The adoption of new versions of Android may be slow, but there’s one area where Google is (unsurprisingly) doing great: the Google Pixel. Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh revealed that it has seen over 75 percent of users already update to Android Pie.
The news comes on the heels of Apple announcing that iOS 12 — its latest operating system — reached 50 percent of iOS users last week. If you compare more recent iOS devices from the last four years (which is a bit fairer since the Pixel is only a few years old), Apple only has a 53 percent adoption rate, which is still far below the Pixel’s numbers. It speaks to the huge benefits that Google can bring to devices when it fully controls the hardware and software experience like Apple does.
Of course, there’s a huge, contextual elephant in the room: the Pixel represents just a tiny slice of the overall Android market. Last year, Google sold just 3.9 million Pixels, or less than the average number of iPhones Apple sells in a given week.
And while it’s great that a majority of those Pixel users are on the latest release of Android, those numbers aren’t in any way reflective of the overall state of Android where adoption of new operating systems moves at a glacial pace, if at all.
Google has yet to release any hard numbers for Android Pie installation across Android as a whole, but, as of September 28th, Google’s developer portal reported that Android Oreo (released on August 21st, 2017) was running on just 19.2 percent of Android devices, after 403 days of availability.
We also don’t have numbers for Android Pie adoption yet since adoption is too small, relative to the rest of Android. As of September 28th, Pie still hasn’t shown up on Google’s developer portal chart, which the company says omits any version of Android running on fewer than 0.1 percent of devices. That’s not great for an OS that was released in August. (For comparison, last year’s Android Oreo only reached 0.2 percent of the market by October 2nd, 2017.)
It’s great that Google can get most of its Pixel users on the latest version of Android, but it’ll need to repeat that success across far bigger chunks of its user base if it truly wants to compete.