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Charts: Rooted or Non-rooted? A Look Back at the Last Year

If you were hanging out with us on Tuesday, then you probably answered our poll question, “Root or non-rooted?”  This is one of those topics we like to cover every 6 months or so to get a good feel for our readership, but with this being the third time we’ve asked, we wanted to share the results of the last three dating back to April 27th of 2010.  Some of you may think we just randomly come up with these polls, but we actually do like to look at the data and this is a good example of that.

When this site was just starting to take off back in early 2010, the number of non-rooted users out-numbered those that were willing to risk the life and warranty of their $600 device.  This shouldn’t shock you, as the Android platform in general was really just taking off at that time.  Now though, the numbers are starting to change and it only makes sense.  There are hundreds of thousands of experienced users out there willing to help, we have tools to keep you somewhat safe, and our developers have made it too appealing to not consider rooting.

This is good stuff.  

April 27, 2010 – Rooted or Non-rooted?

September 29, 2010 – Rooted or Non-rooted?

March 8, 2011 – Rooted or Non-rooted?

Which phones are our readers rooting?

Talk about a massive change in just under a year’s time.  Thanks for all of your input everyone!

  • devomorph

    Droid-life… I love you, and I know you love pastels, but these are the hardest-to-read pie charts I have ever seen 😐

  • Guest

    For me, rooting just makes my phone prettier/customizable? I’ll keep my droid x unrooted and not deal with the headache.

    • Deserteagle706

      What headache?

    • What a strange thing to say… If you’re not interested in customizing it, how much of a headache would it be?

  • Jrosas800

    I want to root my incredible, whats the best way to do it. There are so many ways.

  • Jrosas800

    I want to root my incredible, whats the best way to do it. There are so many ways.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Kellex can you use some colors that aren’t so hard to see?

    My eyes…..

  • Anonymous

    It doesnt really surprise me that so many people who read this site have rooted their devices

  • Josh8550

    I hope you all realize that the big hunk of yellow on the phone charts is not the Eris but the Droid X. The smaller green piece of the pie on the opposite end would be the Eris.

    -Droid Incredible FTW

  • Brezuljak

    I want to root so bad but im afraid of bricking or burning out my droid by overclocking it


      • Brezuljak


        • Mii

          If your worried about bricking your device, all you have to do is take your sd card out throw it in the sink of water watch it go kaput and then call about how you need to pay 50$ for a new phone cause you dropped yours in water :+)

    • Bricking it is so hard to do. You can root w/o overclocking. I haven’t done it yet, and don’t really have a desire to.

  • Jukboxhero

    i need help rooting and ROMing my original droid…long story short tryed it a couple weeks ago, bricked it basically and was sent a new one. i get an upgrade in 4 months so im tempted to wait on root and roms til bionic gets released and just keep this thing stock for now but, everytime you guys write articles such as this one, i always feel genuinely bad about not getting the most of out my droid!

    • balthuszar

      try super one click…i downloaded a stock rom a few weeks ago and it unrooted me(even though it said it came iwth rooted or unrooted options)…super one-click brought me back to rootedness…and its simple as one click

  • Anonymous

    Droid X running Apex 1.4.1. By far the fastest and most stable rom I’ve tried (including Liberty 1.5, Rubix Blurry 2.0, and Rubix Focused 2.0). That’s just my results though. I went from random reboots daily to two weeks without a single reboot…so far.

  • Mcneilmoe

    i love my rooted droid 2 with liberty 1.5 rom. epic blue theme. overclocked ultra low voltage 4.2.5…………………………………Still waiting for the unlocked bootloader so i can get CYANOGENMOD!!!!!!!

  • Interstellarmind

    For what it’s worth… I would never have rooted or installed a ROM on my DX if it weren’t for droid-life! (Thank you, kellex, for helping me see the light!)

  • Scott62185

    cool graphic, but should have used some easier to distinguis colors…

  • Anonymous

    Really? Three pie charts? That’s probably the least effective way to look at this data.

    You should have made clustered column charts with number of responses showing both readership and root growth over three 6 month periods.

  • Lansdownunder

    I think this shows just how many OG users there still are. The natural conclusion should be to do less XOOM and co. related posts and more OG.
    For example: What happened to custom rom friday? I feel like OG has been forgotten a little.

    • Lansdownunder

      Just to be clear, I am meaning this with as little offense as possible. Its just a suggestion. I love droid-life, it feels like I have been reading you guys for ages now

      • Jawshua

        Don’t feel like you need to apologize for having an opinion. This site would be nothing without all the users, which includes you. In fact more people should speak up if you want stuff shown more. In essence this site revolves around us and our tastes, if not for those things it would be one person posting to himself. There should be no reverence put upon Kellex, manners sure, but once again if you miss stuff that made this site great talk about and ask for it. If weren’t here there would be no advertising dollars going into his account, don’t blindly follow something and be afraid to speak your mind for fear of reprisal from the very person you employ and allow to have this booming cash cow. The more people that share their thoughts about the content they want to see the better, (minus apple trolls). That is what makes a site good, the users. It’s sad I have to state this.

  • Anonymous

    I think that the increase in DROID rooters is due to the phone becoming outdated and wanting faster and newer software.

  • k$

    you coulda made it a little easier on the device chart for those of us color blind.. so hard to figure out which is which…

    • John

      lol. ya (and im not even color blind)

    • Aburrahobbit

      try looking at the monitor from a bad angle

    • Hoot352

      There are percentages next to the colored graphs….those might be a clue of which is which

  • Sjm614

    Nice work Droid Life Team. You guys are AWESOME!!!

  • Anonymous

    OG Droid <3

  • Anonymous

    Nice charts: Pink is… winning! 🙂

    Superuser and root: Such great terms to express freedom in Android. I’m glad we don’t spend time talking about getting out of “jail.”

    • Anonymous

      wasn’t jailbreak a show? haha

    • Lakerzz

      Haha!! Charlie Sheen is Pink!!!!

  • I outta punch the 1.36% that still own an Eris.

    • Anonymous

      come get me 😀

    • Hank, meet Landon.. Landon, meet hanks fist 🙂

      • Hahaha. At least you Eris owners have a good sense of humor! Your 2 year contracts have to be ending soon!

    • Anonymous

      Ummm a lot of them are still into their 2 year contract and don’t wanna buy a new phone off contract. Personally I was going to buy an eris even when I knew that the droid was out because I thought the interface looked nicer with sense.

      • dislike… all in fun though of course

        • Negativerxn

          He also said he’s getting a good feel for his readership..

    • cyanid3

      Hey it’s better than the OG Droid HTC FOR THE WIN!

      • Anonymous

        Um definitely not….

        • cyanid3

          Um definitely yes….My Eris = better than your D1

          • You’re_an_idiot

            See username ^

      • it is in no way shape or form better then the droid 1

    • my 9 year old brother has a eris haha

  • I think I may have been the entire 1.36% of eris users. ha ha.

    • Anonymous

      what rom do you use?

    • Joeyfeffer

      Nah I have an Eris too! Haha

    • SP♠DE ™

      What’s an Eris? Lol

  • I can see my name in the “Droid X” area! Look closely!

  • Joey

    D1 still has a big share. It is good to see that rooting has prolonged a great device!

    • Chris Jones

      Well, that, and a 2 year contract commitment. 🙂

  • I’m suspecting that 50% of the rooting growth is due to most of the posts on this blog being root related… so more rooted androiders read this than non-rooted.

    Thus, it doesn’t really show a growth in rooted users across the android community, but more a growth of rooted users reading this blog.

    • Anonymous


      The sample in this survey is far from random. It is heavily biased.

    • Also the fact that it’s easier with stuff like super one click, easy root, and others

      • Anonymous

        Exactly, When I first rooted my droid last march I had to do it manually through the console and consisted of about 100 steps (that was for changing everything [gain root, install custom recovery, install custom rom, install custom kernel, install custom boot animation, etc..]) and took about 2 hours. Now a droid can be rooted in about 5 to 10 minutes!

        • Kaufkin

          and honestly, that scares me a bit. I LIKE that it took work to root my phone. that way I have some VAGUE faith (however misplaced) that (for example) my wife won’t d/l some kids game that was hacked, and root her phone, and send personal info to some Evil Genius ™. (speaking of Evil Genius, I found the XKCD app, is there a userfriendly app out there? Yeesh!?) if I can one click root, then so can some nitwit with a drive by root and pilage.

          Just a thought….

          • Anonymous

            Yea that is the downside to all those easy solutions. Using the old way you actually (slightly) learned what you were doing and possible ways to fix it or at least you had an error that you could go off of. With these one click solutions they could screw up and dont tell you why, like when they say your phone is rooted then you reboot and root is gone? Or just the ambiguous “rooting failed”.

            Its like going from installing arch or gentoo linux where you have to do everything manually as opposed to installing windows 7 where you click like 5 “next” buttons and you’re done.

    • Jawshua

      That is a really good point actually, I think it would be more biased due to that fact.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, good stuff

  • Anonymous

    Yes, good stuff

  • duckphan