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New Android OS Distribution Data Released

It's been about two months since I covered a report by Android Developers on the Android OS version distribution, and in that time, the number of devices Android devices accessing the Android Market running Android 2.x has increased from 83% to almost 90%, while most other Android OS versions have seen a decline their percent share.

In the new data released a few days ago, Android 2.3 makes a visible appearance on the chart, accounting for 0.8% or all devices, but those are certainly not all Nexus S devices. Instead, some of that 0.8% are likely devices running custom Gingerbread ROMs.

Android 2.2 has grown to 57.6%, up from 43.4% in early December, and Android 2.1 has shrunk from 39.6% in December to 31.4%. Together, Android 1.5 and 1.6 account for just over 10% of the market share.

While the new numbers look good at first glance, users looking to take any information away from this data should be mindful that the number of Android devices accessing the Android Market is growing every day, and that many are finally shipping with Android 2.1 or 2.2 pre-installed.

This is good news for people looking to buy an Android device, but for individuals who own a phone running Android 1.5 or 1.6, the possibility of an update to Android 2.1 or 2.2 seems to grow bleaker by the day.

If you look at the graphs from previous data reports, you can see that the ratio of Android 1.5 versus 1.6 has remained relatively similar, with the number of Android 1.6 devices slowly shrinking in comparison to the Android 1.5 devices.

Motorola just announced that their Cliq XT will not be receiving any update beyond Android 1.5. However, Cliq XT owners aren't the only ones getting the short end of the straw. There are still lots of devices out there that are 3 or 4 major Android OS revisions behind, like the T-mobile G1, Samsung i7500, HTC Tattoo, Garminfone, and many others, plus the devices which are still being sold today running Android 1.5 or 1.6.

As I've said before, it will likely be a very long time (several years probably) until Android 1.5 and 1.6 devices no longer appear in this data.

Image from Android Developers

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