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History of Android distribution numbers (December, 2009 to January, 2018)

Android OreoIn the first week of every month, Google releases the updated data about the percent of devices running a given version of Android. Started in December 2009, this Android distribution numbers initiative from Google helps developers better manage their resources by focusing only on the most popular Android versions, as not every developer or development firm has the manpower to target every single Android device.

In addition, this information gives us an overall idea of the Android ecosystem.

It was probably the information that made Google decide to focus on making Android lean with KitKat as despite being a pretty old version ‘Gingerbread’ continues to be present on a huge number of Android devices.

In the following chart, we have compiled all of Android version distribution data since December 2009 and it has revealed some interesting details. Check out some of our key findings below along with the chart.

We were unable to find the data for the period before December 2009, as Google never officially declared version-specific information before December.

  • Ice Cream Sandwich is the only major Android version apart from Honeycomb that never crossed the 30 percent of the total active installs mark.
  • As you can see in the chart below, there is a typical life-cycle of any Android version.
  • Froyo was the fastest growing Android version and took just 8 months to reach 50 percent of the Android devices, it is important to note here that we was are not talking about this feat based on actual number of devices.
  • It is increasingly becoming hard for a single Android version to have a significant market share.

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