Google just posted its last Android distribution report before 6.0 Marshmallow pops up on the radar, and despite their best efforts, the search giant and hardware-manufacturing partners have been unable to curtail fragmentation in the eleventh hour.
Devices that visited the Play Store in the 7-day period ending on October 5 ran a grand total of nine OS iterations, as even 2.2 Froyo clings onto to a microscopic 0.2 percent market share more than five years after its initial rollout.
Meanwhile, 5.x Lollipop continues its sluggish climb up the ranks, first hitting double digits back in June, then leaping to over 20 percent last month, and now further hiking to 23.5 percentage points, split 15.6 – 7.9 between build numbers 5.0 and 5.1.
That’s actually fairly encouraging for the latter, which sat at only 5.1 percent in early September, but inexplicably down for the former, from 15.9. Technically, 5.0 has become the second most popular Android version, behind 4.4 KitKat’s impressive 38.9 percent domination, but if we add Jelly Bean’s 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 figures together, we get a tally of a little over 30 percent. Not too shabby, given 4.3 was released in July 2013, and 4.1 source code dates back to July 2012.
The million-dollar question is will Lollipop manage to rule by the time Marshmallow’s sequel is ready to rumble? Probably, yes, but that’s not really a good thing. 5.0 and 5.1 should already be in the lead.