Android KitKat Continues Its Climb Towards Jelly Bean With October's Android Distribution Numbers


October has come and gone and now November is here. One of the joys of the start of a new month is of course the updated figures we always get advising of the state of Android distribution, its users and any changes. Just to fill you in on the numbers that follow, these are provided by Google to show the number of users as a percentage base for Android. These are calculated by how many devices are noted as running android and which version of android and decided by interaction with the Google Play Store app. These figures are taken over a seven day period which on this occasion ended on November 3rd (today) and represent the level of Android usage for October. It is also worth noting that android operating system's below 2.2 are not counted towards the numbers due to their collective figure being too low. You can check out last months figures by reading September's report.

Now to the numbers. Consistent with the last couple of months KitKat continues its rise. For October, KitKat (Android 4.4) was noted as in use on 30.2% of devices. This roughly equates to a nearly 6% jump from September in which 24.5% of devices were running Android and up almost 10% since August when the KitKat figure was 20.9%. With KitKat continually climbing month-on-month it is less surprising that the most dominant operating system Jelly Bean (Android 4.1-4.3) continues to decline. For October the number of noted Jelly Bean devices was 50.9% which is almost 3% less than September's figure which was 53.8%. This is a bigger drop than we had seen in the last report which showed Jelly Bean only dropping to 53.8% from 54.2%. With JB and KitKat occupying a massive combined 81% it is probably no surprise that the rest of the lower Android operating systems also continue to decline. Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.3/4.0.4) dropped from September's figure of 9.6% down to 8.5%. Likewise, Gingerbread (2.3.3 – 2.3.7) dropped from 11.4% down to 9.8% and Froyo (2.2) dropped slightly from 0.7% down to 0.6%.


Although these figures are generally on trend with what we have seen over the last couple of months it is worth noting the game all changes next month. As the newest edition of Android's operating system, Android 5.0 (Lollipop) is being released today it will be interesting to see from now on how this affects the next few months figures. This will be even more interesting when remembering how many OEM's are advising they will roll-out Lollipop to many of their older KitKat running devices, which might really affect KitKat's numbers going forward. So is this the high point for KitKat? Will Lollipop end KitKat's continued rise to the top or will all those Jelly Bean users still slowly migrate to KitKat? Let us know your predictions.

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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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