The long, hard road towards the future of Android slogs on. While Gingerbread still remains the largest major version of the platform, its dominance is decreasing steadily. As of January 3rd, Gingerbread only represented 47.4% (down from 50.6% in December)of all Android devices. The second runner-up was Ice Cream Sandwich with 29.1% (up from 27.5% in December). The two versions of Jelly Bean totaled up to 10.2%, though if you subdivide by the Summer and Winter releases, they get much farther apart: 4.1 accounts for 9%, while 4.2 is on a measly 1.2% of devices.


The decrease in Gingerbread and increase in Ice Cream Sandwich is good enough news, especially since 4.0 saw the advent of the much more modern UI that has remained fairly consistent throughout subsequent platform releases. Still, it's January 2013. Gingerbread was released in December of 2010. It's now past two years since 2.3 was unveiled, and over 14 months since the advent of 4.0. This clearly isn't an optimal roll out schedule. As encouraging as it is to see ICS land on more handsets, we have to really hope that Google has better plans to fix this problem. The early-release PDK doesn't seem to be helping too much.

Source: Android Developer Dashboard

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • GIBsonCubed

    If only I could get off of API 10...

  • Kory Rice

    i guess you need to take into account the average smarphone user, who just uses their phone as a normal phone and isn't worried about upgrading. i mean, two of my five managers at work are using android phones, and both of them are on gingerbread. they didn't even know there was an updated version of Android, since their phones are well past their EOL.

    • fixxmyhead

      yea my co workers s3 was on ics and i updated it to JB yesterday. i told him it would make the phone faster and he let me do the OTA update thats been sitting there

      • Cherokee4Life

        yeah whats bad is I manage out Sprint account at work and do the phone upgrades and swaps and I have people on EVO 4G's EVO 3D's, S2's and S3's that never did the update because they thought it was a virus or something. And of course when I explain what the updates do they don't want to do it because they have finally (after years) figured out where everything is and don't want to lose their settings....
        Got to love it!!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

          my wife didnt want to update her s3 for that very same reason,but i was able to talk her into accepting the OTA

          • Cherokee4Life

            well congrats, its impossible to convince the people here to upgrade. I guess don't fix whats not broken....

  • Julio M

    Stubborn Gingerbread!!

    • Rob H.

      And in a few years we'll be saying the same about Jelly Bean. During 2013 Gingerbread should drop more. Seeing that if a lot of people bought "new Gingerbread" devices within 4-6 months after the launch of the Nexus S they should be up for renewals during this calendar year.

      • Román Rodríguez

        Newest phones have Android 4.0 already installed. So I guess Gingerbread will drop a lot more this year. I recently installed CM10 on my Live with Walkman. I'm really loving my Jelly Bean flavored phone. :P

  • hasan

    Gingerbread will have a large portion for another couple of years mainly because of the fact that a lot of devices will never see the upgrade to ICS.

  • adi19956

    What it is to be the 1.2%.
    It's all about Nexii

    • Román Rodríguez

      No. It's not about money. It's about sending a message.

      • adi19956


    • Johannes F.

      thats not true, alot of people use custom roms, i have 4.2.1 on my s1 as thousands other do

      • adi19956

        I don't think I claimed that 100% of 4.2.1 users use Nexus devices, so I'm not sure what you are saying is incorrect. If it was "It's all about Nexii" that's clearly subjective so I don't see how it could be that...
        Do spill.

  • Mapplegate

    If LG could keep up with the demand for Nexus 4 devices, I think this graph would be a little more weighted on the Jellybean / Jellybean 4.2 side of things.

    Not more than maybe 1% difference maybe, but I think it would have been noticeable.

  • nsnsmj

    Apparently JB reached 10% much quicker than ICS did in six months. That's good.

  • Alex Krijanovski

    I'm due for an upgrade this month. Can't wait to go from Gingebread on my Desire Z.

  • PCSievers

    My theory remains that the big sticking point for Gingerbread is that was the release most people leapt onto Android and we are only now getting to the point where people will be upgrading for free on contract. Android's success in shipping a bazillion midrange Gingerbread phones that got little to no support post release and certainly no 4.0.x upgrade is creating that huge blob of 2.3.x phones.

    That said it is still really disappointing how slow manufacturers are to upgrade even their top of the line phones. It took about 5 months for Samsung and HTC to roll out a Jelly Bean 4.1.x update to their top of the line flagship devices. That is just insanely slow. 3rd party devs are doing it in a matter of weeks with the tiniest fraction of resources.

    • Mike Reid

      I'm not sure GB is going away anytime soon.

      There are STILL NEW phones coming out with GB and no plans for an update. They're cheaper.

      Maybe Google needs to come out with a lower resource JB+ that can run on slower, cheaper phones well.

      • Stylus_XL

        "I'm not sure GB is going away anytime soon."

        How so? In the space of four months GB's distribution has dropped from 57% to 47%. If those trends continue GB devices would be a clear minority in 12-18 months.

        "There are STILL NEW phones coming out with GB and no plans for an update. They're cheaper."

        What notable mass market devices are still shipping with GB? I'm not calling BS, I'm just genuinely not aware of any.

  • Tim Peyton

    Again, is it really all that surprising that so many people are on GB phones? I'd guess at least 90% of it is because their phone was EOL some time ago, and they can't upgrade due to cost or contract.

  • casinrm

    I just got off Gingerbread this month. I got lucky at my carrier store otherwise I would've been on my GS1 for another 4 months. Now rocking a heavily modified but not rooted Galaxy Note II.

    • TK

      Same here. I was stuck with my gs1 through November when I got an n4

  • Ittiam

    Is it the first time that cupcake is not appearing in the table?

  • AndroidFan11223

    Isn't gingerbread technically at 47.6% because the .2% on 2.3-2.3.2?

  • White Pawn

    I think GB will fall down steeply in the next few months, as all those GB users must be at the end of their two year contracts.
    Also, I thought 10% JB was pretty impressive, given the history.

  • Slacker57

    Whoo-hoo, I'm finally a 1-percenter! :P

  • mauric

    Does the 1.2% mean just nexus phones, or is this including all CM10.1 and other aosp roms?

  • vista

    heck I'm still in Froyo.
    not bad, still the same percentage as JB 4.1, lol...

  • Nervous Nelly

    Gingerbread is like the Windows XP of Mobile OS's and ICS is Windows 7. I personally love XP cause it's simple and doesn't frustrate you like ICS does. If you are used to GB and simply want to clear your call logs, anyone who went from GB to ICS knows the frustration I'm talking about. GB keeps things simple ICS makes you have to relearn everything you already know just to do the same things. GB is a rock solid moble OS just like XP is on the desktop. You shouldn't fix what isn't broken. I also love the dark tinted glass effect on GB when you are on the home page and load up your settings. GB just has a nicer looking interface where everything is simpler to do. The black background with the bright vivid turquoise colored fonts make it just look better vs the ugly bright white which is hard to look at if you just woke up. I'm glad I figured out how to go back to GB last night after a couple months of hating ICS and wondering if the phone I loved so much out of the box is gone forever. I've grown used to sliding my glass door up before every usage and on ICS when I swipe up I have to start from higher up which got very annoying. If I started from the bottom to swipe up I would always hit one of the icons I had no intention of using and I would have to constantly close it. It really is nice to be back on GB. No more accidental pushes of any icons is a good thing.