Google recently published updated data that highlights the fragmentation of the Android platform. Surprisingly, Android 2.1 now makes up for more than one-third of all Android handsets. That’s a solid improvement, but shows that two-thirds of users are still being left behind.
The Android platform has evolved quickly from version 1.0 in October 2008 to version 2.2, which is expected to debut this week. Each update has brought new features and capabilities to the platform. The one problem has been that not every device has been able to update to the newer versions, leaving some users frustrated.
Right now, 37.2% of all Android users have updated to and are using Android 2.1. Users of Android 2.0.1 and 2.0 represent just 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively. An even 28% are still using Android 1.6. A disappointing 34.1% are still stuck with Android 1.5, and just 0.1% are still using Android 1.1. (Google sampledvisits to the Android Market to determine this breakdown.)
Why are so many devices still using Android 1.5? I’d bet the bulk of them are using the original HTC Hero, myTouch 3G, and G1. As far as I know, Android 1.6+ has not been offered to any of these devices, and they represented the second wave of Android handsets to hit the market a year ago.
Google’s I/O conference kicks off this week (tomorrow), and news of Android 2.2 Froyo is highly expected. What changes lay buried in the new software? How soon will users be able to upgrade. Will they be able to upgrade at all? These and many other questions remain.