Android 2.1 (Eclair) is gaining more and more ground as the weeks go by. This time around, it has managed to grab a total of 59.7% of all active devices, up from 55.5%, in just a few weeks. It looks like Google is slowing seeing their mobile OS ecosystem becoming more and more consistent as time goes by.
As it stands, devices running Android 1.5 or 1.6 account only for 35.6% of devices, and Froyo has now gained 1.2% since the last report, landing at 4.5% of all Android phones in the wild. Froyo’s market share will likely increase dramatically in the next such report, as the original Motorola Droid and the HTC EVO 4G are beginning to receive Android 2.2 updates right about now. Once the fleet of Android 2.1-powered smartphones get updated to the newer version of Google’s mobile operating system, Eclair’s share will decrease obviously, and that “fragmentation” issue will once again become more apparent.
When Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) hits, this will make matters even worse. Who knows what these fragmentation numbers will looks like when Android tablets actually begin to materialize in force. This will likely be the case for the rest of the OS’ existence, as long as people are hanging on to their G1’s, and other legacy devices. With the introduction of Gingerbread, it will signal a split between the high and low-end devices (also likely between tablets and smartphones – we’re hearing that Gingerbread is more optimized for tablets), and maybe we’ll begin to see two charts when Google decides to update their platform version numbers.
I’d imagine Eclair will still gain steam though, as many devices shipping today have it pre-installed. Hell, even the Kmart Augen Tablet is running 2.1. The only device that we know of to begin shipping with Froyo is the Motorola Droid 2, and while that will change in the future, it seems like Eclair is the sweet spot at the moment.
All of these Android versions flying around can get confusing for the average consumer, as they likely won’t even know they are running a lower version of the OS until they either do some research or see another device with better features. Do your research, customers! You don’t want to go out and buy a T-Mobile MyTouch 3G, and expect to see the thing get updated to Gingerbread when it comes out.