Android distribution numbers are out for the previous month and it seems like platform stratification has started to unwind just a bit. Out of the 11 APIs recognized, seven lost share while Marshmallow was the only version of the OS to grow in share.
Lollipop is still the largest contingent in the space with 35.6 percent of the pie while KitKat, experiencing the largest loss for the month, is holding onto second place with 32.5 percent share. Marshmallow is still behind the 20.1 percent that Jelly Bean had, but it ate up all of the other versions’ losses with a near 3 point gain to 7.5 percent.
|2.3.3 – 2.3.7||Gingerbread||10||2.6%||2.2%||-0.4%|
|4.0.3 – 4.0.4||Ice Cream Sandwich||15||2.2%||2.0%||-0.2%|
The data is based on seven days of device access to the Google Play Store app through May 2.
The upgrade to Marshmallow definitely felt faster than how long it took for Lollipop to come onto its own last year. A bigger emphasis on software updates in the face of some major security threats helped rush things along. But let’s actually compare six-month growth patterns between the two versions, respective of their release years. New Android versions usually come out with new Nexus devices in October, so we’ll use the first full month of readings that are published in December.
Lollipop didn’t officially register in the distribution rankings even after its third month out while Marshmallow benefited from attractive Nexus devices, the HTC One A9’s promised update schedule and the added attention to software updates. But as that fervor subsides, we may be seeing a symptom of a cooling smartphone market — slower upgrade cycles.
Still, more phones in the flagship and mid-range categories are debuting with Marshmallow fresh out of the box, so we’re going to see Android 6.x grow, regardless.