Android 10 mandatory on smartphones in 2020: the numbers

The diffusion of Android 10 concerns only 8.2% of smartphones, a percentage still too low. Here's what could change in the future

From February 1, 2020 has triggered the obligation for manufacturers to install on all new Android smartphones version number 10 of the operating system. Google's goal is quite clear: to speed up the update of the operating system by manufacturers. Compared to iOS, which has a "replacement" rate close to 70% already after one month from the release of the major update, the situation of Android is very different.

Manufacturers are very slow to adapt their interface to new versions of the operating system (which are usually released every year between late August and early September): you have to wait at least a couple of months. With the new rules that imposed the obligation to install Android 10 on all new smartphones coming out from February 2020 onwards, Google hoped to speed up the development by manufacturers, but the numbers do not seem to give reason to the Mountain View company. According to official data published by Google itself, at the moment only 8.2% of smartphones have Android 10 installed. An honestly very low number: manufacturers are still not adapting their interface to the new operating system and the explosion of Covid-19 has done nothing but slow down even more.

Android 10 mandatory: the numbers belie Google

In previous years, Google gave at least twelve months to manufacturers to force them to use the latest version of the operating system on their devices. Since Android 10, the rules have changed: five months of adaptation and then the obligation was triggered on February 1 to release only smartphones with the latest version of the OS. Google hoped that in this way manufacturers would devote more time to software development even for models released in previous years.

Unfortunately, official data belie the strategy adopted by Google. At the moment, only 8.2% of devices have been updated to Android 10, a rather low percentage, especially when compared to iOS 13, now present on over 70% of Apple devices. Looking at the Android data, the situation is certainly not better for the older versions: Android 9.0 has a diffusion of 31.3% and Android 8.1 Oreo of 21.3%. 4% of users still use smartphones with Android 4.0 KitKat, released in 2013.

Android 10 requirement: a problem never solved

An atavistic problem that of the spread of the latest versions of the Android operating system, which Google has never managed to solve. With the mandatory installation of Android 10 from February 1, 2020, the Mountain View company hoped to speed up the release of the update even for older models. But this didn't happen and the reason is quite simple: updating smartphones with a few years on their shoulders to the latest version of Android, in addition to being a substantial investment for manufacturers, is also a risk: performance could drop and smartphones become unusable.

Is there a solution to this problem? Difficult to give an answer, especially in the period in which we are living that has made much more difficult the development work within large companies.