Android 13 is on very few smartphones! Why?

As time goes by, it doesn’t seem like it, but the truth is that Android 13 already arrived about eight months ago, even if it’s still on very few smartphones. In fact, it is only installed on 12% of devices. While this is to be expected, this means that many more people have older versions installed. This is according to the latest distribution statistics from Google, which are available quarterly through the developer tool Android Studio.

Android 13 is on very few smartphones! Why?

However, an install rate of 12% is not necessarily as bad as it sounds. The last time the statistics were updated was in January this year. So that explains the numbers. Also because Android 13 installs have more than doubled since then. Still, about 16% of devices have Android 12 installed, and nearly 24% have Android 11 as their operating system. In comparison, only about 5% of devices had Android 13 at the start of the year.

Source: 9to5Google

Interestingly, when Android 12 was first included in Google’s distribution statistics, it entered the chart with an adoption rate of 13.3%. This was almost a year after it became widely available for installation. If the current install base grows at a steady trajectory, it could overtake its predecessor in popularity.

However, there is a caveat to growth. Google makes Android available to mobile phone manufacturers, but it is up to each of them to implement it on their own devices. For example, this is why some devices will have Android 14 before other smartphones. An operating system release and subsequent updates usually undergo a lot of internal testing to ensure compatibility and a consistent user experience, and this testing period tends to take longer when it comes to major version upgrades.

The first Android 14 beta was recently released for Google Pixel smartphones and includes several stability improvements and new features. The full release is planned for the end of this year, probably around August.

As for older versions of Android, it is interesting to note that a small number of devices are still running KitKat at 0.6%, Lollipop at 1.9% and Marshmallow at 2.5%.

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