03
Oct
Numbers-Thumb

The latest Android platform distribution numbers are in, and they tell a story you probably would expect. There's no surprise ending here - more users are getting their hands on Jelly Bean, whether through updates or by purchasing new devices, and older versions are continuing their descent. Gingerbread remains stubborn, with more devices than Froyo, Honeycomb, and Ice Cream Sandwich combined.

Numbers

Honeycomb hasn't disappeared yet, with .1% of users still holding on to their aging tablets. The proportion of people using Android 4.1 has remained constant - 36.6% last month and 36.5% now - but newer versions of Jelly Bean have picked up new users. Android 4.2 has jumped up 2%, and 4.3 has made the list for the first time with 1.5%. This is likely a result of the number of Samsung devices that have entered the market in the past month, and we can only expect this number to rise further now that the Galaxy Note 3 is rolling out stateside.

The screen size and density chart has remained largely stable, with roughly 80% of Android devices falling into the "normal" range for screen size (around 3 - 4 inches). Large devices (between 4 and 7 inches) have ticked up a couple of percentage points, with 6.4%, while 7 - 10 inch devices have nudged slightly upwards to 4.8%.

Numbers2

Source: Android Developers

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. He now lives in the City of Bridges, adjusting to the presence of actual snow. His phone of choice is the HTC One.

  • Shitiz Garg

    I'm two of the 1.5% with 4.3 :D (TWO NEXUS DEVICES :D :D :D)

    • Cherokee4Life

      we might not be part of the 1% but we sure are part of the 1.5%!!

    • Simon Belmont

      Five here. Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 (2012), B&N Nook Color, EVO 3D, and HP TouchPad.

      They all run Android 4.3 outstandingly. Gotta love performance improvements.

      • Shitiz Garg

        I actually have 4, Nexus 7 (2012), Nexus 7 (2013), Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4, all on 4.3

        • Simon Belmont

          Good. Lets make that 1.5% larger.

          Haha. Cheers.

        • http://directdemocracyireland.ie/ Peeed Off

          Me - Nexus 7 (4.3 Slim Bean), Galaxy S3 (4.2.2 S4 Revolution V5.0 Mod)
          Missus has Galaxy S1(CM 10.2) & WiFi 604 Motorola Zoom 10.1(CM 10.1)
          Daughter has Galaxy S4 (Stock 4.2.2),
          4 Sons,
          Galaxy SII (Stock 4.1.2)
          HTC Wildfire (Stock 2.3.6)
          Vodafone 845 (Stock Gingerbread Rom)
          Sony Xperia Play (Stock Gingerbread Rom)

          • Shitiz Garg

            We're talking about 4.3, you are only one of 1.5%!

          • http://directdemocracyireland.ie/ Peeed Off

            Just thought I would show how widespread the versions can be as the article covers all the Versions I mentioned...Had 4.3 Slimbean on the S3...Too many issues...Cost is a big factor, and some of the phones with the older versions of android still work fine as designed, albeit slower than the new ones...!!!!

    • live2ski

      Part of the 1.5% with N4 AND part (or all) of 0.1% with Honeycomb G-Slate - yeah!

    • Pascal

      LG O2X with CM10.2 it's old, but good. I am waiting for N5.

    • TDN

      I have 2 on 4.3 (Nexus 4 and 7(2012)), one on 4.0.4 and one on 2.2

  • Cherokee4Life

    I'm really surprised there isn't more "Jelly Bean" because I feel like its the biggest OS update since Gingerberead. Gingerbread was 2.3.3 then 2.3.x and so on, and now Jelly Bean was the same way 4.1, 4.2, 4.2.2, 4.3. I figured it would be like 65% and ICS would be less

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      You gotta figure those $50 Galaxy xyz, Xperia abc and other low end stuff that still come with ICS or are stuck on 2.3.x forever.

      • Paul

        Xperia ray wasn't low end back then, more like something between middle and top (small sibling of the Arc).
        Not GingerBread is stubborn, people like me are ;P
        Manufacturers just don't build the phones some people came to love and want with up-to-date specs. I'd love another ray (size wise) with Qualcomm's 200/400 proc.

      • atlouiedog

        Yep. I recently signed up for free ad-supported voice and text from RingPlus on an old phone that I had lying around, though it's running ICS thanks to CM. However, there are plenty of people buying new Gingerbread phones in the slickdeals thread for that plan. That means now, in late 2013, there are people adding more Gingerbread devices to these stats. I've even seen a few people bringing a few Froyo phones on board, though I don't think any of those are being purchased new.

        • Joshua

          If you go to RadioShack, they have a super ultra mega cheap phone from LG, I believe, that actually comes new with Froyo.

          A friend of mine recently got a hand-me-down Droid running Froyo.

  • ANex

    My Nexus One, SGS3, my parents' SE Arc S and Nexus 4 are all on 4.3 thanks to xda :)

  • kenjab

    In your analysis of the screen density chart, I think you have the rows and columns confused. The small, normal, large, XL is the screen size, not pixel density. So nearly 80% of Android devices have "normal" sized screens, which is typical cell phone size (I'm guessing 3.5" to 5" or so) that's at least 470x320.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      Thanks, you're right. I've updated the post.

  • Carlos Kazam

    here comes the attack of kitkat..

    • Enes Taşdemir

      With %1.5 maybe.

  • Craig Trunzo

    Android is pretty open with it's OS distribution numbers. One of the biggest complaints against android is "OMGFRAGMENTATION!!!1OMG"

    I'm not hating on Apple in any way when I ask this, but has anyone ever seen iOS distribution numbers anywhere? I look at the Android ones and know that everything running something less than ICS is basically a phone that is older than 3 years or so. Kind of like the phones you see in the upgrade adds for (Sprint? TMobile?) where the guy can't get the the mugger to take his phone.

    I'm curious how this plays out on the iOS side of things. I really can't imagine an iPhone 3 is running iOS 7.

    • Slawootsky

      Well, on this year's WWDC there were distribution statistics and there was about 95 percent of compatible devices running iOS6.

      • live2ski

        I really think these numbers are inflated. I have 3 iOS devises and none have been updated past original install os. plus my parents and in-laws have never upgraded their iOS versions. I can't see all the soccer moms and grandparents who own iOS products always upgrading.

        • Slawootsky

          I was really surprised but in a few days since release ALL the iPhones (except one which I saw just today) which I've seen in the hands of random people were running iOS7. And that's not even in America, I'm in Ukraine, that's like Russia. Looks like the update process is made easy enough for the ordinary people on the platform.

        • Enes Taşdemir

          No matter whether you are a soccer mom, iTunes will make you upgrade eventually.

      • Craig Trunzo

        "Compatible Devices" is the key phrase here. I wonder what Android distro numbers would be like if they only showed devices that were actually capable of running 4.x.x.x.

    • Joshua

      Well, yeah, Apple releases distribution numbers too. The fact of the matter is that within a week of major OS update, about 80% if their eligible devices will be running it, and this number climbs to the 90s with time.

      However, this still doesn't mean Android us fragmented, since the term "fragmentation" means something else altogether when it comes to the discussion of legacy technology. It is true, though, that Android devices in general do not get the same kind of support that Apple devices get. This is simply an outcome of the nature of the OSs: closed and locked down tight versus available and open to user modification.

      • David Thoren

        Does "eligible device" mean devices "capable" of running the OS? Or all iPhones?

        • Joshua

          It's been a while since I last bothered to check that kind of thing, but I'm pretty sure it means devices that Apple has approved for a particular update. What's the point of listing drives that aren't eligible, right? For example, I believe iOS 7 was available for everything back to the iPhone 4, so the distribution numbers for it would only count the 4/S and the 5/S/C, as well as relevant iPads and such.

          • John O’Connor

            Which unfortunately does not account for the devices that are already out there in the wild. Not to mention that iOS updates don't necessarily mean you get all of the features/benefits of the OS update.

            They clearly don't want their numbers out in the open like that (and don't announce them like Google does), since by their own cries of (made-up) fragmentation, they would seem like hypocrites. Many that decry fragmentation have no clue what the word actually means

        • Craig Trunzo

          This is exactly what I was trying to ask. I'd wager that the vast majority of devices on ICS or lower are only on ICS or lower because they don't have the memory to handle Android 4.x.x.x.x

          I'm curious what the distribution numbers are for all Apple devices. Not just them ignoring anything older than the iPhone 4 because those product would explode if you put iOS 7 on them.

          Hell, I'm part of that 2.2% froyo. I have an old Droid Eris sitting on a table that I use as a remote for my Roku and DirecTV if the real remote batteries die and I don;t have replacements on hand. I know that I am part of that 2.2% because Google shows ALL devices, not just the ones that actually use it latest OS.

          • Enes Taşdemir

            I think they determine it with google play services usages.

        • TDN

          Yeah, Apple likes to skew their numbers in their own favor, as they only count eligible devices, of which my iPod 4G is not one. I think iOS is just as fragmented as Android when it comes to "active" devices, but only Google is willing to admit it.

  • Authorized User

    Large runs from 5" to 10". XLarge runs from 10" upwards.

  • Jose Torres

    So does it also count custom ROMS where a device is switched from 2.X to 4.X for instance or just new activations?

    • Joshua

      It measures the number of devices of that operating system that access the Play Store in the given time period. Since this method doesn't care about new activations, any ROM that identifies itself to the Play Store as a particular OS will be counted in among that OS's numbers.

      • Mike Reid

        So, if you switch ROMs and Android versions, presumably you get counted multiple times for one device.

        • Zach B.

          Your unique IMEI stays the same across all changes.

  • james kendall

    4.1.2 on my rugby pro and 4.2.2 on my tab2 7.0. my mom still has Ice cream samwitch on her HTC thingy.

  • Random!

    I really think Google should issue fines for any manufacturer launching devices with android version more than 1 year old, and should issue an even heavier fine for each device not updated to an android version released after the device launch within one year.

    • Joshua

      I really think you don't understand how Android works...

      • Random!

        I do, but I just think it isn't working. Manufactures are abusing freedom to screw customers overs, and it hurts Android's name. I've heard countless times "I once got that Android phone which would never got updated, I'll get an iPhone now because they get updated".

  • Asphyx

    I expect the Gingerbread numbers to start plummeting as they are likely to drop due to people upgrading their phones...

  • Diablito

    I have 4 with 4.3. Two nexus 4, one nexus 7 and a note 3; I also have three s3 running 4.2.

  • Matt Sokolinski

    google technically sold 1 000 000 000 - 1.5% =15 000 000 Nexus devices

  • agl82

    My Sony Google TV runs Honeycomb (3.2).

  • TDN

    The size identifications are inaccurate, small is anything smaller than 3 inches, normal is 3 to 5 inches, large is 5 to 8 inches and extra large is anything bigger than 8 inches. but no one will care or update the article so I don't know why I even bother with this information...

  • Tian Blomerus

    After three Android phones I am giving up. Constantly being promised an update that never comes (by Verizon or HTC) I just accept that in order to get a new version of Android you have to buy a new device. Alternative ROM's is not an option because even though a ROM fixed most problems on an LG Spectrum, the Bluetooth connection is no longer usable because I have to reboot the phone every time I want to use it in my car. I am not an Apple fan, by maybe I have to jump in that direction.

    • Imparus

      Get a nexus or a GPE phone.