Jelly Bean climbs as older versions fall, continuing the trend we're used to

The platform version numbers for the month of May 2013 are in, and there are still a lot of versions of Android out in the wild. It comes as no surprise to anyone who keeps track of this sort of thing, but devices running versions of Android from 1.6 up to the latest 4.2.2 are represented, and the numbers of each are holding true to the trends they always have.

Jelly Bean's slice of the pie is slowing getting bigger, while the rest slowly get smaller, and when a new version comes out we get to do it all over again. But the important number -- devices running Android 4 or higher -- is showing up in healthy numbers.

These really only matter to developers, who have a different set of APIs to use based on the platform version. All the good ones, the ones users want as well as the ones that make for better apps, are for Android 4.0.3 and up. As of today, that means 58.6-percent of the 900,000,000 "official" Android devices ( that's a staggering 527,400,000 devices) have access to them. 

Of course, the flip side is that 41.4-percent of the devices don't have access to them. And that's a real problem, especially if you're one of the have-nots. Google has some great ideas to address this for the future, but it's going to take time to get rid of all those Gingerbread phones.

Source: Google


Reader comments

Platform numbers for May 2013 are in: Android 4.x on 59% of devices


I have Gingerbread on my Samsung Galaxy 551, and my wife has Eclair on her Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro. I'll probably switch to a JB phone next year, but my wife says she's happy with hers.

Sad part is that these are only phones that have accessed the play store in the last 2 weeks. I know people who don't even use the play store because it is still the crappy Google App Market on their 2.1 device that hardly works.

Which device(s) are still on Donut? Wouldn't mind getting my hands on it to see how far Android has first experience was Froyo

Can some one explain to me why Ginger Bread is holding on so long? What devices are people using that still have Ginger bread? (says the person who dropped his droid x two days ago)

Our office cell phones are Gingerbread, but that's because we are a poor non-profit and our upgrade eligibility hasn't kicked in yet. They are getting ancient very fast though. My boss is likely to pick up a Blackberry Q10 soon though since her work cell is dying, and she still greatly misses the Blackberry keyboard. Fortunately I am never in the field so I don't get a crappy work cell, and just rock my own HTC One. ;)

No....gingerbread phones don't need to go away....manufacturers need to push updates faster. No reason for gingerbread to still be around. Phones need to be updated for 2 years after their last selling point since we get locked into 2 year contracts.

Not all smartphones were built with an upgrade in mind. Feature phones pretty much don't exist anymore. Even free phones from providers are "smartphones" these days. This is why I think developers should treat their Android development like they do ios. They should build apps with the most recent major android version in mind, and not worry about trying to support phones that are more than one version out of date. It's not like they're going to make much money from those old phones anyways. And people who care about using good apps will update their phone every 2–3 years anyways.

Gingerbread for life. It's a masterpiece. Nothing wrong with it.

ICS please die, you're the odd one out.

Let's face it, Nexus devices aren't just developer devices anymore and that's good. They're dirt cheap, powerful devices to offer an affordable upgrade to the legacy users. A mid market nexus device in the Fall might be the extra incentive to get everyone onto the latest OS and developers working on app performance where resources are more limited?

I have Gingerbread on an old device I use for Runkeeper on runs etc. It accesses the market most months for updates but my daily driver is on Jelly Bean. Taking these 2 devices would show a 50/50 split in platforms, whereas real world usage is likely 99/1 in favour of Jelly Bean (I don't run nearly enough ;)). These stats are useful but I think their value is often overstated. I have no reason to get rid of an old device which will never get updated, as I have a niche use case for it.