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Android versions usage stats - March 2010

Posted on 2010-04-02 13:03:16

Few days ago, the guys behind AndAppStore, MiKandi and Radar Now! application released some numbers (on android mailing list) concerning Android versions used by their users. Quick glance at those reveals that it is yet not the time to drop support for 1.5 and release 2.x only versions. All of them show that over half of the users are still on 1.5 and 1.6. See below for details.

The summary chart above shows that 1.5 share is between 31 and 37%. For 1.6, the stats are not as consistent. The difference between numbers from Radar Now! developer and Android Market is quite big. The reason for that is probably the fact that Radar Now! users are US residents, while stats from Android Market and AndAppStore are global. And some devices that shipped with 1.5 across Europe were updated to 1.6 (like my HTC Magic for example). Samilarly, the 2.0 and 2.0.1 has a fair share among Radar Now! users for the simple reason that nearly half of them use Motorola Droid.

Unfortunately, only numbers from AndAppStore make a distinction for 2.1, and it's a little surprising that it's share is already at 14.2%, nearly the same as 2.0 and 2.0.1. This ratio will most likely change soon, since 2.1 roll-out started in both US and Europe for Motorola Droid/Milestone. According to Al Sutton of AndAppStore, the usage rate from both Verizon and T-Mobile is similar, and there'a a fair share of downloads from non-English speaking countries.

Android Market stats from Google are calculated based on the number of devices accessing Android Market within a 14-day period. Surprisingly, they do not include 2.1, which is a real shame. Also, those stats show the highest number of users for 1.6 version.

Stats from Radar Now! do not make distinction for 2.1 as well. As you can see, there are over 2 times more 1.5 devices then 1.6 among US users. And nearly half of them use 2.0 and 2.0.1 devices, which just shows how much of a success Motorola Droid is.

MiKandi is an adult app store and nearly entire traffic comes from US. Also, most of the downloads request come from Verizon network (which has Motorola Droid running 2.x and Devour released with 1.6).

The conclusion for developers is simple. If you want to target as much users as possible, you must support Android versions down to 1.5. Releasing application that requires 2.0 will limit your user base by half in US, and to about 20-30% globally (that will largely depend on region). Initial versions of Android (1.0 and 1.1) are long obsolete, and are nothing to worry about.

I'm looking forward to seeing how those numbers change with roll-out of 2.1 updates and new device releases, but seeing that even some new devices ship with 1.6, it's highly unlikely that dropping 1.5 and 1.6 support will be a viable option for quite some time. Let's hope we see more Cupcakes and Donuts updated to Eclairs or Flans :)