Google Lawn Statues of Android versionsFollowing last months historic milestone where Android 4.1 became the predominant version of Android, Jelly Bean has continued its rise while Android 2.3 Gingerbread continues to fade. At present over 45 percent of Android devices used today run Android 4.1 or Android 4.2, while only 30.7 percent use Android 2.3.3+.

Taking the Android 4.x branch as a whole (4.0, 4.1 and 4.2) the latest data from Google shows that over two-thirds of Android devices are running a version of Android which works equally as well on a tablet and on a smartphone. Android 2.3 Gingerbread wasn’t designed to run on tablets (even though some companies like Samsung forced it onto their first generation devices). The tablet optimized version of Android was Android 3.x Honeycomb, which just barely appears on the stats with a 0.1 percent share. Android 4.x was the amalgamation of the tablet optimization with the phone version of Android.

Android version usage 4th Sept 2013

Conspicuous by their absence

The data collected by Google shows only devices which connected to the Google Play Store and since the app store is only available for devices running Android 2.2 or above it means that this is the first time that Android 1.6 Donut or Android 2.1 Eclair don’t appear on Google’s official statistics. However these two versions aren’t significant as in July only 0.1 percent of devices which connected to any Google service used Android 1.6 and only 1.2 percent used Android 2.1. These two versions can now be considered dead.

Also missing off the radar is Android 2.3, 2.3.1 and 2.3.2. The initial release of Gingerbread was made at the end of 2010 and support Android API level 9, however by February 2011 Google released Android 2.3.3 which support API level 10. Since then original Gingerbread versions have played a less significant role and in July of this year its usage was down to 0.1 percent. It has now dipped below 0.1 percent and so can also be considered dead.

Android 4.3 doesn’t yet appear on Google statistics which is surprising as Google’s Nexus range and the Google Play Edition devices received the update to 4.3 during the latter part of July. Since these stats measure Android devices connecting to the Play Store for a 7-day period ending on September 4th, one would assume that Android 4.3 should appear somewhere in the numbers.

Does this mean that the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 aren’t as popular as we believe? This does seem to be an anomaly as Android 4.2 was released in mid-November 2012 but by December 3rd 2012  it already registered a 0.8 percent share and by January 3rd a 1.2 percent share. It is now nearly six weeks since Google released 4.3, so where is it???

What do you think? Has Google forgotten to show the stats for Android 4.3? Is it missing in action? Will Samsung’s planned upgrade of the Galaxy S3 and S4 in October help Google find its latest OS version? Let me know you thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade and specializes in open source systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems. He has many years of experience in system design and development as well as system administration, system security and networking protocols. He also knows several programming languages, as he was previously a software engineer for 10 years.
  • Luka Mlinar

    Most manufacturers might skip 4.3 since 4.4 looks to be around the corner.

    • Android 4.2 was released in mid-November 2012 but by December 3rd 2012 it already registered a 0.8 percent share. This was due only to the Nexus devices. Where is 4.3?

      • Luka Mlinar

        around the corner

      • MasterMuffin

        * Where is 4.3???

      • Euclid, we have a problem

        Yeah, really. More Nexus and Quasi-Nexus devices than ever and not even blip. The N4, N10, two year’s of N7’s, Gnex, Google Edition HTC and Samsung’s… where are you?

    • Mamoon Noorestani

      They Should. That’ll be good.

  • Michael

    There is also a problem with a lot of people do not know that they should update there phone. I work in a company where a lot of people having the galaxy s2 and there a still some of them using gingerbread on there phone. I already said to them,that the should update. But they are saying that they dont care because phone is working!

    • Michael you are right. There are literally 100s of thousands of people still using Windows XP. Why don’t they upgrade to Windows 7? They don’t care because the computer is working!
      A lot of people by nature do not like change. Wait until iOS 7 comes out. People will be screaming because of the change.

      • But don’t forget that you need to pay money (and quite a lot in some cases) to upgrade from XP to something else (except Linux of course) whereas an Android upgrade is free.

        Also lots of computers running XP can’t handle (in terms of being actually usable) anything bigger than XP.

        • technology

          Actually, Windows 7 is lighter than windows XP, so any computer that can run windows XP 32 bit, can run windows 7 32 bit.

          • Cal Rankin

            I have a Dell PC with Windows XP that doesn’t have the power to run Windows 7. The 32 bit version of Windows 7 requires 1 GB of RAM, and it only has 512 MB.

    • Euclid, we have a problem

      I agree. But most Nexus buyers are update junkies. These people specifically bought a pure Android device to be up to date, and there’d be fewer of them indifferent to updating.

  • Balraj

    A gimmick??
    Google wants to tell gingerbread users move on..
    And doesn’t want android 4.1 & 4.2 users to get pissed off
    So skipped 4.3 off the charts..
    Just my opinion…..

  • spade

    I think most people now doesn’t care about that anymore, just release already the 4.4 KitKat along with Nexus 5(or whatever they will name it) and i’ll get it for sure!

  • Cal Rankin

    Well, considering the only devices out that are running it right now are the two Nexus 7s, the Nexus 10, the Nexus 4, the Google Play Edition devices, and the GSM Galaxy Nexus, it wouldn’t really have a big dent.

  • Luciano Moreira

    I think Google is wainting for the Galaxy’s S3 and S4 update, so everyone will have a big surprise when they see the numbers!

  • Italo Maeda

    you also must see as the nexus device owners be on CM or PA or any other who still on 4.2…