Good news regarding Android fragmentation.
More and more devices are running Android 2.1. And while that isn’t the latest version, it’s still in a whole different class compared to 1.6 or 1.5, which at this point should really be on the way out. That is, of course, unless phone manufacturers insist on bringing other new Android 1.6 devices to market.
Google should still probably impose an end-of-life for each version, to prevent its hardware partners from releasing products with obsolete versions of the OS, but the situation seems to be more or less taking care of itself, albeit very slowly.
55.5% of Android devices are currently on 2.1. Only 3.3% are on Android 2.2 (at this point, that’s only the Nexus One). 1.5 and 1.6 together still represent 41% of the total, but at least they’re not the majority anymore.
Here’s a handy historical chart that clearly points out the advances in adoption that Android 2.1 has made.
This trend can only continue, and we can hope that 2011 will be the first year in which Android 1.5 and 1.6 will be in the “Other” category (where pre-1.5 versions are now).
Android’s version fragmentation issue is very real, there’s no denying that. However, given time, the situation might not be as bad as some anticipated.
The true test will be in Q4, when the next version of Android is due out. 1.5 and 1.6 will clearly still be around, and then the charts have the potential to become a lot more messy.
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