On October 5th, 2015, Android launched their latest operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. We examined which Android OS was most popular in two of our largest markets by looking at the percentage of market share by Android OS in India and Brazil over the last year. While adoption of new Android OS is slow overall—a continued challenge for Google globally—Brazilian users are adopting new OS at a much faster rate than Indian users.
Majority of users are on old operating systems
Globally, 93% of Android users are using versions of either the Lollipop, KitKat, or Jelly Bean operating systems on their devices. When we looked at the market share of each Android OS in India and Brazil among mCent users, we saw a similar theme. 98% of mCent users in India and 97% of users in Brazil are using either Lollipop, KitKat, or Jelly Bean. KitKat is the most popular OS among mCent users in both countries.
Unlike Apple’s process, where iPhone and iPad users get access to the latest OS update on their devices all on the same day, Android OS updates are controlled by the device manufacturer and the mobile carrier. Certain manufacturers roll out the update to specific devices, under certain mobile carriers who have tested the OS on their network to ensure it works. Depending on the manufacturer, many older devices will never get the update.
In the case of Samsung, the top device brand in India and Brazil, older versions of the Galaxy and the Note will never get the new Marshmallow OS update. So while some users may want to upgrade, they simply may not be able to depending on which device and carrier they have.
Brazil faster to adopt than India
Overall, users in Brazil are adopting new Android OS at a much faster rate than users in India. In Brazil, the Lollipop OS reached a 21% market share on July 1, 2015, eight months after the OS’s launch. It took India three more months than Brazil to reach the same 21% market share, which the country achieved on October 1st, 2015.
Market share of the KitKat OS also peaked much sooner in Brazil than in India, hitting 43% in January 2015, four months before India reached the same mark. After January 2015, KitKat market share in Brazil began to drop off, eventually leveling off at 37% through October 2015. In India, KitKat market share grew at a much slower rate and reached a high of 53% eight months after Brazil reached their KitKat peak.
More Indian users on KitKat than any other OS
When looking across the three popular Android OS, Lollipop, KitKat, and Jelly Bean, Brazilian users are currently pretty evenly spread out across the three. But when we look at India, the majority of users—52%— are on KitKat. As users in Brazil move to new operating systems, users in India are staying on older OS much longer.
While young, Marshmallow is gaining users in India and Brazil
Even though Marshmallow is only a month old, users in both India and Brazil are adopting the brand new OS—it has 0.4% market share in India and 0.02% in Brazil. Based on the trends we’ve seen with previous Android OS, we expect to see users in Brazil adopt the Marshmallow OS much more quickly than users in India—but this will take time.
Interested in targeting new users of your app by Android OS?