Latest Android platform numbers give Jelly Bean the clear lead, Gingerbread still kicking

Google has released the latest numbers which show us how much of the pie certain versions of Android have. These numbers are always interesting to take a look at from time to time, as they allow us to see how quickly newer versions of Android are being adopted (and how quickly older ones are dying). Unfortunately, older versions aren’t anywhere near dead in this latest update.

Gingerbread still controls a commanding 28.5% of the pie. It doesn’t seem like good news, but considering Gingerbread held a commanding lead for well over a year it’s definitely pleasant to our ears. That’s joined by another 2.2% from Froyo, which gives legacy versions close to a third of the share.

android versions october 2013

More contemporary versions of Android make up 69.2% of the share, though the various versions of Jelly Bean accounting for a vast majority of that with a combined 48.6%. Ice Cream Sandwich still has a significant take, though, with 20.6%. Google is also still showing Honeycomb on the chart with a measly 0.1%, though we expect that to disappear at some point in the very near future.

Jelly Bean’s dominance is no doubt a testament to Google’s new strategy, which calls for fewer major revisions of Android. While there were still several incremental upgrades to Jelly Bean since it was first released last year, Google has slowed down on adding major features to Android through platform changes.

Instead, they’ve opted to bring the most significant features to users through apps, which gives Google the ability to add new features to core apps without having to wait on the lengthy approval and testing processes of OEMs and carriers.

Decoupling as many features as they can and bringing them to us in the form of upgradeable apps should help solve the ever growing problem of fragmentation for the months and years to come. This is how Android was built to behave, and we’re glad to see Google finally taking advantage of that in a meaningful way.

Of course, with Android 4.4 Kit Kat on the way we’ll have to start keeping track of a new major version, and with that will likely come new major features. We’re not exactly sure what to expect in that regard just yet, though recent leaks have hinted toward updated system apps (namely the messenger and dialer). We should be seeing Google reveal the new OS shortly.

Google typically likes to wait until they have a new device to announce, something we expect to happen quite soon, as well. We’re talking about the Nexus 5, of course, a device that has found its way into the public eye in more ways than one.

It’ll be a joyous day when all of that is brought to light, but for now all we can do is sit, wait, and hope that Google has a lot of sweet surprises in store for us in the weeks ahead. Be sure to visit the Android developers’ site for the full chart and breakdown.

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  • donkeykong85

    this is where apple destroys android – they actually update all of their devices to the latest OS at the same time.

    • epyon

      But how many of the newest features available in each OS update make it to older devices? Was Siri available on the iPhone 4 when iOS 5 (or whatever version was on the 4s) launched? What about with iOS 6 or 7? Fragmentation by any other name is still fragmentation.

      • Moses JC

        But people are okay with not having certain things as long as you’re trying.

        I’m not an apple fan at all., but I have to say I like how they support device 2 & 3 years old. No the old devices don’t have everything the new one has but they are trying.

        • epyon

          Who’s to say Google isn’t trying? If they weren’t releasing a new OS update every year, then I’d agree with you. But it’s not up to Google to make sure that every Samsung, LG, or HTC device is running the latest version. They simply need to make it available for those OEMs, and it’s the OEMs’ responsibility (or God forbid, the carriers’) to make sure that their devices are updates.

          As the great boxer Muhammed Ali mentioned above, the Nexus program is Google’s direct answer to Apple’s update philosophy, and quite frankly, they do it better because every Nexus device (minus the Verizon Galaxy Nexus) not only gets the full OS update, but can enjoy nearly all of those new features (unless of course an older device is missing a hardware component).

          • Lou_Sasshole

            Not to mention that they have released apps like Google Keyboard and will no doubt release more core apps so older devices can have access to it.

          • Nick V

            They’ve released almost all the core apps, if not all of the, Meanwhile, iOS users have to wait for the Core OS to get updated to see new versions of their Core OS Apps.

        • CerealFTW

          some iOS devices slow down with every update. my iPhone 3g was pretty fast and smooth but by the time iOS 4 came around, it was slow af and took like 10 minutes to turn on. my itouch 4 is kinda laggy on iOS 6 sometimes and I can’t even get ios7 despite the same generation iPhone 4 to get it

        • Guest

          Kit Kat should solve this from Google’s perspective. I will be surprised if Kit Kat doesn’t roll out to all nexus devices starting with nexus s. Making Nexus One the only phone that isn’t on Kit Kat. That then leaves it up to the manufacturers to choose to update their old phones or not. Gingerbread needs to go away…

        • No_Nickname90

          HAIL NO!! I remember having an iTouch 2nd Gen. I got updated to iOS 4 and I couldn’t even have a wallpaper for my background. The only new thing I noticed was folders.

          I was mad. I felt like Apple was telling me to upgrade my iTouch. What was the point of the update if that’s ALL I got?

    • Muhammad Ali

      So does Google, see nexus.

      • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

        Sadly, Nexus devices (the ones running Android 4.3) only amount to less than 1.5% of those 1 billion Android devices out there.

        • Muhammad Ali

          Very true, but it’s all Google can (directly) do really, with respect to updating the entire os.

        • donkeykong85

          and unfortunately it seems people could care less about the nexus devices. i am stuck on verizon with the galaxy nexus. if nexus 5 isnt coming to verizon i am switching to apple. no reason i should need to root a phone to get the stock OS and latest updates.

          • Chris

            I just wish Google and Android OEMs would release a program or web app where you can update your phone directly without the carriers. I just don’t get why Apple phones don’t have to have carrier bloat, and they don’t have to wait for Carriers to test their updates, while Android OEMs can’t do anything with the Carriers approval.

          • No_Nickname90

            If you want the latest updates, you will have to buy an iPhone every year. That way you can get the latest updates. If you keep your old iPhone, you won’t get ALL the latest updates.

      • donkeykong85

        Really? tell that to my verizon galaxy nexus.

        • Muhammad Ali

          You got me there :P I’m not American though, so I can pretend Verizon doesn’t exist.

          • donkeykong85

            You are lucky:)

          • Cesar Ortiz

            dont apologize to him , Updates are not directly from Google from that phone , its from the carrier side, its a freaking verizon galaxy nexus dude!

        • Cesar Ortiz

          Actually the carrier decides when to give out the update, Not Google. Just like you said ” Verizon Galaxy Nexus” ..

    • Azmon Rougier

      really? so the original iPhone runs iOS7?…don’t believe the hype…

      • donkeykong85

        All iphones in the last 2-3 years (iphone 4+) received IO7 on the same day. How many devices received 4.3 on release again?

        • JBrowne1012

          No they didn’t they received stripped down versions

          • Sepehr Naserkhaki

            so why doesn’t iPhone 4 not have siri yet? even though it only came out the year after it’s release?

          • Ray Pastore, Ph.D.

            wow, some mad people here. Of course IOS7 isnt the same on all of their devices due to constraints of their hardware but Apple still released it. You cannot say the same for android.

          • Sepehr Naserkhaki

            If you honestly think iPhone 4 doesn’t have the hardware to run siri, then this discussion is hopeless. It doesn’t because it was a marketing tool Apple used to push 4s sales. As for android there is no reason why it wouldn’t run on any device with the proper hardware, only reason manufacturers aren’t always up to date is cause they feel the need to skin the hell out of it and it takes them time to do that with every new version.

        • tomn1ce

          they all recieved the full version of iOS7….said no one ever.

        • androidscales

          did iPhone 2 get ios7

    • Jeffrey Evans

      They release only 1 new phone a year and have complete control of the hardware and yet still manage to release iOS after iOS that is bug ridden. iOS7 is the worse conglomeration of bugs yet. Keep bragging.

      • Ray Pastore, Ph.D.

        You are saying Android’s latest versions are not bug ridden? You need to check the change log. 4.2.2 is still causing bluetooth problems for people and they have already released 4.3.

        • Jeffrey Evans

          Nope. Every OS has bugs but only one claims “it just works” and “the worlds most advanced OS.”

    • Ryan O’Neill

      You tell me which is better – once a year, or once a month?
      I’d rather get core app updates on a regular basis, than have to wait a whole year for a minor upgrade.

    • No_Nickname90

      If you’re going to say “their devices”, then the only devices “Android” owns are the Nexus devices, which get updated in a timely manner. I mean, last I checked, Google didn’t own any Sense or Touchwiz devices.

      I mean, I’m keeping this in the same range as you. It’s not up to Google to update the Galaxy S2 to the latest version of Android. It’s up to Samsung. Google is actually doing their part to make it easier for them to update.

  • Muhammad Ali

    “More contemporary versions of Android make up 69.2% of the share.”

    Aka 4.x? :P

  • Steven Cannan

    4.3 custom ROM :) screw you 4.1.2

    • Max

      that’s what Android is all about imo :)

  • IOS is for winners

    Fragmentation = Android

    No Fragmentation +Stable OS = Apple

    Any questions? ლ(́◉◞౪◟◉‵ლ)

    • Cesar Ortiz

      ಠ_ಠ

    • Barry D.

      Yeah like those devices that received crippled versions of iOS 7. Sorry but that’s much worse than Android’s fragmentation. Either we get a real update or nothing.

      • IOS is for winners

        ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) stable OS. Which matters at the end

      • zourite

        This is an incredible comment. How can any Android user not acknowledge iOS superiority, at least relative to upgradability and support ?

        • Max

          Who cares, theres a clear reason to that and everybody knows it. If you control the whole chain of supply for both device and OS, you can do the things that Apple does. If you’re on Android, you need to think twice before committing to an OEM. Some OEMs are better on upgrading their devices than others.

    • demmo86rt

      How is SIRI doing on the iPhone 4?

      • IOS is for winners

        Doing better than Google Now( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) , she gives me anything I want.

    • Max

      blah, go troll somewhere else

      • IOS is for winners

        ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    • malcmilli

      fragmentation exist in iOS it is just disguised. iOS7 on one phone does not equal iOS7 on another.

    • No_Nickname90

      Yes. Are you content with a partial update?

      • IOS is for winners

        ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) my face says it all.

    • Pkmmte

      You forgot the tag.

    • androidscales

      your such a moron

    • androidscales

      did iPhone 2 get ios5

  • devoncatt

    I would love to go to a newer Android version,but Samsung decided not to do it . Some I’m stuck at jelly bean. I would love to dump touch wiz and carrier nonsense for a pure Android system that is upgraded regularly

  • ac

    The reason Gingerbread is so prominent is due to some of the protocols that prevented older devices from being upgraded to ICS, at least. Happened to me with my Motorola Photon and also happened to Atrix 2 owners, I believe. I’m sure there are other devices as well, but can’t remember which ones.

  • TONY ALDO

    The carriers have caused this by releasing phone with zero updates simple as that. This might sound crazy but Google should be the only party involved when it comes to OS updates. Not the carriers, not the phone providers, no one except Google.

    • zourite

      Well… switch to iOS.

      • TONY ALDO

        Almost everyone complains about lack of updates and fragmentation yet this is what causes it. Otherwise the fragmentation will continue. Google updated their play services to be able to update as much as possible to help with this mess.

    • Max

      Android as a concept pretty much dies with that statement.

  • Max

    die GB diiiieeee

  • feztheforeigner

    Where’d all the iOS trolls come from??

    • Jeff Maxwell

      We got sick of all the Android trolls on our Apple boards and decided to come over here to return the favor. You guys are the biggest effing babies when an iOS guy shows up. Get your minions under control before you start screaming “party foul”.

      • No_Nickname90

        What do they say? =.3

        • Jeff Maxwell

          No troll (whether he’s Apple or Android) has ever had anything useful to say. However, as long as your kind is going to troll the Apple boards, you’d better learn to take it as well as you give. You guys always get pissy as soon as an iOS guy shows up, whereas we pretty much take it for granted that you’re going to be all over us.

          Just stop crying about it.

          • feztheforeigner

            Since Android trolls annoy you your solution is to be a troll? Two wrongs don’t make a right dude…

          • Jeff Maxwell

            If you think this is trolling, then whatever….

            I’m just pointing out your own hypocrisy.

            And since we’re apparently throwing out useless quotes…Whenever you point a finger at somebody, you’re usually pointing three right back at yourself.

      • ari_free

        Oh please, there were Apple trolls many years before Android came along. Go back to your cult.

    • IOS is for winners

      ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) did your head stop bleeding after your post? I Know it didn’t.