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40 percent of Android users stuck in early OS versions

Fewer than 60 percent of all Android smartphone owners are using Android 2.0 or above, which means almost half are still missing out on everything the OS has to offer.

Google Android OS distribution for July 15, 2010
As of July 15, 2010, over half of all Android users are on version 2.1 of the mobile OS.

Unless you're an Android developer deciding your next strategic programming move, chances are your brain isn't attuned to the distribution of operating systems among all Android smartphone owners. 

However, Google's periodic pie charts and stacked line graphs reveal some interesting data nuggets, at least for Android fanatics.

According to data collected from July 1 to July 15, just about 60 percent of all Android smartphone owners are running version 2.0 of the Android operating system or higher, with 55 percent of the data set concentrated on version 2.1. (We'll go out on a limb to guess that of that number, 100 percent of those 2.1 users are hotly anticipating getting the 2.2 over-the-air update.)

Compare this OS 2.1 figure to the merely 3.3 percent of Android users who have already received the version 2.2 OS update, and the 40 percent still stuck in pre-2.0 limbo on older or midrange devices.

What really stands out when you flipping the statistic along the pre- and post- 2.0 OS line is that 40 percent of users running OS 1.5 and 1.6 are missing out on key Android features, including pinch-to-zoom, universal voice search, and a much more powerful Google Maps app with personalized search suggestions.

The figures will certainly soon shift again as more 2.1 phones migrate from "Eclair" to "Froyo" (2.2), but even then, the number of users running version 2.0 and above will still remain just over half until the next waves of Android phones on the latest OS begin to saturate the market, replacing older phones mired in older OS versions. 

[Via Boy Genius Report]

Article correted at 5:20pm PT. Google Android 1.6 supports Google Maps Navigation.