Lollipop Now Most Popular Version Of Android, Fluffy Marshmallow At Just 2.3 Percent

Comparatively speaking, there aren't a lot of Android devices in the wild running Android 6.0, otherwise known as Marshmallow. That's typically true of any snapshot of Android—the latest and greatest version finds its way onto just a small number of handsets while versions a generation or two old rule the roost. As of right now, pole position belongs to Android 5.x Lollipop.

It took Lollipop more than a year—16 months, to be exact—to leapfrog Android 4.4 KitKat for the top spot. But there it now sits, at least if combining the number of devices running Android 5.0 (16.9 percent) and Android 5.1 (19.2 percent). If you add the two together, Lollilop's share of the Android market is 36.1 percent, versus 34.3 percent for KitKat.

Android Lollipop

One thing to note is that these aren't exact figures. Google tallies the number of Android devices running different versions of its mobile operating system by collecting data over a seven-day period gathered from its Google Play Store app. That means Google's data is a reflection of devices that have checked into Google's servers. It leaves out some rooted devices, Amazon Fire tablets, and so forth.

While it's not a perfect accounting method, it's the best that's currently available. And as always, what it shows is that hardware manufacturers and wireless carriers are slow to adopt the latest version of Android. Marshmallow was made available to the general public five months ago, yet it's tied with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for fifth place behind Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which debuted over five years ago.

It's a familiar trend and one that isn't likely to change so long as control of distributing Android builds remains in the hands of third parties. This is especially true of older devices—manufacturers don't have a lot of incentive to keep supporting dated phones—but even some newer phones are slow to adopt updated Android builds.

Do you own and Android device? If so, which one and what version of Android are you running?