Last month, Google announced that ICS devices represented close to 11% of the total Android devices, and now a new report is saying that ICS saw a 50% increase on Android devices, jumping to 16% after a month. Gingerbread still owns the lion share of the market, sitting at 60%, and Froyo is now less than ICS, at 15.5%. Jelly Bean is now at 0.8%, thanks to the popular Nexus 7 and the upgrading of the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S devices.
The 50% jump for ICS sounds pretty impressive, but I wouldn’t get too excited about it just yet. It could mean that we’re only going to see a 5% jump in ICS devices every month, which means that it’s possible we won’t even see 50% of Android devices be on ICS and JB by the end of the year, or by the time a new version of Android gets launched.
ICS was a major architecture change, which made manufacturers rewrite some of their own software and drivers, and this means their new devices were delayed by months. It also means that many of the older models will never get upgraded to ICS, either because they won’t bother with that much work for devices they’ve already sold, or because some of them weren’t prepared enough for future upgrades, like the Galaxy S or the Desire HD.
This means the main way ICS’ market share will grow, from now on, is not through upgraded devices, but through new devices that come into the market with ICS or Jelly Bean. Unfortunately, some devices, especially lower-end ones, are still arriving with Gingerbread.
Hopefully, Jelly Bean will prove to be a “lighter” and faster version of Android that will be a good replacement for Gingerbread in the market for these low-end devices. Although, I have a feeling most of them will only come with Android 4+ after manufacturers can use more powerful, yet still inexpensive, chips like Cortex A7 and Mali 450.