Android distribution numbers: KitKat doubles its share, but Jelly Bean still leads

by: Jonathan FeistApril 2, 2014

Android 4.4 KitKat logo - aa

Google has updated the Android distribution numbers, providing developers with an idea of which versions of Android are most commonly in use. We see no real surprises as Android 4.4 KitKat and Android 4.2.x Jelly Bean gain ground, and all the others either hold steady or drop in use.

The big news is that Android 4.4 Kitkat experienced growth from 2.5% of the market up to 5.3%. Likely thanks to a good handful of devices receiving updates to KitKat, and continued sales of quality lower cost devices, like the Moto G.

Android Distribution April 2014

Android 4.2.x Jelly Bean grew from 17.1% to 18.1%, however the 4.1.x and 4.3 versions of Jelly Bean both experienced a near 1% drop each. However, this did not stop Jelly Bean from maintaining the lead with an overall 61.4% share of the Android market, down only 0.4% from the month previous.

Froyo dropped a fraction of a percentage while Gingerbread continues its downward trend, seeing a 1.3% drop from last month, up from the 1% drop the month previous.

What happens next?

This month should prove to shake things up a bit with a slew of new devices hitting store shelves. Flagship devices were announced in February, with the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One (M8) and Sony Xperia Z2 all expected to land in consumers’ hands in April, all powered by Android 4.4 KitKat. Additionally, vendors like Xiaomi, OPPO and OnePlus have devices slated for market soon as well.

Beyond the next month, we have rumor that an updated KitKat is in testing, Android 4.4.3 could be available soon. It is also possible that we should see Google launch the next alphabetical Android version by the end of the year. The next version will begin with “L,” but after the surprise with “K,” we haven’t had any solid name rumors yet.

What do you think, will the delivery of all of the new flagship devices in April see KitKat double again? As KitKat grows, which version of Android do you expect will be the most reduced?

  • Rick jaan

    once gingerbread was king now jelly bean…….. who’s next

    • Prediction

      KitKat will be king.

  • Andrew White

    Google must have an ‘end game’. The controlling arm doesn’t plan for tomorrow, there is usually a 5 year strategy, be it simply commercial or something that is in fact very focused i.e. market domination. A true global monopoly in the ‘all’ important mobile space.
    In a free market, innovation by an individual or group is rewarded, and this can be very rapid in a much more accessible open source software control or facilitation system such as Android.
    But are we, in some respects, being led down the proverbial garden path, believing ‘cloud services’ will somehow benefit the average user by climbing on board the Kitkat train.
    Google now is offering a phenominal amount of free monthly cloud storage and are telling us that they are introducing tougher security measures.
    Why store off-site or out of home when you can secure everthing at home, cheaply through
    multiple mediums and share info easily without using the cloud.
    Upgrades just keep rolling out and now when you purchase a mid to high end device, the latest android version is preinstalled.
    I would like to Google through this site to inform us why the ‘cloud’ should be considered by non-business users… and I?

    • Jonathan Feist

      You make a good argument Andrew. Personally, I take a two fold approach: all of my personal and sensitive data, and stuff I cannot afford to lose, is stored locally. But my expendable data, mostly media, is stored in the cloud.

      I do use the cloud as my offsite backup for some private stuff, but only if I can put those files into a password protected zip file before uploading.

      Basically, my argument for cloud storage for non-business users is media, and only if sufficient internet is available. That’s a big if. This still leads into the clutches of Google’s garden, as you put it, but I can walk away from media if I really need to, my family photos are safe at home.

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    Strange that 4.3 dropped and 4.2 rised. Thought most devices that are older are being updated to 4.3 and skipping 4.2

    • Jonathan Feist

      John-Phillip, this is mostly (I believe) due to the number of new Chinese phones that are actually shipping with 4.2 right now.

      For example, the Xiaomi Redmi Note doesn’t even ship until May, and it is based on 4.2 –

  • Mur

    The secret sect of honeycomb users lives on!

  • Jaszee

    The name starting with “L”… hmmm probably Lollipop