Android fragmentation reaches a breaking point: 1 billion Android devices are outdated

Pablo Tucker
November 15, 2017

As we speak, Google's own older Nexus phones, the newer Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 2, last year's Pixel XL and Pixel, as well as Sony's Xperia XZ1 are just some of the phones that run Android Oreo.

In the month of September, both versions of Android Nougat were up slightly, and had a total share of 15.8 percent. In fact, it was released nearly three months ago for Google's own devices.

After a length of time specified by Android's sysprop pm.dexopt.unopt_after_inactive_days field, applications that haven't been used in a while are marked as inactive by Android and downgraded.

To be precise, the stats are based on active devices interacting with Google Play over the period of a week.

Which version of Android do you have on your smartphone? This is just a beta, as mentioned, but it's broadly available for anyone interested enough in the Oreo update to try out pre-release software.

Android and Apple fans can argue endlessly about who stole what and which phones are better, but there is at least one area where Android has consistently failed to keep up with its biggest rival: fragmentation.

"At this point, we should expect that there are more than one billion devices that are two years out of date!" While there is some hope that Google has started on the long road to recover with Android 8.0, it will be years before Google comes close to catching Apple, providing it ever does.

Year after year, owners of expensive flagship devices are forced to wait more than six months for OS updates and the problem is showing no signs of abating.

That estimate roughly matches Google's most recent Android distribution figures, which were updated a few days ago for the week ending on November 9.

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