Android Marshmallow is now running on 1.2 percent of Android handsets. The number is staggeringly low especially since Marshmallow has been around for around for 4 Months and also because 3 months down the road Google will be talking about the next Android version at Google IO 2016. But in light of current state of affairs, even crossing 1 percent mark post 4 months feels like a crossing a major hurdle.
To put Marshmallow growth in perspective, let’s compare it to Lollipop’s march last year.
At the same time last year, Android Lollipop was running on 1.6 percent devices. Later by May 2015, Lollipop adoption caught speed and the OS crawled over 9 percent of Android space. You must also take into account that Lollipop has a much slower start. Remember how Motorola updated its portfolio even before Nexus devices? Going by those numbers Marshmallow is trailing, though not by a wide margin.
Another point worth considering is that Android Marshmallow brought forth the new material design and was more in consumer demand back them as compared to Marshmallow today. Mandatory encryption on Marshmallow could also hold back its adoption.
Android fragmentation is in Android DNA and even talking about it at this point of time feels regressive. It’s a fractured ecosystem and OEMs losing money left and right don’t have enough motivation to support device in the long run.
Google acknowledges the problem, and doesn’t want users to wait one whole year before experiencing a feature added today. As a solution, most changes in the new Android versions are now passed on to all users via app updates though Playstore. For example, the new verticle app drawer in Marshmallow was rolled out as update to Google Now Launcher and can be experienced by all Android users irrespective of the base version.
One and half years past its debut, Lollipop is finally on 32.6 percent of devices and might soon replace KitKat (35.5 %) to become the most popular Android flavor. Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwitch, Gingerbread and Froyo are gradually phasing out and currently retain 23.9%, 2.5%, 2.7% and 0.1% share of the Android pie.