At the end of January, Google noted that its latest Android operating system, Android Marshmallow, has now gained a 1% market share. This means that out of all the previously released Android versions, its most recent OS has grabbed a single percentage share (actually 1.2% and rising) of the billion plus Android devices out in the world.
Marshmallow was released four months ago, so the 1% market share might not seem that great. The main two hurdles with increasing the market share of the latest Android OS are:
1. New devices being loaded with Android Marshmallow;
2. Device manufacturers updating their OS skins & supplying updates to customers.
In the case of the first point, stores will want to sell out their existing stock before pushing the latest devices. This means that most devices available for sale will still have Android Lollipop loaded. For most phone and tablet users, they haven't even heard of Marshmallow yet.
With the second point, manufacturers are typically quite slow in updating their altered versions of Android. With Samsung, their TouchWiz skin overlay has to be tested to be compatible with the new version of Android. As a result, updates to the core operating system are slow to come, and on older devices, sometimes don't appear at all.
Both of these issues make the adoption of the latest Marshmallow version of Android a slow-going matter.
Every Month, Google release the latest Android platform distribution numbers showing the current state of Android versions distribution among devices that have recently checked-in the Play Store. Here's the numbers for the last month July,2014.
As expected, KitKat has grown a bit more, up to 20.9% now (was 17.9% last month), while Jelly Bean dropping from 56.5 to 54.2%. Still hanging above the 50% mark and encompassing 3 API levels, Jelly Bean is still in the lead.
Froyo is hanging tight at 0.7%, while Gingerbread has grown 0.1% to 13.6%. Ice Cream Sandwich is continuing its own decline, dropping to 10.6% from 11.4% last month.
January,2015 Android distribution chart is out today. The big news is that, for the first time ever, Lollipop 5.0 has appeared in the Android distribution chart as you can see below. It's only now starting to be seen on more than 0.1% of devices. Upcoming OS updates this year will help increase that chart.
Compared to the January report, Android 4.4 KitKat has grown from 39.1% to 39.7%, and it's still in the most used version of the OS if you count the three different Jelly Bean releases separately. Otherwise, Jelly Bean leads the market with a 44.5% aggregate share.
Ice Cream Sandwich has dropped from 6.7% to 6.4%, Gingerbread from 7.8% to 7.4%, while Froyo has interestingly held still at a measly 0.4% of the market.