Google unveiled what would become Android Nougat on 18 May 2016, and launched its new mobile operating system to Nexus and Pixel devices on 23 August 2016. Yet after 7 months, Android 7.0 and Android 7.1 together account for only 1.54% of the global mobile operating system market share, according to NetMarketShare. This is a small fraction of Android’s total 66.71% market share, and just a hair above Windows Phone’s diminishing user base of 1.47% of the market.
In contrast, Apple recently said that the adoption of its latest mobile operating system, iOS 10, was at 79% on 20 February 2017. Using South Africa as an example, it is easy to see why the adoption of the latest version of Android is so poor. Samsung is the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world and the biggest Android smartphone maker.
Gartner recently placed Samsung’s 2016 smartphone market share at 20.5% of sales. Apple was second with 14.4%, while Samsung’s nearest Android rival Huawei held 8.9% of the market share by annual sales. While manufacturers with smaller market share have rolled out upgrades to their phones, or launched Android 7 devices in South Africa, Samsung has yet to follow suit.
LG, Motorola, and HTC all have their flagship smartphones running on Android 7 in South Africa, while Samsung does not. However, the Android flagship situation is only part of the story and it is unfair to label Samsung as the only culprit. Another problem in the Android ecosystem is that there are a swarm of low-cost devices out there which will never see an upgrade and, even worse, will see few security updates.
This should be a huge concern.
If even flagship Android devices are not getting timely updates in markets like South Africa, what hope is there for people with low-cost and mid-range devices?
- ^ become Android Nougat (mybroadband.co.za)
- ^ launched (mybroadband.co.za)
- ^ according to NetMarketShare (www.netmarketshare.com)
- ^ Apple recently said (developer.apple.com)
- ^ Gartner recently placed (mybroadband.co.za)
- ^ Android security in South Africa is a disaster waiting to happen (mybroadband.co.za)
Samsung has launched a beta programme for Android 7.0 Nougat on its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones. The Galaxy Beta Programme is available in the US, UK, and South Korea, with Samsung promising that users based in China will be able to participate soon. To get access to the beta, you must have an active Samsung Account and meet the programme’s requirements.
You may then download the Galaxy Beta app and apply for access.
“Throughout the Galaxy Beta Programme period, users can get a feel for Android 7.0 Nougat with Samsung’s latest UX, and can provide feedback on performance, reliability, and usability,” said Samsung.
“Users’ responses will in turn help Samsung develop reliable, high-performing software and provide an improved and optimised experience to all Galaxy users.”