05
Mar
1
Last Updated: March 7th, 2013

It's the start of a new month, so you know what that means: time to look at the rise and fall of Android versions over the last four weeks. This month's numbers continue to look promising, with Gingerbread and ICS steadily sliding downhill and Jelly Bean continuing its climb to the top:

image

Update: Looks like El Goog made a tiny error in the chart, as it's just updated the page to reflect a minor difference: Froyo is actually on 7.5% of handsets, and Gingerbread is on 44.1%. Guess that's where the extra 0.2% came from.

image

So, let's compare these numbers to last month's. For starters, Gingerbread dropped 1.2%, from 45.4% to 44.2%. The quicker we can make Gingerbread at thing of the past, the better we'll all be – unfortunately that's not going to happen anytime soon, especially considering most low-end pre-paid phones are still shipping with the OS. Time to upgrade even the cheapest phones, manufacturers!

Past that, ICS dropped a measly 0.4%. I guess that's good in that phones are being updated to Jelly Bean, but we'd all like to see the adoption of 4.1+ happen just a little bit quicker. Speaking of, Jelly Bean is now up by nearly 3% from last month, which is the biggest jump we saw this go around. That's good!

So, the long and short of it is this: Jelly bean is getting more popular, suggesting that manufacturers are pushing somewhat-timely updates (in no small part to Samsung, I imagine). Gingerbread and ICS are on the way out the door, and the future is looking bright.

Android Developer's Blog

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

    Wow, Donut on 0.2%. I feel sorry for anyone running that on their daily driver.

    4.x now overtakes Gingerbread in terms of marketshare, which is good.

    • quiro91

      yes, but 2.x is more than 50%

      • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

        I know, that's why I said Gingerbread, not 2.x:P my friend still runs Froyo on his OG Galaxy Tab. I've been telling him I can upgrade it to at least CM10 for about 3-4 months, but he's happy on Froyo, despite seeing me rocking 4.2.2/CM10.1.1 on my Nexus 4. Baffles me, really.

        • GraveUypo

          i run gingerbread on my defy and recommend doing so too to every single person who still has that phone. i've tried ICS and Jellybean quite a few times and they're just worse. slows the phone down a LOT with no real benefits besides vanity when looking at the OS info screen.

          updating for the sake of it isn't always the best option.

          ps: i run jb on my sgs3 (obviously).

  • Tim Peyton

    I still know at least one person running 2.2, sadly. Anyway, regarding the 4.1 adoption rate: Please correct me if I'm wrong, using facts/links, but I'm pretty sure we're seeing 4.1 being adopted quicker than ICS was.

    • Tee

      And the sad thing is, that lots of new devices are still being sold with 2.3.x in.

  • Sven Leichsenring

    I am in the second largest (4.0.4) and the second smallest (4.2.2) group at the same time. Interesting.

    • CodeFire Affiliate

      Same here. HTC Raider 4G (4.0.3), Asus TF300T (4.2.1), and HTC Desire HD (4.2.2).

      • Kcls

        How is that DHD CM10.1 ROM? I've been contemplating putting it on my girlfriend's Inspire 4G, but want to make sure it's completely stable first. Last I checked, the ONLY bug was the green flash on the camera after taking a picture? Is that it?

  • Kam Siu

    and Key Lime Pie is probably due at the end of the year!

    • Cristi Istrate

      I hope in May at I/O

  • Cristi Istrate

    100.2 % ???
    weird math on google.

    • letsplaaay

      As you probably know, most likely rounding error.

  • Mitch Surprenant

    I can't be the only one thinking these fragmentation numbers are marginally Google's fault for moving the goalposts. I'm not talking low-end, I'm talking Google release dates varying anywhere from 4.1 to 4.2 (4 months), from 4.0.3 to 4.1 (8 months), and from 4.0 to 4.0.3 (2 months), not to mention versions before that.

    When you change things that quickly, many devices for which many people buy 2-year contracts quickly become outdated, and the OEM sees no reason to update them. The OEMs know that Google is just going to come out and outdate their devices quickly, so why bother updating them when they've got to release new hardware to keep up?

    Apple (until remarkably recently) has kept their major releases to 1 per year, with free software sub-updates (the X in 6.x.x versions) to each of its devices that supports the major revision.

    Think locally, act globally, Google. Stop making 4.X.Y a new major release. There's no reason for it.

    • UtopiaNH

      I would rather have a much faster pace of improvement and deal with some fragmentation, than stagnating OSes like WP and iOS.

      • Matthew Fry

        I would much rather there be better communication between Google, the handset makers, and the carriers so that updates get rolled out faster. I'd also like to see some commitments from carriers and handset manufacturers on upgrades. For example a guarantee to upgrade through all OS updates for a year after manufacture.

      • http://twitter.com/Konahamarue ElementalXTC

        yeah because those people out there buying 2.3 and 2.2 android devices are not stagnating at all... No one else here mentioned iOS or WP, but i knew it would eventually happen. Always one bad "apple" in the bunch

    • Floss

      If you are talking about major releases the dates you supplied are just wrong (4.0.3 to 4.1 doesn't matter, 4.0.0 to 4.1 does). If you are talking about minor releases then iOS does indeed release multiple small releases through the year so you are again wrong. Either way your analysis is purposely skewed to provide a wrong conclusion. 4.2 is the only release in a long time that has been a quick major release, and the problem existed long before it's release.

  • ltredbeard

    Do these numbers include a device you use with wifi only as a media player, etc?

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      These numbers include all devices that connect to the Play Store. That includes devices that are automatically pinging the Play Store to check for updates, even if the user did not initiate the check. In other words, as long as the Play Store is on the device and the device connects to the internet, then it is counted.

  • fixxmyhead

    my sister is running froyo on her gay ass budget lg optimus V. i showed her what my nexus 4 can do and now she wants to get one.

  • guest

    When you say ICS dropped a measley 0.4% that you have to remember devices are still being upgraded to ICS as well.

    Looking at you V

  • JG

    "The quicker we can make Gingerbread at thing of the past, the better we'll all be".... Couldn't agree with you more.... Though I probably would have said "A thing of the past"....

    HTC's One V (or is it the S?) has a comparable 1Ghz processor & 512MB RAM. If it can run ICS out of the box, I don't see why my Droid X can't also be upgraded (even if it has to be tweaked some & only get a "diet"/slimmed down ICS flavor). Especially since the last OTA said it included tweaks to improve future OTA upgrades.... I'd be happy with just 4.0, even happier if it was a JB version.... Would love to get to play with Google Now some...

    • dshim83

      There are some options if you're willing to give custom Roms a try.

      • JG

        I've been giving that option some serious thought, especially as of late.... I know AOKP has an ICS ROM for the X and I've heard rumor there's work on a JB version (of CM I believe) as well.... But Moto has the kernel encrypted so its stuck in it's current GB version and can't be upgraded to a 4.x version... I'm still a bit of a noob in this area, so I'm not too sure how well that combination would work for a daily driver. I know Chrome, Netflix & Flash have been KO'ed due to it.... Other than maybe Flash, if that's all that is affected, I could happily use Opera or Firefox....

        • dshim83

          I've since moved on a GSIII, but the Droid X forum on Rootzwiki should be a good place to start. I was definitely running a few ICS Roms which made good daily drivers, but I'm pretty sure that most of the main developers were fed up with the locked bootloader and moved on because the JB drivers were just too much of a mess.

  • John O’Connor

    In other news.. it looks like that one guy finally ate the damn cupcake or threw it away

  • Gargi

    How can I check the market share of GB at its peek, before ICS was released?