Android KitKat Sees its Market Share Surge
Google has just released very detailed data on Android growth rates by version and which versions are running on which kinds of devices. The data reflects devices running the latest Google Play Store app, which is compatible with Android 2.2 and higher, and the data is captured by measuring the devices that visited the Google Play Store in the prior 7 days. Among other things, it shows that the latest KitKat Android version has grown its market share significantly. Month over month, adoption of KitKat is up by 37 percent.
Here is a snapshot of Google's breakdown of Android versions in terms of market share:
So Google estimates that KitKat, or Android 4.4, now runs on 8.5 percent of all active Android devices, up from 5.3 percent last month. As KitKat grows its share, it's also clear that all other versions of Android are dropping in terms of share. The accompanying data on which versions of Android are running on which devices are compelling too, and available here.
As we reported last week, Google may also be taking aim at forked versions of Android through new policies. Emerging forked versions of Android don't support the Google Play app store and the apps there, all of which ring the cash register for Google.
The Register's Andrew Orlowski has noted the following:
"The rumours are true: Google is working on a new brand called Silver to seize back control of the Android platform. Details of the thing have been corroborated by multiple sources – and it looks like a declaration of war on Samsung and wannabe top-tier gadget manufacturers."
"Google will design and subsidise Silver-branded handsets, handpick the manufacturers, and manage production. The new devices will be first in line for Android updates – today's manufacturers are notoriously slow at pushing out upgrades – and there will be plenty of help advertising the devices."
Clearly, the KitKat version of Android has strong momentum, but we're likely to see new Android-centric strategies from Google this year.