Google recently released their latest platform numbers for each version of Android. This chart shows what percent of each platform is still in use on an Android device in the market. A couple of things are worth pointing out regarding this data. These metrics from Google only track a piece of hardware that has passed Google’s certification process and has access to Google services. What Google is showing us with this data is the number percentage of each platform, active in the market, that has access to Google’s services. This is important context because these percentages do not reflect the entirety of the Android install base. They only account for the install base of Google’s version of Android. Most the devices sold in China are not accounted for in these number from google, for example. Here is Google’s chart with a breakdown per Android version.
I have done my own research to work out the non-public data and have come up with estimates on the Android install base of Google’s version of Android. Below is my chart.
It is incredible to look at the install base of Gingerbread. This version of Android was released on Dec 10th, 2010 and was updated until September of 2011. Even a device updated toward the end of Gingerbread’s lifecycle is over two years old. I am at a loss at how to explain this. The only explanation which seems plausible is that these were customers who purchased an Android phone, but are only using it as a feature phone to make phone calls. This period correlates with strong sales of both the Motorola Droid brands and several HTC phones. Knowing that some manufactures were still shipping Gingerbread into 2012 may also help explain this number. Still, the fact that there are over 200m smartphones in the market, being used, that are over 2 years old is remarkable.