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Apple’s executives like to point out that Android lags far behind when it comes to firmware updates. Sure, Apple only has to support a handful of iPhones as opposed to the thousands of Android models, but the point still has merit anyway.
Don’t believe us? Then take a look at Google’s latest statistics (as of 8 January 2018), breaking down active Android devices by update. The company essentially tallies devices visiting the Play Store to get this data. So that means China is missing, but it still gives us a good idea of update adoption.
And in pole position is Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), accounting for 28.6% of all Android devices visiting the Play Store. In case you forgot, Marshmallow was first released towards the end of 2015.
By comparison, the latest updates (8.0 and 8.1 Oreo) only account for 0.7% of the pie. Meanwhile, Android Nougat accounts for 26.3% marketshare. Combine Nougat and Oreo (tasty) and you’re looking at 27% — not enough to knock Marshmallow off the throne. It’s a tiny gap, so don’t be surprised if the combo passes Marshmallow in the next month or two.
How does this stack up to a month ago? Back on 11 December 2017 (seen above), Marshmallow accounted for 29.7% of tallied Android devices. Meanwhile, Nougat and Oreo was sitting at a combined 23.8%.
It’s also worth noting that, when it comes to updates older than Marshmallow, everything bar Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich saw a drop in marketshare.
There is potentially good news to be had for updates though, as Google announced Project Treble last year. The system, which forms part of Android Oreo, essentially allows for Android to be updated without requiring extra work from silicon manufacturers. Will it succeed? Well, we’ll just have to wait until Android P, it seems…