Android fragmentation is real and it is not going away. Ask any developer and they will tell you about the difficulties of supporting multiple versions of Android and their different screen sizes.
So what exactly does Android fragmentation look like?
The above data was generated by Google Analytics and it shows the number of visitors to our site using Android devices. This data was collected between November 6, 2009 (Droid launch) and November 21, 2009.
Nearly 50 percent of Android users are running version 1.6, 26 percent are on the new 2.0, and the remaining 24 percent have 1.5.
Android 1.6 leads the way because the HTC Dream (G1) and HTC Magic (myTouch 3G) phones have been out the longest and sold the most units. T-Mobile has updated both of these devices to Android 1.6 and HTC has made the 1.6 images available on their developer’s site.
I’m a little surprised to see Android 2.0 is the second highest used version. There is currently only one phone (Droid) with this build, but we have heard reports of over 250,000 units sold already. The Droid is being heavily marketed towards the hardcore geek and this site also leans towards the hardcore user so that might be the reason for the elevated numbers.
Android 1.5 has the highest number of devices available right now, but it is coming in 3rd in usage. There really is no excuse for the carriers and handset makers to be shipping phones with the outdated Android 1.5. I know some of these phones have custom UIs (Sense UI, Motoblur, TouchWiz) but they should be easily updated to Android 1.6.
The following is a break down of Android phones and their current versions (United States only).
Android 1.5 devices
- Archos MIDs
- Sprint HTC Hero
- Sprint Samsung Moment
- T-Mobile Motorola Cliq
- T-Mobile Samsung Behold II
- Verizon HTC Droid Eris
Android 1.6 devices
- T-Mobile HTC G1
- T-Mobile HTC myTouch 3G
Android 2.0 devices
- Verizon Motorola Droid
Update (11/23): Added Admob information from their latest report which confirms our stats are pretty accurate.
Admob market trends:
- HTC has taken an early lead, thanks to availability of three different devices.
- Motorola Droid launched on November 6 already represented 24 percent of all Android requests in AdMob’s network worldwide even though the device is available only in the US.
- Worldwide requests from Android devices increased 5.8 times since April 2009 in the AdMob network.
- In the US, Android has 20 percent share of smartphone traffic versus 7 percent in April 2009.
- The Motorola CLIQ generated 6% of Android traffic worldwide as on November 18th 2009.