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Android Distribution Numbers – October 2018: Pie’s a No-Show

Android distribution numbers are out, and there’s a frightening outlook for the latest version months after its release. Pie, which Google rolled out to Pixel phones more than two months ago, doesn’t register at all. In the data made public, Pie’s a no-show while older versions continue holding significant shares.

Meanwhile, the most popular version of Android arrived two years ago. Google rolled out Nougat in 2016, but the Mountain View-based company hasn’t been able to encourage hardware manufacturers to upgrade these devices.

The Pixel phones also deserve to be called out. Both 2017 and 2016 models are on Pie, and not too many other devices in the world are on it. So that means there can be no more than 2 million Android devices (0.1%) running Pie as a whole. Everyone knew Pixel phones weren’t sold in volume, but this reminds us how much work Google must put in to rival Apple’s sales figures.

As we head into the holidays and 2019, Pie should (hopefully) make its first appearance. Google can’t fall behind much longer as it’s already in a sad situation.

Here are the percentage changes from last month:

  • Oreo: +2.3%
  • Nougat: -1.1%
  • Marshmallow: -0.3%
  • Lollipop: -0.4%
  • KitKat: -0.2%
  • Jelly Bean: -0.2%
  • Ice Cream Sandwich: no change
  • Gingerbread: -0.1%

Oreo grew, everything else fell. That’s what Google wants to see. The trends are shifting in appropriate directions, but it’s downright embarrassing for Pie to be missing. It speaks to how underwhelming Pixel phones are selling, too. Just an all-around mess from this month’s Android distribution numbers.

There’s no doubt Google’s partners should be blamed as well; however, we’ve seen Android fragmentation drag down the platform for a decade. Android’s celebrating its 10-year anniversary this fall.

You have to wonder if there will be a breaking point. Maybe we’ll see a serious effort to upgrade devices if Google threatens to pull access to its apps and services. While its partners are able to create alternatives, Google’s suite remains globally popular. That’s might be far-fetched, but it could motivate everyone to stay current.

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