Google Android Market Data Indicates Fragmentation & No OS 2.3 Adoption

The Android Developers blog posted information about their new Applications Statistics dashboard in the Market Develper Console that Android app developers can use. This dashboard gives developers charts and tables that summarize each app’s active installation trend over time, as well as its distribution across key dimensions such as Android platform versions, devices, user countries, and user languages.

Application Stats on Android Market

What interested me, however, was the sample dashboard view. It displayed statistics for Google’s own recently released Androidy app which lets people create an “Android” cartoon representation of themselves. This free app received widespread attention by mobile blogs and was downloaded nearly 2 million times. While the download information for this single app cannot be said to be a true representation of the Android using population, it is a large enough number to, I believe, provide a reasonable view. Note that Androidify only runs on Android versions 2.1 or newer.

So, what do we know about nearly 2 million Android users (assuming one download per device and that most people have one Android phone)?

– Android 2.2 is the dominant version in use with 65.9% of the downloads using this version
– Android 2.1 still has a large user based with 31.6%
– The combined 2.1 and 2.2 user base is a 97.5%. Google notes that this combination in the overall app market is a combined 86.4%.
– Android OS 2.3 and 2.3.3, which first became available on the Nexus S in December, has a miniscule 2% share. A full quarter has passed since its release. And, yet, no major handset other than the Nexus S ships with it. The older Nexus One received the 2.3 upgrade just a few weeks ago.
– The Androidify app only runs on Android 2.1 and newer. In the overall app market, 13.6% of Android phones accessing the Market are running versions older than version 2. The combined 2.3 and 2.3.3 share of the overall market is a tiny 0.8%
– The single most popular, but not dominant, handset in the Androidify download statistics is the HTC Evo 4G sold by Sprint with a 6.7% share.
– The Samsung Galaxy S (GT-i9000) and Motorola Droid X trail at #2 and #3 with a 5.3% and 5.1% share, respectively.
– The original Motorola Droid that kickstarted Android popularity in the winter of 2009 was at #5 with a 4.3% share.

Microsoft has been taking well deserved criticisms for its inability to push out much needed updates for its struggling Windows Phone platform. However, these statistics indicate to me that Google has been just as ineffective with what amounts to no update of version 2.3 three months after its release. Version fragmentation is still a huge problem based on Google’s own data.