December distribution numbers show not even 1% of devices are running Android Oreo

Even though Apple's iOS 11 spreads slower on compatible devices than any other previous version of the platform, it's still on 60% of the devices as of this month. We can't say the same thing about Android Oreo, which struggles to reach a mere 1% even though the OS made its debut quite a while ago.

It might seem a forced analogy to compare how these two completely different platforms are being adopted by customers, but the fact still remains that Android users are kind of left behind in terms of software updates unless they're buying a Google-made device.

The most recent distribution numbers published by Google reveal the situation is gloomy as far as Android Oreo adoption goes. If you don't remember, last month Google confirmed only 0.3% of the devices that visited the Play Store in early November were running Android Oreo.

For the month of December, Android Oreo shows a minimal increase to just 0.5%. We doubt the situation will change drastically next month, but we should see real improvements from March or April.

You can find the rest the numbers published by Google today below. It appears that Android Marshmallow continues to be the most used Android version with around 30%, but Lollipop is not far behind with 26%.

  • Android Gingerbread - 0.4%
  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich – 0.5%
  • Android Jelly Bean – 5.9%
  • Android Kit Kat – 13.4%
  • Android Lollipop – 26.3%
  • Android Marshmallow – 29.7%
  • Android Nougat – 23.3%
  • Android Oreo – 0.5%

According to Google, the numbers you're seeing above are compiled from all the Android devices that have visited its Play Store during a seven-day period ending December 11th.

source: Google

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31 Comments

1. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

So sad

3. NickHill

Posts: 388; Member since: May 07, 2016

iOS 11 is at 59%. Lol Android

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7248; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Well Oreo is suppose to change how Android updates with project treble. We will have to see how that pans out. Also the results are not for the month of December. The results are November and ending at the beginning of December. BTW many places in Europe have only started to receive the Pixel 2 XL's at the end of November. In Canada it was the 19th of November.

9. NickHill

Posts: 388; Member since: May 07, 2016

Project Treble isn't compatible with current devices. That thing would work on the devices running Android O at launch.

22. TMHKR

Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

And this means literally nothing, as people will still have to buy the very latest devices.

28. andrewc31394

Posts: 292; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

manufacturers are already starting to disable Project Treble (like Oneplus), so I don't have too much faith in that. I love Android but honestly with the horrendous software updates on anything but Google devices it makes me consider switching OS's :/

7. worldpeace

Posts: 3130; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Even Jellybean is less buggy than iOS 11

8. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Android before Kitkat was god f**king awful, leagues worst than iOS 11. That's coming from the guy whom has done nothing but crap on iOS11 since the betas first released, mind you, and I'd still take it over pre-4.4 Android any day of the week!

26. bambamboogy02

Posts: 838; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

@NickHill, Ios only has to run on 3 different cpu's and pieces of hardware to code for. Android on the other hand, has a vast amount of different CPU's and hardware combo's to code for. Even has different brands of processors to accommodate for. As well as different amounts of Ram to contend with. While you make your silly comments, you look like a tool doing so. Have a good day.

2. Busyboy

Posts: 731; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

I wish Google controlled updates like Apple does with its devices, cause this is awful. Hoping next year things change when devices come with Oreo out of the box.

17. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Google is controlling the updates...it's because every oem has their own skinned versions on Android that slows down the process. Now imagine people only buying or using Android phones directly distributed by Google...just like Apple, the entire scenerio would change.

32. CAVBR

Posts: 134; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

But Google controls the updates of its devices, just like Apple. The problem is that OEMs dealing with Android do not collaborate.

4. gamehead unregistered

This is one of the areas Apple wins. And yes I know there's much more Android phones that Apple phones.

33. CAVBR

Posts: 134; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

It is not just quantity. It is the way to manage. With iOS, Apple only has to worry about the devices themselves (not up to 20 at all). With Android, Google has to worry about its devices (about 10 devices), the Android One and Android Go devices (plus a 10), and everything else (tens).

5. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Android phone manufacturers do not respect their clients.

19. Peacetoall unregistered

That is 100% absolutely correct. except some big oem like samsung HTC and LG other doesn't give a damn about their customers. My sister one plus 2 which was a flagship at the time didn't get the nougat even it is capable to run it.

10. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Doesn't matter, mine was oreo & it's buggy. Some nerdy fanboys think latest update is important they even fight over it. What is so good about software update if it's buggy? (same s**t happen with my iPad Pro).

11. Feanor

Posts: 1348; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Depends on what you buy; my Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Nexus 5X are both running Oreo already for months. ;-) The graph doesn't show that Oreo adoption is slow, but that people buy Samsungs and Huaweis.

12. TheOracle1

Posts: 2225; Member since: May 04, 2015

I've said it before and I'll say it again. These numbers only matter for phones running stock android. Most manufacturer skins are about 2 iterations ahead of the latest Google release with many extra features as standard. Updating to Oreo doesn't matter for the likes of MiUi, EMUI etc.

20. lallolu

Posts: 732; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Google really needs to find a way to address the issue of manufacturers not giving updates. The software on phones need to be really modular so that users can install updates from google and get drivers from the manufacturers. This should be possible since it works like this on windows PC.

21. TMHKR

Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

Manufacturers are to blame, no one else. And they have some pretty out-of-mind ideas from time to time. I have the LG L Bello (single-SIM), and LG released Lollipop only for dual-SIM version of the phone - which is sold in, let's call them this way, poorer countries of the world. I don't see the point of such discrimination, where a manufacturer releases major update only for a slight variation of the same device, with 99.9% same hardware. Yes, Bello is a cheap device, but the point is that only some of them received the update, regardless of the carrier (both open and carrier-locked dual-SIM Bellos received the Lollipop).

23. xfire99

Posts: 1205; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Android OEMs doesnt release Beta firmware.

24. Panzer

Posts: 282; Member since: May 13, 2016

Exactly how many bug fixes have been pushed to the Pixels so far. Tough to build skin it when your base code is garbage. I had five Nexus phones and I never updated right away. I am fine getting my security patches until a stable build comes out.

25. technitude

Posts: 263; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

You guys kill me. I say this all the time, because of articles like this. Android and iOS are different. Android OS is developed first, and devices are then engineered around it, while Apple engineers the hardware first, then builds an OS to work with the hardware. This means, iOS is not going to account for curved screens, 2nd screens, SD cards, folding phones, or use on a refrigerator, tv, or thermostat. So if someone wants to make a smart remote for their TV, they are going to use Android. But they may never plan to upgrade the OS after they release their product. Also, when you buy that Android based security system or refrigerator, you expect it to work in 10 years. (It might not be running Twizzler or Waffle. And, OMG!, it might still be running Oreo) - some iOS fans are always going to think that makes iOS superior. - Yet, nobody can buy ANY iOS device TODAY, that they can expect to be using in 2028. In a few years, Android screens will be on Microwaves, Coffee Makers, Blenders, Hair Dryers, Doorbells, TVs, Vacuums, Shopping Carts, plus hundreds of other things, it might even be on wireless Chargers for iPhones. - Unless Tizen or something else gets in on this.

27. tokuzumi

Posts: 1873; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

With security updates being pushed out by the OEMs in a halfway decent manner, OS updates are not that critical. I'm currently on the Oct 17 security patch on my HTC 10, and I should be receiving the Nov 17 any day now (HTC usually releases the patch for the previous month just as Google is announcing the current month's patch). Google updates most of their apps via the play store, so the visual differences between Lollipop and Nougat are not that great. Plus, no phones other than the Pixels support Project Treble, so there's no point in even touting that as a feature of Oreo at this point.

29. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

And people hate on Sony... I feel very lucky then, having an Xperia XZ (launched in 2016) before the XZs and XZ1, and it received Oreo's Update already. Even my sister with her new iPhone X was jealous of the smooth Picture in Picture features when using Google Maps navigation, among other things.

30. civicsr2cool

Posts: 267; Member since: Oct 19, 2016

iPhones rely on updates for new features, Androids do not.

34. CAVBR

Posts: 134; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

Funny that 7% of the public still uses Android versions prior to KitKat.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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