Android M only on 10% smartphones, Lollipop, KitKat still dominate

Google announced the next Android version, dubbed Android N, last month. However, only 10.1% Android smartphones have the latest Android Marshmallow release. This is just a marginal increase of 2.6% over May, when the Android Marshmallow user base stood at 7.5%.

Android M was released seven months ago in October 2015. The latest OS version barely had 1% users in February. Adoption has been slow as brands continue to launch smartphones with older Lollipop OS baked with their custom UIs. However, with brands like Motorola , Samsung, LG and Lenovo releasing Android Marshmallow updates to their devices, the adoption rates have picked up.

Android Lollipop is the most widely-used version of Android, with the OS running on 35.4% of all devices.

As for the earlier versions of Android OS, KitKat stands at 31.6%, Jelly Bean at 18.9%, Ice Cream Sandwich at 1.9% and Gingerbread at 2%.

Google fetches this data from devices running the latest Google Play Store app, which is compatible with Android 2.2 and higher.

The low adoption of Android Marshmallow means developers are not able to add essential features like fingerprint verification to their apps. For example, the latest Android Marshmallow comes with fingerprint sign-on feature baked in. With this, users can log into apps and even make payments using fingerprint authentication. However, developers just can’t go ahead with incorporating the feature in their apps with 10.1% users on-board.

 The major challenge for Google while countering this fragmentation issue is that it has to deal with countless Android smartphone brands, chip makers, carriers and developers.
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