Jelly Bean overtakes Gingerbread to become most popular Android version in use today

by: Gary SimsJuly 9, 2013
Google Lawn Statues of Android versions

Jelly Bean now used on just under 38% of active Android devices.

The latest set of numbers showing which versions of Android are actually being used in the real world have been published by Google. The new data shows that Android 4.x, which includes Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly bean, runs on over 61 percent of devices, while Jelly Bean itself (Android 4.1 and Android 4.2) runs on just under 38 percent of devices.

This is the first time that Jelly Bean has taken the lead from Gingerbread which has stubbornly stayed active even though it has been superseded several times. However Gingerbread’s usage is in decline. At the beginning of this year Android 2.3 was running on just under half of all active Android devices and Jelly Bean had just a 10 percent share. Ice Cream Sandwich was popular with just under 30 percent usage. Fast forward six months and Jelly Bean is king having taken share from Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich.


Google generates these numbers based on “data collected during a 14-day period ending on July 8, 2013” and use Google’s new counting method. Since April, 2013, the data now contains the number of devices that are used to visit the Google Play Store, rather than any device that simply checked-in to Google servers. Google reckon that this is a more accurate way to count the users who are actually active in the Android ecosystem.

As for the rest of the field Android 2.1 and 2.2 are still used on 4.5 percent of devices while Android 1.6 Donut and Android 3.2 Honeycomb barely register at 0.1 percent. The reason for Gingerbread’s longevity is likely because of its low system requirements. It is still possible to buy low end smartphones running Gingerbread today. Since it can run on devices with only 256MB of memory (or maybe even less) and doesn’t need a very fast GPU then for emerging markets it is still a viable option. How long it will remain so is unclear, however the fact that Jelly Bean has finally taken the lead coupled with the fact that Android 4.x runs on over 61 percent of active devices, it seems that the end is nigh for Gingerbread.

Gingerbread served us well, but personally I won’t miss it when it finally becomes extinct.

  • Yo swaggsta

    We can only hope KLP ends fragmentation.

  • Lil bit

    Gingerbread stayed on top so long because ICS was not very good. My experience is that all 2011 Xperia models was better on 2.3, and even 2012 models like the dual core Xperia U (unfortunately, due to the buggy novaThor chipset ics was required to fix networking issues on U/Sola/Go).

    And still gingerbread is on top, only by name is JB bigger, not by the android version number. I updated my Z to 4.2.2 and I admit it’s very similar to 4.1.2 but it’s more different than going from 2.3.3 to 2.3.7, that’s why I feel it’s right to keep 4.1 and 4.2 separate.

  • EndInSight

    I call BS on that counting method. I have all apps set to not auto update and I visit the play store maybe once a month to decide which apps I want to update. So let’s assume I did not visit the play store on my three devices during that two week window…I then I was not counted?

    My guess is that Google did a comparison of counting methods and this one makes them look less fragmented, so they switched. Sounds sketchy to me.

    But like you said, key lime pie might solve fragmentation. Would it not be awesome if 5.0 could be installed on every android device in the whole world and depending on the hardware specs, it would turn on or off certain software functionality? Suddenly, the while world is on the same OS. Wow.

  • Ruzveh

    stop coming up with such statistics.. it doesnt have any relevance. New firmwares are always better so obv newer phones will bundle them more over older ones provided hardware supports them. If you are given an option to buy 2.3 vs 4.2 what would you buy? Yea, companies knows this and even a first standard child will tell you the right answer

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    RIP gingerbread, you will be remembered. But not missed.

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    By the end of this year I think gingerbread will go down a lot more.

  • chidambara h.s. talavata

    Chidambara h.s talavata
    Samsung s duos hand set useless set..very low network signel…not rigistred on netwirk.
    Pleese free jellybeen update uplode in online..

    Totely samsung s duos set failure mobile