According to the Android Developer Dashboard, Nougat devices now account for 20.6 percent of active Android devices together. Marshmallow is still the reigning king with an API level at 31 percent — with Lollipop still trailing close behind at 27.2 percent. Following the release of Oreo in August, the latest operating system is only on 0.3 percent of devices.
In contrast, Apple’s iOS 11, which was released in the middle of September, was installed on 52 percent of devices as of November 6.
Although Marshmallow’s 31-percent market share may sound like a small percentage, it accounts for a lot of phones, especially considering there have been well over 1.4 billion Android devices activated since September 2015. And it highlights one of Android’s biggest problems — fragmentation. Google issues monthly security updates and rolls out version updates to all of its supported Pixel, Nexus, and Android Go devices, but these are not always released in a timely manner by manufacturers and carriers for other devices.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that Google’s survey doesn’t account for the millions of Android smartphones in China, as the search giant only collects data from devices that access the Google Play Store. The Play Store is not available in China.
*The data above is from Google. It was collected during a seven-day period ending on November 9, 2017. Any versions with less than 0.1 percent distribution are not shown.
Android 7.0/7.1 Nougat saw some gains this month and other Android versions decreased in share, while Marshmallow stayed relatively steady at 31 percent. Android 8.0 Oreo on the other hand, only saw a 0.1 percent increase since last month.
Android’s notoriously bad fragmentation was the catalyst for Project Treble, a system-level change in Android O that bypasses much of the testing currently required by manufacturers, chip makers, and carriers. But it isn’t backward-compatible — older Android devices are stuck on the old upgrade cycle.
We will continue to update this post as Google updates its Android distribution figures.
Update: Android Nougat 7.0 and 7.1 are currently installed on 20 percent of devices. The Android Developer Dashboard also shows Android Oreo is currently installed on 0.3 percent of devices.