Which version of Android is your smartphone running on? (poll results)

Which version of Android is your smartphone running on? (poll results)
Hang around PhoneArena or any other publication focused on the mobile industry long enough, and you're bound to stumble upon the word 'fragmentation'. But what does fragmentation mean in the context of Android? Simply put, it refers to the inability of any one player, including Google, to put the entire market onto the same version of its mobile OS. This is problematic – older versions of Android are no longer officially supported and receive no updates, including security ones, leaving users stuck with devices that are left to die a slow death.

According to Google's latest stats, relevant as of March 2nd 2015, only 3.3% of the total Android population is running on the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop update. Of the remainder, 40.9% make use of Android 4.4 KitKat, 42.6% have one of the various Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean builds on board, and 5.9% rely on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The last 7.3% are split between Android 2.3 Gingerbread (6.9%) and Froyo (0.4%).

But when we asked you on Monday to vote for the Android version your own device is running on, we expected to see quite a different split, and we weren't disappointed. In fact, we were even a little surprised to see as many people (38.5%) indicate having the latest Lollipop build running on their daily drivers. The most popular version remains KitKat, though, with 45.42%, while 10.98% have Jelly Bean, and 1.74% run Ice Cream Sandwich.

So why are the results so vastly different from Google's sample of the entire market? There are several reasons that explain such disparity. First off, if you're on PhoneArena and are engaged enough to participate in votes such as these, it is more than likely that you also know more than the average Android user out there. While we obviously don't have the data to back this up, the previous means that your engagement with the mobile industry makes it more likely for you to have a newer, up-to-date device in your pocket. Further still, the power user crowd, while only a fraction of the Android total, is disproportionately more vocal and far more inclined to participate in relevant polls, so they're over-represented. Those are also the people that can and do make use of third-party custom ROMs for their devices, which usually means much earlier access to the latest thing compared to having to wait for an official update, like the typical Android user does.

With these in mind, take a look at the results for yourself:

Which version of Android is your smartphone running on? (March 2015)

Android 2.2 Froyo
1.21%
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
2.15%
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
1.74%
Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean
10.98%
Android 4.4 KitKat
45.42%
Android 5.0 Lollipop
38.5%

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