Following 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.
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.