At the beginning of the month we noted that the fragmentation of the Android operating system was beginning to slow, at that time 45% of all Android phones were running the 2.1 firmware.
As Android’s market share continues to grow and new handsets are pushed to market, Android 2.1 is now running on exactly half of all Android phones currently in use.
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Android 1.5 and 1.6 make up for most of the other firmware currently in use, many European HTC Hero users are still to get an upgrade from the stock software since they purchased their handsets. Android 1.5 accounts for 24.6% of devices whereas Android 1.6 has a slightly larger share at 25%.
We suggested that we will start to see a sharp rise in Android 2.2 use once Google’s Froyo release is adopted by manufacturers, currently the firmware is only available for some Nexus One owners and via third-party ROM’s hacked together by Android enthusiasts.
Google has openly admitted that its Gingerbread firmware will see the beginning of a planned slowdown where the company will start to release just one firmware update a year. This will help reduce fragmentation and give developers a chance to fine-tune their apps without fear of having to support a large number of different handset setups.