Finally, Most Android Phones Run OS 2.1 or 2.2

October 14, 2010 - Written By Maddi Hausmann Sojourner

Google has released its latest Android platform usage levels for developers working on apps.  This allows developers to focus their priorities on the most frequently used OS releases for Android devices.  The latest data is for the 14 days ending October 1st, 2010.

The most used release of the Android operating system in the second half of September, 2010, was Android 2.1, also known as Eclair.  Eclair was running on more than forty percent of all Android phones that accessed the Android Market during the survey period.

Platform Nickname Distribution
Android 1.5 Cupcake 9.7%
Android 1.6 Donut 16.4%
Android 2.1 Eclair 40.4%
Android 2.2 Froyo 33.4%

Next in line was the newest Android OS, version 2.2 or Froyo. Froyo was found on more than a third of Android phones during the survey.  Thus versions 2.1 and 2.2 together (call it version 2.x) accounted for almost three-quarters of all Android phones polled.

Of the remaining releases being used by Android phones, OS 1.6 accounted for less than a sixth and OS 1.5 was under a tenth.  One tenth of one percent were using “Other,” which would be an obsolete release not mentioned here.

The numbers have changed even since one month ago.  Here is the same table for the two-week period ending September 1st, 2010, plus the change for this month’s data  compared to last.  The only gain was in Froyo use, all other versions lost ground since last month.

Platform Nickname Distribution Change Sep-Aug
Android 1.5 Cupcake 12.0% -2.3%
Android 1.6 Donut 17.5% -1.1%
Android 2.1 Eclair 41.7% -1.3%
Android 2.2 Froyo 28.7% 5.7%

Looking at the historical Android release chart, we can see how quickly versions 2.1 and 2.2 became ascendant.

The majority of Android devices have been running version 2.x since early June, according to the chart above.

Version 2.0.1 was quickly replaced by Android 2.1, which has shown a steady growth after its initial sweep of the slightly older OS.  Version 2.2. showed a much slower growth, due to it being available only on the Nexus One at first.  The faster spread coincides with Motorola’s release of the DROID 2, which shipped with Froyo, and Verizon’s upgrade of the original DROID.  Other devices began upgrading through the rest of the summer and early fall.

Some Android phones are still being released with Cupcake, but they are getting harder to find.  The Sony Ericsson Xperia series (both X10 and X8) is notorious for still shipping with version 1.6.