Only 7.5 percent of Android devices are running Marshmallow and here’s why

Google released its monthly update this week regarding the number of users running the different versions of its mobile operating system, the Android platform and the results are quite surprising. It is found that only 7.5 percent of the Android smartphones are updated to the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. Last month, the number of phones running the latest operating system accounted for 4.6 percent of all Android mobile devices and a meager 2.3 percent the month before.

The latest offering in the Android platform, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system was launched by Google in October last year for smartphones and tablets, with major visual changes, cool new features and performance tweaks and upgrades. A good population of Android devices are still running the Android 5.0 Lollipop and older versions of the operating system.

Over 35 percent Android devices are still using the 5.0 Lollipop which was released in 2014. The statistics also revealed that a vast majority of users, about 32.5 percent are still using the three years old Android 4.4 KitKat that debuted in 2013. The latest version, Android 6.0 Marshmallow is clearly lagging behind its own predecessor, Android 5.0 Lollipop which reached around 9 percent of Android devices by this time last year.

While Android devices have always shown a slow and lethargic rate for upgrades, it is hard to believe that some Android devices are running on ancient releases like the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The statistics show that around 20 percent of Android devices are still on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. A very small number of devices, mere 2 percent are running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich accompanied by about 2 percent running on the even more outdated Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

With the vast majority of devices running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher, it is still quite the shock to see that a good number of devices are still using some of the really old and utterly outdated Android versions. Meanwhile on the other side of the fence, in the playground of Apple Inc, an astounding 84 percent of iPhones and iPads have been updated to iOS 9, which was launched by the company in September 2015. The company also stated that only 11 percent of iOS devices are running the previous version iOS 8 and a very small number, merely 5 percent of devices are running an earlier version of operating system.

Google caused this problem when it made its first Android operating system and handed most of the control over the platform updates to the various mobile phone manufacturers and network carriers. While this move allowed it to capture a huge amount of the market share, it put the power into the hands of the various phone manufacturers who push upgrades into the devices at their own will. So when a major Android platform upgrade is released, the manufacturer may choose to reserve it for its premium and other higher end devices in order to boost the sales of those devices.

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