Every two weeks, Google publishes a pretty pie chart that shows the version numbers of devices that are accessing the Google Play Store. Today that chart has been updated. How many Android devices are running 4.1 Jelly Bean? Just 1.8%. And what about 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich? An impressive 23.7%. Combine those two figures and you get 25.5%. Translation: One out of every four Android devices in use today runs a version of the OS that’s less than a year old. More than half (55.8%) of all Android devices are still on Gingerbread, which, for those of you who don’t remember this, launched in December 2010.
What meaningful conclusions can we draw from this data? Most people probably don’t care about what version of Android is on their device since they’re just fine and dandy with a two year old version of the operating system. The newest version of Android, Jelly Bean is less than three months old after all, is considered a niche platform that developers are probably not targeting as heavily for obvious reasons.
When will ICS penetration break the 50% mark? It’s easily going to take another year or so. ICS launched on the Galaxy Nexus in November 2011, but handset makers didn’t start shipping ICS devices until the end of the first half of the 2012. Remember how pissed off we were at CES and Mobile World Congress because all the new phones being announced were running Gingerbread?
And as for software updates, we commend Samsung for putting Ice Cream Sandwich on what’s arguably the most popular Android device to hit the market, the Galaxy S II. That being said, we’re still waiting to find out more information about when the GS2 will get get Jelly Bean. Meanwhile everyone else has a mixed track record when it comes to providing timely software upgrades, if ever.