Android Versions

It's the beginning of the month, so that means that the new numbers for just how many phones are running each version of Android have come out.  Following the past trends, Gingerbread has seen even more growth, running over 50 percent of all Android devices that visit the Android Market.  The legacy versions keep dropping as well, with Cupcake and Donut (Android 1.5 and 1.6 respectively) dropping to 2.1 percent of the total.  We still don't see a very big uptick in Honeycomb, which has historically been a slower grower.  With Ice Cream Sandwich now among us, this chart will be interesting to watch as we see which carriers and OEM's send out those timely updates.

Source: Android Developers


Reader comments

Android version numbers as of Dec. 1 are out, Gingerbread sees a big boost


Well I have ICS on my fascinate=) at least gives me something to pass the time until the nexus is actually available.

This chart is meaningless - unless tracking devices that connect to the Android Marketplace over 2 weeks is meaningful. A more meaningful analysis would be tracking mobile devices that connect to gmail. THAT would be interesting.

Because carriers are not sending the updates.

T-mo "promised" a GB update for the SK4G before the end of the year. Probably wont happen, unfortunately.

A majority of our devices either run 2.2 or 2.3 where are the iFans talking about fragmentation. A lot of Android phones were not designed to be upgraded. The Samsung Gravity Smart for example and most of the bottom tier phones. Thats the beauty of Android. You can get a good OS on a free phone.

Im still waiting for the update for my Captivate, since I am still not available for an upgrade til June 2012. Is there an upcoming phone on AT&T that I should def wait for?

apparently AT&T will have LTE enabled phones coming out constantly from now on. I'm sure their will be phones out by June that will make any of the current crop of phones obsolete.

but like Jerry has been saying in the podcasts - I wouldn't buy anything from now on (phone or tablet) that doesn't have ICS pre-installed. Hardware specs are gonna be fairly similar across the board for OEM's so different styles from Moto, LG, HTC, etc.. are gonna be left to your personal preference

I'm disappointed. Looks to me like a huge portion of Gingerbread's growth occurred because of the growth of the ecosystem. There's still 70 million devices on Froyo and 20 million devices on Eclair.

If updates don't start picking up, it's really going to hold up app development. Developers are always going to develop at the lowest reasonable API level that they can. Today that would be level 7 for most devs. That makes me wonder about the quality of apps that we'll get.

Even with ICS out now, and only a small portion of the installed base being promised upgrades, here's what's going to happen a year from now:

-Gingerbread might actually have more than 50% of the installed base. Could go as high as 70% of the installed base (depends how many Froyo devices survive till then).
-Froyo could still be on 10% of the installed base.
-ICS may only be up to 25% of the installed base (possibly 30% if all the Honeycomb tabs get upgraded to ICS).

Those are, of course, very rough estimates. But think of the consequences of having half a million new activations per day, with the vast, vast majority of those being Gingerbread phones for half to three quarters of 2012.

This is the problem with relying on hardware upgrades to upgrade the OS versions of the installed base. You gotta wait for users to switch handsets. With ICS handsets not likely to be seen till at least the middle of 2012, that means most Eclair or Froyo upgraders are probably only going to Gingerbread in 2012. Even in the best case scenario, we'd see about 70% on Gingerbread and about 30% on ICS.

In the long run, this means that for the vast majority of Android users, they are going 2 versions behind the current version. This means the APIs the developers use will always be two levels or more below the current version. This could leave Android developers lagging behind their iOS counterparts.

Google really needs to do something about upgrades. Not just rolling them out. But speeding up the rollouts. There's no reason, for example that current Galaxy S owners shouldn't get ICS. Google can pull it off for the Nexus S. Yet no word from Samsung about the rest of the Galaxy S line-up. If Google can't get Samsung to upgrade a line like the Galaxy S (for which they could simply tidy up the Nexus S code), then what hope is there for the ecosystem at large?