Last month's Android platform distribution numbers showed a continuing steady rise of Android 4.4 in handsets worldwide, but this month's numbers mark a major jump - KitKat is up to 13.6% of all devices, from a mere 8.5% a month ago today. Updates to handsets likely explain some of the rise, though consumers replacing aging devices with updated phone like the HTC One M8 and Galaxy S5 are probably more likely candidates for such a rapid and significant rise in adoption.


Froyo and Gingerbread continue their steady decline along with Ice Cream Sandwich, and Honeycomb finally reached the <0.1% mark and has been removed from the chart. Android 4.1 saw a decline of over 4%, though 4.2 and 4.3 both climbed, the latter by 1.8%. Check out the details at the link below.

Android Developers

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • evolutionx1

    KitKat numbers are not bad. Not bad at all.

    • Thinkaboutit

      not good if you take into account the fact that kitkat was released 8 months ago.

      • evolutionx1

        It's pretty amazing considering there are over a billion Android phones made by different manufacturers. 13.6% in 8 months is not bad.

        • darkdude1

          That would be 130,000,000 devices at least which would be amazing.

          • Brandon Miller

            The only thing I can think of is to offer more incentives to manufacturers that do upgrade. However, I have no clue what those incentives could be.

          • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

            the incentive of more customers and more long term customers should be enough, i think its time to put the carrot away and get the stick out, keep your device upto date for 18months (ala nexus) or gtfo of "ive forgotten the name of the certification that lets you use google apps aka makes you a real android device haha"

          • Dominic Powell

            Simple a 2-5% slice of any downloads in the appstore made from that phone?

      • maysider

        if you want the latest Android buy a Nexus line or Google Edition

        it is all your choice

        if you want dictatorship and limited world buy an iToy

        Android = freedom = your choice

        • fnh

          Buy the Nexus and get updates for 18 months, you mean.

          • maysider

            still better than iPhones where you do not get the latest features even with a year old iPhone or a brand new iPad ;)

          • MG

            Where did you get 18 months from? Nexus is for as long as the device hardware can support it. For Nexus 4/5/2013 N7 that's going to be way longer than 18 months.

          • Simon Belmont

            Probably because the G'Nex didn't get KitKat. Google did basically say that it was beyond its 18 month window.

            But, I've seen them pass the 18 month window plenty of times on Nexus devices, including the G'Nex getting Android 4.3. It seems to be a bendable rule.

          • Simon Belmont

            Well. My Nexus 7 2012 is not far from 24 months old (less than 2 months away) and it's gotten Android 4.4.3.

            Seems the rules are flexible. Just sayin'.

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

      Considering the L release is probably Q4 of this year, I think that's actually pretty bad. We'll have an even split between 2.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 by the time L comes.

      • ewek

        I think the reason is Google releasing more than a version each year. Android is a mature OS now with very few bugs and missing features unlike in 2012 or 2011.They should release a major x.0 or .x update on a yearly basis with some maintenance updates in between.

        • David Li

          That is basically what happened with Jellybean. 4.2 & 4.3 were just service packs upon 4.1, used to indicate how "new" and "updated" your copy of Jellybean was.

        • Imparus

          If they stop making nexus phone this might actually happen, they actually said they where going over you yearly release, when the OS had matured enough a few years back.

      • evolutionx1

        But then again, OEMs would release phones with KitKat for many months after the L release is announced. It's a cycle and it's would be pretty difficult for Google to stop this cycle. OEMs won't launch their phones with the L release right away. They'll take their time which could be many months.

        • Stylus_XL

          "But then again, OEMs would release phones with KitKat for many months after the L release is announced."

          Didn't Google recently launch some rule/initiative that meant OEMs can only ship devices with G-Apps if they launch the them with an Android version under 6 months old (or something similar)?

          • evolutionx1

            Ah, I had forgot about that. It'll be interesting to see what Google shows off at I/O.

          • Dominic Powell

            Also Android on a whole is a lot more modular now than last year when PLay Services was introduced. It's much easier to update phones when you are splitting your feature updates from point releases to apps in the app store.

            The death of GB will come very quickly if Google says they aren't supporting GB devices any longer.

          • pr0grammer1

            I'm pretty sure they just can't release new devices with old OS versions. Companies still selling Gingerbread phones don't have to stop selling them.

          • Sruly J
  • polesmoker99

    HONEYCOMB IS GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOO PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU'RE NEXT, FROYO.

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      Came to the comments to either read or make this comment. Thank you! WWOOOHOOOOOO o/

    • HoneyComb4Eva

      Go into the light brave soldier..

    • Stanley Lu

      No Way! I'm sure I downloaded something from PlayStore with my old HoneyComb tablet last month!

      • Crispin Swickard

        It also has to have regular activity over a certain time frame. I don't think its published on how many times within the course of a month to show up on the chart. The numbers only represent regular use, though we don't know how Google defines that. The note on the site says the data is only collected from a 7 day window which would have ran from 5/29-6/4.. So if you had that tablet in there before that it would not count. We can only assume it would be at least twice within that given 7 days to affect the numbers.

        • Davis Hernandez

          also, if the number of users connected to google services is too low to reach 0.1% then it wont appear...

      • polesmoker99

        you are part of the problem....

        • someone755

          He is a hero Android needed. Not the one it deserved. Back when HC was released.

        • Christian Turchetti

          the problem aren't the users are the companies, many device exit with the 4.x version and die with the same version because no updates, same google with the shame rule of 18 months, google, samsung htc etc they make the fragmentation and not the users, Android should follow the apple way, fragmentation on apple? noway

      • a

        Looks like its just you then.

    • someone755

      My old devices, come! Let the Play Store goodness flow through you!

  • DonEmu

    Kitkat numbers would rise if Samsung released for the International S3(I9300).

    That would create a monstrous jump.

    • Sasquatch4ever

      And a significant number of other devices.

      But let me guess, you have the S3?

      • David Li

        The i9300 was the most popular phone of its time thanks to aggressive advertising and broad availability internationally.

        • Imparus

          And through the lawsuit with apple, they made them self the anti apple product in the consumer eyes.

      • DonEmu

        Well it is one of the highest selling android phones which is still being currently sold in shops and pretty much solidified Samsung's large market share in android and the mobile phone market at whole.

        The numbers speak for themselves.

        40+ million sold.

        • Dominic Powell

          if every single last one of those 40+ million updated to kitkat it would affect 4% of devices from 4.1 / 4.2 to 4.4

          • DonEmu

            Oh? And which phones make up the remaining 96% of devices on 4.1 /4.2 to 4.4? When no other phone company's entire portfolio sold nearly as much.

            HTC, Sony, LG put together didn't sell that much did they?

            You underestimate Samsung's volume in the market.

          • David Li

            You are under the assumption that there are 1 billion android devices in use. Although Android has surpassed 1 billion activations, far less than 1 billion devices are in use. These statistics are from Android devices which checked into Google Play during a certain period, meaning devices that are still in use.

          • mateor

            A large number of those billion devices are not in the metrics as they never had Google Play Services. The jump would be much more significant, if the quoted numbers are to be believed.

    • Stylus_XL

      I've noticed a lot of "mainstream" Android users don't even update their devices anyway when an OTA update becomes available. The amount of times I've heard Galaxy owners say to me "what's this system update message about? I've just been ignoring it."

      • DonEmu

        I think that would be solved in manufacturers also marketet updates and not just google.

        I mean people update iPhones because Apple make big announcements about it.

        If Samsung(eg) made announcements concerning updates and what features they added people would be more informed.

        But what we have is google releasing an update. The nexus bunch almost all update. Then 4 - 6 months of silence while the other OEMs ready the update and then just push it. By then the "mainstream" user has no idea what that "pop-up/notification" is telling him.

        My 60+ year old dad updates his iPhone because he sees the news about an update on BBC.

        • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

          this, i really wish the big android OEMs would drop the 4000 releases a year and just support their core line up properly, currently it feels like they don't advertise the updates deliberately so that youll buy the next device they release in a week which you know for sure they will make a point of its up to date (but not really) os version.

          Case in point, ios7 that was the most radical change to ios ever and as tim cook pointed out, in the form of a childish jab, they have a very high install rate because apple advertised the crap out of it made sure every new outlet had an article about how "revolutionary" it was, didnt matter that sons and daughters would be teaching parent how to find shit again for months they thought they were winning

          • DonEmu

            Imagine if Samsung made an announcement today. Talking about the 4.4.3 update. Hyping up all the new features in the update. And then after the announcement they push the update to the S3, S4 and S5 which are the only phones they make. A large number of users would try to update.

            All 3 phones get the update at the same time. The UI for all 3 phones looks the same, but the newer phones getting more features much like what Apple does.

          • Crispin Swickard

            The UI was never updated on the older ones. I have looked at both Note 3s, and S5s both running 4.4.2, and the note 3/S5 interface does not look the same as the S5. For whatever reason Samsung does not feel the need to have consistency in UI in their devices. They may have done some changes, but the UI is not the same on the older devices as the S5

            Samsung would probably argue they don't want to change the user's experience, and all. I think it would be better to have some consistency between all currently maintained devices.

          • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

            a future we can all hope for!

        • henry

          My sister has an iPhone 4, her husband a 4S and an iPad 3 all on iOS 6 just because they ran out of space to download the update.

      • Badouken

        This girl I knew has a GS4 and once the Kit kat update came out I just took her phone because it was just laying there and left the OTA update page opened. She updated it and then like a day later she was like "WHAT THE HELL, everything changed!!!".

        • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

          this is why the average user doesn't update 'mainstream' devices like galaxy's, i can only speak about samsung, but they have a terrible habit of changing pretty crucial elements when they push an update, my gf hates updating because "there always something".
          DonEmu is on the money they should be advertising it

      • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

        The truth is that's because less tech-savvy people usually buy Android devices, while those more interested go with iOS. If we like it or not, it's just an observation of mine, seeing how Apple users are typically much more active, buy a lot of apps, etc.

        • Michael J Carroll

          I've never heard someone claim that android gets the non tech savvy whereas those who do care about technology go to iOS.

        • brkshr

          That would be the opposite of my observations. From everyone I have seen, they either buy an iphone because it's simple (bunch of old people I know) or because it's the popular phone to buy (most younger people). A few people I know have just spent too much money in apples ecosystem to want to switch to Android.

        • DonEmu

          It is the opposite. Apple phones are extremely easy to use and how they are used is marketed constantly. They cater more for the everyday user. Few iPhone users can even input their own apn info in settings..Besides a small percentage of users and the developers.

          Android on the other hand has 2 demographics. The everyday user who are very much like Apple users so much so that they usually can't even fully utilise the power of the phones. And the more knowledgeable user who knows enough to max out it's utility. eg. rooting, etc.

          Androids are suited more for people who know EXACTLY what they are buying and what they are getting for their money.

          iPhones are good phones that are easy to use and are pretty much seen as a status symbol, fashion accessory are much as a gadget.

          The former are the majority.

          • Crispin Swickard

            To expand a bit on your statement. I think there are 2 categories of iPhone users, and 2 of android as well.

            People who use iPhones tend to be already entrenched into Apple's ecosystem, and pretty much would not consider anything else. (Elitist, or other..) The other end are those less educated ones that want the pretty highly advertised smartphone, and may even only associate smart phone with the name iPhone, and got it because they could ask for it by name.

            For the android side you have the educated (non Apple ecosystem) enthusiasts that like to have control of their device, and not vice versa. On the other side of the coin you have those that either still wanted an iPhone, and couldn't afford it, or those who simply wanted a phone they can internet on, and it was free under contract. (Same people that ignore the system updates previously mentioned)

            I would say the worst part of being an Android enthusiast is that we get shunned by both the iPhone elitists, and those who have android phones themselves that ignore system updates, and when asked what phone they have say "I have an Android", or a "Samsung Galaxy", and nothing past that they respond slightly confused.

          • DonEmu

            An example of your last paragraph.

            Told this girl I was thinking of getting an HTC One as my next phone. She told me that she used HTC and that their phones suck and don't even have proper apps. After some questioning I realised she used one of HTC's earlier Windows mobile based phones.

            I'm still having trouble explaining to her that the entire device and OS are completely different. And that this phone uses Android and so has the same App ecosystem as Samsung.

        • MJ

          "The truth is that's because less tech-savvy people usually buy Android devices..."

          Ummmmm No! What you meant to say was a lot more people buy Android phones then iPhones so a certain segment of those people naturally can be less tech savvy.

          I have been a computer technician for 20+ years and iPhones look like toys to me. Just about everyone in the IT dept. I work at has an Android phone and you see the iPhone use more from the regular staff. Devices I can customize the hell out of or install different ROMs on is what I look for so that means Android.

        • The Motto

          A little story: I'm working for a small Architect/engineering office. My boss and the other architects use iPhones and are not using them to their full potential (not that they are tech-illiterate (well except maybe my boss, he has no idea that iOS and Android are different OS's)). We are currently to engineers (us by education and heart) and we both carry Nexus 5.

  • vyktorsouza

    finally Froyo is going down, it's yelling Timber

  • silver_arrow

    Crucify me if you must but as someone who has 4.4.2 on all their devices I don't think the updates since 4.1 have been extreme. I mean that in the sense that yes you will be missing stuff if you are using a 4.1 device but it's not like going back to 2.3 And they have 75%+ on 4.1+ which is pretty impressive.

    • Badouken

      They haven't been extreme, if they were they would just call them Android 5.0, then Android 6.0 and so on. your not missing that much if you dont have kit kat if you are on anything 4.1 and above its all good!

      Kinda wish Apple did what android does because im sure they would in reality be only on iOS 2.0 or generously 3.0. Everything before iOS 7 was the same pretty much.

    • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

      No your right and for good reason, firstly and obviously by the number scheme the recent updates have only been deemed 'minor' by google themselves despite some pretty nice features coming in each one they haven't felt like they've been worth the big hoorah of a full version bump, though they have touted some at i/o.

      Secondly though, its by design, google have been pulling everything they can out of the core os and into its own app, that they can update and change at any time regardless of the OS underneath, obviously some things like new APIs or deep security issue require changes to the core OS and therefore an update proper, but take GEL, google can, and will, change the launcher, search and now at any time without a system update, in fact they can change now on the server side and not even bother us with it.
      this solves a myriad of "problems" and means that when i/o rolls around half the amazing things they announce youll be able to get instantly without a system update (more so in a few years)

      thats how i see it anyway

  • joser116

    All Gingerbread devices should have been updated to KitKat.

    • darkdude1

      In a perfect world every Android device would get Kitkat, unfortunately, that is never going to happen.

      • Mike

        No need, all the good stuff is in Google Play.

        We get updates all year long. New Google Maps, new Gallery, new Camera app and so on. Better than Apple's once a year upgrade cycle.

        Every Wednesday brings new stuff since Google moved all the good stuff up into Google Play.

        • abobobilly

          You do realize that some of the Kit Kat features you can't get in Google Play? Or some of those apps which are only Kit Kat compatible, like the new maps (technically later than Jelly Bean API).

          The point is, Google released Kit Kat for low end devices and the manufacturers keep giving a middle finger to it. Thats absurd.

        • Imparus

          yes and no. Yes it doesn't affect the end user much if at all, no as in it is pain to support GB for developer.

  • Francois Guillemette

    Too bad they didn't update this a little early so Apple could have thrown a much more optimistic "13% Kitkat" instead of that old "8%"
    But they do have a point, Android has "slow" upgrades over all it's devices...
    I guess that's the price to pay for an overall better product

    • dogulas

      It's the price Google pays for not having complete control over their software and hardware, in favor of letting others build the hardware for the most part.

    • Mike

      13% Kitkat > total iPhone count...

      So let Apple have their moment of thunder, it's actually meaningless and they look rather silly.

    • MirandaU

      What's the point, when Tim Cook just straight out lies, when it comes to the numbers, anyway?

      • willizen

        Can you give an example of a lie?

        • MirandaU

          He said that one third of all Android users are on a 4 year old OS. Even if you consider Gingerbread to be one of the 4 year old versions, which it is not quite yet, it's only one sixth (Group and GB combined), so it's half of what he said.

          • MirandaU

            *Froyo, not Group.

  • Kevin

    What this chart doesn't show is that over 90% of Android owners don't care what version of Android they are on.

    • dogulas

      Right. And that they are fine with what they have. And probably don't even want any changes.

      • Kevin

        Exactly. Everybody is happy!

    • MirandaU

      Yes, but developers do care. There are so many APIs available to ICS and above that are not present in Gingerbread and below. Also, designing in native Holo is so much more convenient than working with Actionbar Sherlock, Holo Everywhere, etc.
      So, apps that use minSDK 14 are generally better and smoother for everybody, plus smaller in file size, if no legacy devices have to be supported.
      So, when it comes to third party apps, everybody wins, when legacy devices get rarer by the day.

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      They only care when an app is not available for their device. THEN they'll vomit fragmentation all over you ;)

  • Marcinoo16

    I want froyo to die.

  • Mike

    What's hilarious, is this means the number of Android devices running KitKat outnumber the number of iPhones. Strange that Tim Cook didn't mention that at Apple WDC.... Instead focusing on the percentage number... What a tool.

    • Martim

      How are you coming up with those numbers?

    • AbbyZFresh

      Most people don't even know what update they're running on Android compared to iPhones. The majority of these who have KitKat got it from the native 2014 line of Android phones with 4.4. preinstalled.

      • Crispin Swickard

        To be fair iPhone users especially before they shifted to being able to download updated via wifi would see the version # every time they plugged in to a computer via iTunes. I suspect that there would be less knowledge of their iOS version nowadays. Come to think of it without looking intentionally I could not tell your the version on the iPod in my pocket exactly.

    • Martim

      I can't find the number of active iPhone or Android devices anywhere, but if the ratio between active devices is the same for activated devices (500 million iPhones vs 1 billion Android devices), that still means there are over 3 times more iPhones on iOS 7 than Android devices on KitKat (89% vs 2 x 13.6%). Bear in mind that this isn't even a fair comparison, since Android devices includes tablets but iPhone numbers don't include iPods or iPads.

      So it looks like Android doesn't win here.

      • Dominic Powell

        There are 500 million iphones sold total from 2007 - 2q 2014, that isn't all active iOS devices (a lot of that 500 million) are replacements / upgrades (people keep the old one as second phone) etc. so that number is more realistically 400 million. so 90% of 400 million = 360 million iphones in SERVICE with iOS 7

        There were 900 million ANdroid activations last year June at I/O. That number is at that point they had 1.5m activations daily. This means in theory that 1.5 billion android devices are in the world today if they held the same growth rate (1.5m per day).

        I would assume that 70% of those devices are phones so 1.1 billion phones 200-300 million tablets and the rest a bunch of miscellaeneous devices (e readers / tvs / garbage).

        Lets account for loss / damage / upgrade at the same rate as iOS (80%) and we have 880 million Android phones in service. so 120m phones are on kitkat. if you look at 4.2 + 4.3 + 4.4 roughly 380 million phones are divided between those three versions.

        Not as bas a picture.

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          But fact remains intact - the LATEST is version still runs only on a pretty miserable number of devices, which still makes it less than total number of iPhone running ios7

      • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

        I seen it a few years ago... active iPhones were at 300 million, with Android at 800 million... This was right around the time Android reached 1 billion activation...

  • Aooga

    Gingerbread needs to die. It's a pain programming for it. All the sherlock nav and action bars to make it look nice needs to stop. Do your jobs OEMs and update your phones.

    • MirandaU

      I'd consider the numbers finally good enough to go minSDK 14. After all, there's no point in always catering to the lowest common denominator. After all, the people stuck on GB don't seem to care or be willing to spend money anyway, so they are not exactly an attractive target audience, if you are planning on making money with your apps.

      • Aooga

        Why 14? I was thinking 16. ICS is less than GB.

        • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

          14 was a big shift, pretty much all of the backwards compatibility bs like sherlock nav and so on is only necessary if you go lower then 14, whilst you could gain some nifty features by going 16, unless your app relies on them the effort to add support for those 12% of ICS user is practically zero

          • David Cesarino

            I agree. Even basic things like themes is a major PITA when dealing with anything below 14 (<11 if you don't care about Light.DarkActionBar).

            All. Those. Namespace. Variations. 👎

      • David Cesarino

        True if you're monetizing through payments. If you're pushing ads, then you want to maximize the number of eyeballs as much as possible.

        • Aooga

          Luckily I don't care about ads. I've just gotten many requests to make my apps available for 2.3. I've noticed none are from the US. Mostly requests from Asia.

          • David Cesarino

            Yeah, if you don't care about ads, you should focus on the higher end and skip right to ICS, at least, at this point.

    • Dominic Powell

      just don't code for it. Min SDK should be 4.1 Practically 90+% of your app downloads are doing to come for it.

      • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

        I've always thought Google should make Android only backwards compatible with apps built for the version before it... This would push app developers to build their apps for newer version... Making older versions of Android uncompatible with apps... Pushing OEMs to update older devices... I'm sure there are some issues in doing this... But it will keep Googles open source policies intact... And clean up some of the version fragmentation...

  • abobobilly



  • Pootis Man

    Nice to see KitKat moving up.

  • Matthew Fry

    That's weird. The WWDC keynote said 1/3 of Android devices are running a 4 year old OS. It's like Apple just makes shit up.


    • http://www.scottcolbert.com/ ScottColbert

      Nah, that's innovation at work. :P

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      News flash: they always do. It's their bullshit style - "our products are best, everybody is happy, 99.9% running latest OS. Android is shit, windows is shit, no support, old software"

      Their graphs and speed measurements are always way off, it's a tradition.

    • Jack Jennings

      To be fair, these are only calculated by who has accessed the Play Store in the last month so aren't completely accurate, but Apple are still wrong.

  • suzane carter

    In future kitkat is rising everywhere because it has a good & very smooth with no error Kit Kat 4.3

    • guest

      4.3 is Jelly Bean?!

  • Joshua Talley

    I wonder what the distribution for Google Play Services looks like. Is it close to 95% for the latest version?

  • Sam Del Valle

    R.I.P Honeycomb

    .....I really keep forgetting you exist.

  • Neon

    You forgot to mention Moto G and Moto E. They were amongst the biggest contributors (especially in developing countries). Thanks to Motorola for the speedy updates :)

  • Matt

    Happy to have contributed to that new KitKat figure with the 4.4 update I got for my Note II a couple of weeks ago! :)

  • KitKat User

    I had been using ahone running 4.1.2 but last month I flashed a KitKat ROM. Does that count as those included here?

    • AppleMinions,☞,BowDown

      It should, if you are downloading from the play store.

  • http://flavors.me/sabret00the sabret00the

    Jellybean is going to be the new Gingerbread isn't it.

    • Dakota

      With 2 year contracts & lack of manufacturers update, absolutely yes

  • Dakota

    These figures are always skewed since based on Google Play hits. Many, esp older users aren't necessarily buying new apps regularly

    • AppleMinions,☞,BowDown

      Most of them can't either. I'm almost sure most apps now days are being built for 2.3 and above. If not 4.0 by now. Most older devices are being repurposed. Used as kids toys and mp3 players.

  • Bob D

    Are there any plans to update AP's Big Android Chart (http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/04/27/the-big-android-chart-a-definitive-history-of-android-version-adoption/) with the last two years of platform numbers?

  • Roberto Virga

    Die, Gingerbread, die already!!!

  • Simon Belmont

    Wow. So long, Honeycomb. The Windows Vista of Android. Haha.

    I think almost everyone hated Honeycomb. But, it brought us one step closer to greater things like ICS and up, just like Vista brought us one step closer to Windows 7.

  • Slawootsky

    Come on people, Honeycomb looked awesome when it was released. Like the birth of Holo.

  • Testraindrop

    Its 100% Kitkat for me, 4.4.3 for Nexus 5 and 4, 4.4.2 (for now) on the Galaxy S2.