Android’s fragmentation problem: Oreo software runs only on 0.3% of devices

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Google’s own older Nexus phones, the newer Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 2, last year’s Pixel XL and Pixel, as well as Sony’s Xperia XZ1 are just some of the phones that run Android Oreo.

If you are an Android phone user, and your smartphone runs the newest Android 8.0 (Oreo) operating system, count yourself very lucky. Google has released the November distribution numbers for Android running on devices globally, and a measly 0.3% of all Android devices run the newest software—a rather minimal gain from 0.2% last month. Android 8.0 (Oreo) was rolled out in August.

These not very encouraging numbers stem from the fact that phone makers, as has been the case over the past few years, have been taking their own sweet time in updating phones with Android’s latest version. As we speak, Google’s own older Nexus phones, the newer Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 2, last year’s Pixel XL and Pixel, as well as Sony’s Xperia XZ1 are just some of the phones that run Android Oreo.

According to Google’s numbers, Android 6 (Marshmallow) still runs on 30.9% devices, the highest among all Android iterations, followed by the even older Android 5.1 (Lollipop) at 20.8%.

As it turns out, most other phone makers have confirmed that at least the flagship phones will get the newest Android as an update before the end of the year. OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 5 will get Oreo before the end of the year. HMD Global, the makers of Nokia branded phones, have also confirmed that the Oreo update for the Nokia 8 will be rolling out in the coming weeks. HTC has also confirmed that the U11 smartphone is due for the newest Android update anytime in the coming weeks as well. On their part, Samsung and Huawei are also testing the beta builds of Android Oreo for their phones, though the exact rollout plan is a bit tentative at the moment.

According to Google’s numbers, Android 6 (Marshmallow) still runs on 30.9% devices, the highest among all Android iterations, followed by the even older Android 5.1 (Lollipop) at 20.8%. Last year’s Android Nougat (7.0 and 7.1) combine for 20.6% devices. This is perhaps one of the reasons for the regular malware attacks on Android phones, since the older operating systems are not as robust in terms of security, data encryption and handling malware.

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