Ice Cream Sandwich is now on 20% of all Android devices, Gingerbread is still most popularSeptember 9, 2012 1 Email article | Print article
Android updates are somewhat of a sticky point. Unless you are on a Nexus device, chances are you will get an extremely delayed update for your Android to the latest version, if you get an update at all. Heck even some Nexus devices (such as the CDMA versions of Galaxy Nexus) get delayed updates. So it is always interesting to note which version of Android is the most popular at what time.
As of September 4, 2012, Gingerbread (Android 2.3.x) still remains king with 57.5% device penetration. Ice Cream Sandwich, the version of Android that unified tablets and phones under one roof, has eeked up to 20.9% of marketshare while the latest version of Android — Jelly Bean, Android 4.1.x — is only on 1.2% of Android devices.
It should be noted the above stats are directly from Google and are based on the devices that accessed Google Play Store from August 21 to September 4. So the numbers should — and I say should because I can’t find anywhere Google confirming this — include custom ROMs as well as unmodified devices.
So what do these numbers tell us? Well, for one, they tell us the slowness in which Android updates reach end users is a real phenomenon. Gingerbread was released by Google in Dec 2010, almost two years ago, and it still dominates Android devices today; Ice Cream Sandwich, which appeared in Oct 2011, is only gaining traction now despite being almost a year old; and Jelly Bean has less than 2% marketshare despite being out for almost two months. Aside from that, however, these numbers tell us that many Android users are not resorting to custom ROMs to fill in the Android update void, otherwise almost 58% of devices wouldn’t be stuck on Gingerbread. That, or it could mean that many custom ROMs have been unable to reliably port to Ice Cream Sandwich which would explain why so many people are still on Gingerbread.
Are you an Android owner? (I’m guessing you are otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this.) Let us know in the comments below what version of Android you are running and if you have installed a custom ROM or not. Also feel free to reflect on if the lack of Android updates bothers you or not.