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Gingerbread's numbers still climbing at Froyo's expense

Google has released the latest version numbers for Android, and they're about what you'd expect. For the past two weeks ending Nov. 3, Gingerbread has crept up to 44.4 percent (up from 38.7 percent a month ago), while Froyo has fallen to 40.7 percent, down a little more than five percentage points from last month. That's due to phones getting updates, of course, as well as sales of new phones.

What's not really changing are the Honeycomb numbers, which only increased by one-tenth of a percentage point, from 1.8 percent to 1.9 percent. Really no great surprise there. We'll really start to watch those numbers in the next few months as Honeycomb tablets get updated to Ice Cream Sandwich and those API levels disappear altogether.

The number of phones on Eclair (Android 2.1) dropped a full percentage point to 10.7 percent. Donut was unchanged at 1.4 percent, a Cupcake's lingering at 0.9 percent.

Source: Android Developers site

  • How many of those numbers are made up of new sales, vs. older devices that just aren't getting the updates? ( Google needs to squeeze the carriers to push the updates.
  • "Not sure if trolling..." because that chart certainly was. It was deliberately designed to make Apple look good and Android look bad in every way - it's like something coming out of a political campaign. Also I've pointed out before that most normal people ignore iPhone updates, which btw had always required iTunes. Android's have always been "magically" updated over the airwaves. This changes everything (again)! On the off chance that you're genuinely curious, this chart represents all devices that have accessed the Android Market in any way (background or launching the app - basically anything that has checked in). This includes new sales, old phones, custom ROMs, and anything else that can use the Android Market and has sent a blip of data to them. Realistically, as a developer, you need to take the same precautions on either platform as long as more than one version is out there. In this sense, Android has made it not much more difficult to target dozens of screen sizes and form factors than it is on iOS to target a 3G[S]/4[S]/iPad screen, and/or iOS 3/4/5. In either case, if you're targeting 90% of users, it's no big deal. 97% requires a few more edge cases. If you're targeting 100%, you have your work cut out for you.
  • this graphic was probably really good in order to generate clics for its creator, but it is an extremely bad infographic when it comes to compare ios to android.
    The reality is different :
    -firstly, 99% of the users do not know or care what version of ios or android they are using.
    -for an user point of view, there is close to no difference between froyo and gingerbread, so saying that a device launched with froyo has never seen the last version of Android means nothing. The real downside of the time needed to push the updates is that it will take some time before the devs start using the uberly cool features introduced with Android 4.0 if they are not exportable in an external library (the actionbar for example, introduced with 3.0, is perfectly useable, and used in apps that are android 2.x compatible)
  • Really? Is that the defence now? That most users don't care about upgrades? That's nonsense. They care. Just not how you or I might look at it normally. They'll just feel their phone is outdated. And then they might look around at the rest of the Android ecosystem and feel the whole system ecosystem is lagging behind if all they see are un-updated phones. Then they pick up an iPhone and feel that it's "fresher" and move on. That's how most consumers think. Updates matter, just not in a way that most consumers can vocalize their concerns about updates.
  • Although that graphic isn't perfect, I think everyone is missing the point. Just remove the data related to the iPhone and look at the rest. Android users are being left out to dry by the carriers for the most part. We all know its true. There's a big problem in the Android ecosystem in regards to fixing issues with existing devices. The carriers and manufacturers have little to no interest in doing so. I'm on my third Android phone model in 3 years. They have all had various bugs, lockups, reboots that plagued them. Not as bad as my WinMo days but that's what it reminds me of. I know it doesn't have to be that way because of Cyanogenmod. Why can a group of volunteers do what the carriers/manufacturers cannot?
  • Laziness and priorities. The OG Droid is a good example. It's a device that hasn't got a carrier update in ages but because it's a popular phone in the geek arena, it's well supported by ROMs despite it's age. You don't see the same support for the HTC Eris which came out at a similar time... From everything we've heard, things are and have changed with the carrier updates, so the newer phones should have better support...we'll see how it works in practice. The problem is you have a company like Moto and HTC that churn out like 10 devices a year - which is pretty insane, but they reach a wide audience and don't just target the high-end.
  • This graph has absolutely nothing to do with the iPhone or anything else other than android. These are put out quarterly (I think) by google. It is not an attempt by anyone to make anyone else look bad. It is simply for reference.
  • Android's really grown and unfortunately the fragmentation is not going to get better. Carriers will be selling Gingerbread phones a year from now. Hopefully not Froyo phones then either (my carrier is still selling an Eclair handset for several hundred dollars). And with so many phones without OS updates, the picture just gets murkier for developers. A lot of Android's growth is very recent. This means there's tens of millions of phones on Froyo locked into contracts that won't expire for another 2 years. Most won't see Gingerbread. A lot of Gingerbread phones won't see Ice Cream Sandwich. And there's tens of millions of those. I predict that we'll see 10% of Androids still on Froyo this time next year, another 40% on Gingerbread. And lastly, a max of 40% on ICS (and this is optimistic, since we won't see a majority of ICS handsets until mid-2012. Think of what this means for developers trying to provide us users with great apps. Google really needs to use its muscle to push updates. But then look at the horrible precedent they set with the Nexus One.
  • Well we cetrinally have not gotten Gingerbread for our AT&T infuse yet. Was supposed to get it in August. Once they and it does not matter who it is gets you money they never look back and don't really care. Beachboyde