With the approaching release of the latest Android O (8.0), it's the right time to analyze the most popular Android versions based on mobile web traffic statistics. Read this post to learn which Android version is the most used in your target market according to mobile device usage data gathered by DeviceAtlas in Q1 2017.
Android update release schedule
Google typically releases a new version of Android every year. In 2014 it was Lollipop (5.0-5.1.1), in 2015 it was Marshmallow (6.0-6.0.1), and in 2016 it was Nougat (7.0-7.1.2). In 2017 it will be Android 8, reportedly dubbed "Oatmeal Cookie".
Android Nougat has been available since August 2016. This means that all Android smartphones already on the market either got updates to Android N or were left without an update. Of course, the latest releases had Android N on board, including the massively popular Samsung Galaxy S8.
Android Nougat is still less popular than older versions
Back in 2016, we reported that Marshmallow’s adoption was at a relatively low level, with Android 5 and 5.1 (Lollipop) getting more share in most countries. We noticed that there was a huge disparity between developed countries and emerging markets in terms of Android version usage. It’s not a secret that some older and low-end devices used in emerging markets don’t get updates as quickly as the latest smartphones. Also, their OS update cycle can end relatively soon, sometimes after as few as 2 or 3 updates.
The latest statistics reveal that Android 7-7.1 (Nougat) released nearly a year ago is still generating relatively low web traffic even in developed markets. In Q1 2017, Android N was the most used in UK, USA, and Sweden where it had 6-10% share of all traffic generated by Android phones in these countries.
Marshmallow and Lollipop are the most used
We noticed that Marshmallow was the most used Android version in all developed countries we analyzed, while for most emerging markets Lollipop was the leader.
This difference is even more noticeable in terms of older versions. For example in Canada, Android 4.3 or older was barely getting any traffic, while in Colombia, these older versions had a significant share at over 13%.
Here are the latest statistics on the most used Android versions based on web traffic in Q1 2017. The figures show the percentage of all Android web traffic generated by each Android version.
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