Google's Android operating system has been gaining more and more market share lately, leaving behind older smartphone platforms on the market. While the ecosystem as a whole is moving forward, there are some changes within it that are worth mentioning. Among them, it is important to note the fact that Android 2.1 now accounts for half of the Android-based smartphones out there.

This platform version has enjoyed the largest share among other Android flavors for quite some time. Only two weeks ago, Android 2.1 accounted for around 45 percent of the devices on the market, but now it is present in a full half of them. This comes as great news for the platform, even if almost the entire other half of the phones is powered by the older Android 1.5 and 1.6 versions.

In terms of share, Android 1.5 accounts for 24.6 percent of the Android phones, while Android 1.6 for 25 percent of them. Android 1.1, 2.0 and 2.0.1 are also present in the latest report from Android Developers, with 0.1, 0.1 and 0.3 percent share, respectively. The fragmentation of the OS has been a hot topic a while ago, yet it seems that things are now moving in the right direction.

Android 2.1 has been gaining pace on the market and among other Android versions courtesy of new, highly appealing devices being released on shelves, in addition to a series of software updates that various handset vendors delivered for their devices. We've seen Motorola DROID brought up to Android 2.1, as well as phones like HTC Hero or Samsung Moment at Sprint in the US. Other devices should also enjoy the upgrade in the near future, including the European Hero or Sony Ericsson's Xperia X10 family.

With Android 2.2 (Froyo) expected to start rolling-out soon on new phones and on existing devices, things should change a little. However, Google did say at one point that Froyo and its successor, Gingerbread, were meant to bring unity to the platform, as we won't see so many new, different versions of the OS being pushed into the wild in such a short period of time.


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