As detractors and critics are quick to point out, Android has a problem with “fragmentation“. Whereas Apple users are safe for a few years, depending on hardware, software, or questionable judgement, Android users may never see anything beyond the purchased build. Things have been changing however, with Motorola and HTC offering unprecedentedly fast updates, and even Samsung getting down to business. Granted the problem will always be tied in with carriers and their endless array of bloatware, but if a recent OS build breakdown offers any hope, the shift to Lollipop might be the sweetest yet.
According to Google’s latest numbers, 50.9% of users are running some form of Jelly Bean (4.1X-4.3) and 30.2% KitKat, with the previous builds comprising the remainder. Given how Gingerbread was so widely spread ages after Ice Cream Sandwich (and even Jelly Bean) released, it is impressive to note just how many devices are relatively up-to-date.
Unfortunately this visual does not offer anything conclusive about the real nature of the users themselves; what phones are they running? If 81% of those monitored are in fact using older devices that saw OEM or carrier pushed updates, that’s a good sign. If 75% are using relatively new devices, while Google and manufacturers might be pleased, it would imply customers are simply updating their devices, having given up waiting for support
With 5.0 Lollipop set to roll out in the immediate future, many customers are going to be asking the question of if, and when. We will make sure to keep you posted on the latest announcements so please check back often and subscribe to stay informed.