KitKat market share grows to 2.5 percent

KitKat market share grows to 2.5 percent

Summary: The data released by Google shows that while Jelly Bean now powers over half of all Android devices, KitKat adoption is growing slowly.

TOPICS: Mobility

According to stats published by Google, the newest Android release, codenamed KitKat, is powering just over two percent of Android devices accessing the Google Play store.

The data, which is based on smartphones and tablets accessing the Google Play store over a 7-day period ending on March 3, 2014, shows that Android 4.4, codenamed KitKat, is installed on 2.5 percent of devices.

This time last month KitKat market share was at 1.8 percent.

Android market share
(Source: Google)

Android 4.4 was release on 31 October, 2013, and first made its public appearance on the Nexus 5.

This latest version has a long way to go to catch up with the previous release, codenamed Jelly Bean. This release, which includes versions 4.1.x, 4.2.x and 4.3, power 62 percent of Android devices (up 1.3 percentage points since last month) and makes it the single most popular version. However, Android version 4.1.x is the single most popular release, installed on 35.3 percent of devices.

This means that there's considerable fragmentation among devices running Jelly Bean, with the majority unable to benefit from features introduced in versions 4.2.x, 4.3, and now 4.4 as KitKat is rolled out to handsets.

However, Jelly Bean's nearest rival continues to be Android 2.3.x Gingerbread, a version first released back in February 2011, and this version continues to power 19.0 percent of the devices accessing the Google Play store, down one percentage point since last month. However, the good news is that this version's dominance is eroding slowly as the months progress, but it is likely to remain significant for at least another year.

The problem with getting users up to the latest version is not down to a lack of interest. Indeed, the speed and ferocity with which iOS users upgrade to the latest version shows that users clearly are interested in new versions of operating systems. The problem is that Google is the beginning of a long system that updates have to go through.

Whenever Google releases a new version of Android, device OEMs have to then customize the release, add their own tweaks and personalizations. Then, for smartphones and tablets that are hooked to a carrier contract, the carriers have to add their own branding. The problem is made worse by the fact that neither the OEMs of the carriers feel there's much of a benefit in pushing free software updates to customers, and would rather focus on selling owners a new device. 

Beginning in April 2013, Google started delivering data collected from each device when the user visited the Google Play Store. Previously, the data was collected when the device simply checked in to Google servers. Google believes that the new data "more accurately reflects those users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem."

Topic: Mobility

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  • I think the word 'adoption' is inappropriate...

    It imply that the user has a choice in the matter - which is true... IF they can get the update. Since the VAST majority of Android users will never see the upgrade, 'adoption' means 'buying a new device', which isn't an OS upgrade - it's a new purchase.
    • Samsung are the problem

      but Samsung are always ridiculously slow to provide upgrades for devices. Kit Kat has been out for 4 or more months and still most Samsung devices are not supported.

      Whilst ever Samsung has the major share of the Android market, then the upgrade to new versions of Android will continue to be slow.
  • good thing is - it doesn't matter much anymore, since v4.0.

    Even gingerbread are still getting key services updates and most of the latest apps still work.

    If you have android in the last couple years, all the good stuff is in the form of apps, and play services updates. (You may miss out on Bluetooth LE but that's about it.)

    My only concern is that any security patches can be put out in a timely manner. And if that's a concern, people should buy nexus phones. Just like people by iPhones, the only choice.
  • Interesting how Honeycomb... to Google how Vista was to MS. We are already seeing a maturing in the Droid OS space reminiscent of Windows. But this is good news, cuz the quicker an OS can move to 'meh' status for the user, all the better. I became OS agnostic years ago when XP gave me all I needed and I saw how awesome OSX was. I started focusing on apps and never looked back. The only meaningful change I have made in the last 10 years is 32 to 64 bit.
  • Would love to have Kitkat on my Google Galaxy Nexus...

    just missed that upgrade from Google on a Google branded phone which I bought from Google. Would have increased Kikat adoption by 5% at least to have those devices get the upgrade. I plan on hanging on to this phone for at least one more year, regardless of Kitkat. I would have paid $15 for the upgrade. Would have been easy money for Google AND would have saved space in landfill.
    • you have a galaxy nexus?

      You should install Cyanogenmod on it, which will give you 4.4.2 with google launcher. I have one and its a worthwhile upgrade.
      • I have been thinking about it... but it is working pretty well as

        is with latest Jellybean. Thanks for the suggestion though. It is good to know you are happy with the Mod.
  • Only 2.5% ?

    well that proves it then doesn't it - Android is dead!
    • You seem to have trouble ....

      drawing appropriate and intelligent conclusions.

      The people voting for you cannot be much better.
      • Reasoning

        based on the model professed by the masses enclaved in the Robotorium is indicative of a character defect?

        Wait a minute, are you suggesting that the penguinistas are morons?

        Well, you're just not a very nice person are you?