The release of a new version of Android always means a good look into how the versions are distributed. The ‘good’ news first: Android Lollipop is now up to 22.9% – almost a quarter of current handsets. Next up is KitKat (which is specifically Android 4.4) at a whopping 38.9% of the total. Trailing is Jellybean and Ice Cream Sandwich with 30.2% and 3.4% respectively, with Gingerbread & Froyo taking up the last 4%.
If we decided to add up the major release numbers, then the figures look a little different. Lollipop still gets the 22.9%, but all versions of the major iteration of 4 – Ice Cream Sandwich through to KitKat – add up to 69.1%. That makes 92% of all Android devices hitting the Play servers on the last two versions. See how playing with figures makes a difference?
When stacked up against the percentage of Apple devices that are on the last two current versions of iOS, which will be 8 and 9, it seems that Android will never see the majority of current handsets have the latest two up-to-date versions running on their systems. Some may feel that is a failure. Some may may not care one way or another. Some people may realise that comparing Apples to Androids is a game only fervent fans of each OS should play.
By now, most mobile aficionado’s should realise that although iOS and Android are the two heavyweights in the game, just like Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali, they’re vastly different things. iOS owns the hardware and the software stack. They get to push what they want, when they want, and even the carriers don’t have a choice on the matter. Although Google owns Android, it can’t dictate to either manufacturers or carriers if and when they decide to update handsets.
And if you were a handset maker, how much responsibility would you feel for putting a new operating system on a phone after a year or two if it still functions in the way that you sold it? If you really think it’s that easy, how come Microsoft hasn’t been able to do the same thing? Seeing these figures shouldn’t be an indictment on Android, this should be understanding how much respect Apple should have. To put it in context, by Apple iPhone 5 has the latest version of iOS. My Nexus 4 is never going to see a legitimate build of Marshmallow.
source: androiddeveloper site