsmovies.com/ Zola Cfc

    Hopefully with 4.4 makes for faster updates


  • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

    Heh, at this point I feel special for having 4.3 since the release date. :P I really don't get why Nexus devices are still so rare.

    • Jay T

      I wonder if they didn't actually show the 4.3 installs, and showed it as 4.2, since they couldn't count it for the whole month. Usually all the Nexus devices in the world push about 1% straight away.

  • Hal Motley

    Gingerbread is finally dying now, in my eyes.

  • Simon Belmont

    Fare thee well, Android 1.6 and Android 2.1! But I have to say it's nice to see Android 4.x making up almost 70% of the Android ecosystem now.

    Gingerbread was a great release, don't get me wrong, but I'm glad that it's finally winding down in user share. My venerable Sprint HTC Hero still runs it well, though!

  • Matthew Fry

    Wow. Pretty soon that Jelly Bean slice is going to encompass most of the pie and then this graph will be completely useless. But it'll make Google feel better.

  • Jahangir Alam

    can i update my nokia 5800 to android ? or any software to download jelly ven for nokia 5800 ?