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Fragmentation lives: iOS 7 now on 74% of iPhones, while KitKat has only reached 1% of Android devices

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Android fragmentation might be on the decline, but it’s hard not to notice it when comparing numbers like these. According to web and analytics advertising firm Chitika, Apple’s(s aapl) iOS 7 now powers 74.1 percent of North American iPhones. Google’s(s goog) Android 4.4 KitKat, on the other hand, is only running on 1.1 percent of Android devices, according to Google’s developer statistics.

iOS 7 adoption Chitika

As you can see in the chart above, iOS 7 powers the vast majority of Apple’s iPhones. To determine iOS distribution, Chitika looked at tens of millions of North American ad impressions on iOS devices between October 25 and November 18. So while it might not be an exact number directly from Apple, it’s a good indication of just how widespread iOS 7 adoption is throughout North America. iOS 7 adoption on the iPad isn’t far behind, at 63.8 percent according to Chitika.

This is in stark contrast to Android. According to Google, KitKat is only running on 1.1 percent of Android devices. Jelly Bean (versions 4.1 – 4.3) makes up the largest segment by far, running on 54.5 percent percent of Android devices.  What’s surprising, and a little unsettling, is that Gingerbread, which is two years old at this point, is still running on 24.1 percent of the Android phones and tablets out there.

KitKat adoption

There are many reasons for this, from memory constraints to manufacturer-added software overlays, which tend to delay the update process, if not shut it down completely. Google pledged to fight Android fragmentation with the release of KitKat, writing the software to support devices with older specs. But it also isn’t providing an update to its own Galaxy Nexus, which should be able to run the new OS just fine.

17 Responses to “Fragmentation lives: iOS 7 now on 74% of iPhones, while KitKat has only reached 1% of Android devices”

  1. Misleading. I use both platforms, and both have their benefits. What is important is Google can update parts of their OS without pushing an entire OS update. My older device had 95% of the features as me new one. Main limit is hardware.

    I *could* flash an AOSP ROM ang get that missing 5% if I wished.

    Depends on what you’re looking for.

  2. I own the QiBox, a wooden LED bluetooth speaker with wireless charging, also i bought a 3rd aftermark case receiver on ebay for my iPhone 5.

    It’s work well with ISO6 for my iPhone 5, however when i upgrade to IOS7.0.3 today, The caution message from iPhone 5 is “As this cable or accessory has not been qualified bu us, it has a possibility that does not work normally in this iPhone” as shown in the attached photo.

  3. The more important question is: who cares? People with older Apple devices don’t get all the benefits of upgrading anyway, they miss out on a lot of the new features. In fact the biggest function of upgrading for them seems to be to allow Apple to continue this meaningless “fragmentation” narrative.

    • It still shows that there are 5 different iOS versions out there. Kit Kat release is only on Nexus devices so it is moot. Most phones are on Ice Cream Sandwich so the fragmentation is still kept in chec. Besides, upgrading to iOS 7 was the worst mistake I ever made. What a horrible and ugly release! I actually jumped ship to Android partly because I hated the new iOS so much. I know a few others that also hate the new iOS. Besides, an OS can be written to make what version you’re running pointless to developers. They can write the code to simply support the older devices and get the new features of more recent releases too. Yeah it takes a little more work overall but it’s not a paralyzing issue.

    • So according to your illogical logic people on ios devices only update their software just so Apple and Apple users can push a Android fragmentation narrative??? Wow thanks for schooling me on this since my daughter has no idea what fragmentation is on either device, but who knew she was just updating to ios 7 to push this narrative. Glad I now understand why she would update to ios 7.

  4. Shawn Rutherford

    …of the devices capable of running IOS7. You can’t compare Apples to Androids in that fashion unless you factor out which devices are reached EOS and both sides have plenty of those.

      • IOS 7 on iPhone 4 is pointless. Other than the ugly new UI, you don’t get any benefits from the upgrade. I got rid of mine for a new Note 3 running 4.3 ICS and I’m never looking back! The whole fragmentation BS is blown way out of proportion. I don’t have any lack of available apps to my device. What’s the point of upgrading an OS if you don’t get new features? When Samsung releases Kit Kat for my device, I will get all of the new features. Apple only upgrades older phones to the latest OS to help out the developers because with a lack of new features on older phones, the consumer isn’t really benefiting. …

        • boughtat 16

          Why did you buy a device with technology that is at least two years out of date (32 bit) to begin with if you understand tech? Do you work for Samsung so they gave it to you? The point of this article is clearly that any developer for IOS 7 will have an incentive to bring the latest tech to 74% of the installed user base, as opposed to less than 2% for the latest Kit Kat. You bought old tech, that only runs old software (because no developers are writing any for it) and may not even work properly with your screen resolution (another Android problem, to many screens) and you are showing your face here?

          • philiprmiller

            Unnecessarily patronizing. Why do you adopt this tone? What device he bought is irrelevant if it serves his need and I suspect the point he is making is that the features and apps available on ICS are sufficient. The fragmentation non-issue is a chorus of bleeting from iSheep of which you appear to be one.