Android 5.0 Lollipop nibbles off 1.6 percent of Android devices


Android 5.0 Lollipop finally has enough market share to appear on Google’s radar.

According to the latest version of the Android Developers Dashboard, published on Monday, Lollipop has found itself a home on 1.6 percent of Android devices. That percentage accounts for all Android devices that visited the Google Play store during the seven days ending February 2.

This marks the first time that Lollipop has shown up on the Developers Dashboard since the OS launched last November. The Dashboard only shows Android versions with a share higher than 0.1 percent. And though a 1.6 percent share isn’t a huge slice, it shows that mobile vendors and carriers have made some progress over the past month rolling out the new version.

Motorola was one of the first device makers to start pushing out Android 5.0 shortly after it was released. But even so, the company is still working on expanding the rollout to all of its devices worldwide. In a blog post last Thursday, Motorola explained why Android 5.0 and new versions of Android in general take so long to reach users around the world.

After Google makes a new OS available, mobile phone makers must test it themselves as well as with local carriers and other parties. Limited rollouts then kick off targeting a small group of users. Testing and rollouts then expand by region. And mobile carriers involved in the process must also test the OS to make sure it meets their requirements. And all of this must be applied to each individual Android phone and tablet.

Lollipop has also been beset by some technical problems. Google had to resolve some issues in Android 5.0 running on Nexus devices, prompting it to release Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2. On Saturday, HTC announced that it would miss its 90 deadline of rolling out Android 5.0 to the carrier versions of the HTC One M8 and M7, which would have seen the new version launch on February 1.

Among other Android versions, Jelly Bean, which rolled out in 2012, still rules the market with a 44.5 percent share. But KitKat, which debuted in 2013, is catching up with a 39.7 percent share. That left smaller shares for older versions, such as Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread with shares of 6.4 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.