Yikes. There's really no other way to say it. Despite the fact that Android
4.0 launched in November of 2011, it took until July of 2012 for 10 percent of tracked Google devices to dip ahead of the 10% share mark. What's that mean? It means that only 1 in 10 Android-based products are using one of the most recent editions of Android, and considering that only the Nexus 7 is actually shipping today with Android 4.1, a remarkably small portion of Android products actually run the absolute latest. This statistic has long since been fodder for iOS loyalists who claim that Google's mobile OS strategy is hugely fragmented. On the iOS front, over half of iOS products are running the latest version of iOS. Granted, there are only a handful of iOS products (iPod touch, iPad and iPhone) while there are hundreds upon hundreds of varying Android products, spread out across the world with different skins, different carriers and different languages. It's hardly an apples to apples comparison, but meaningful nonetheless.
According to the latest numbers, Android 2.2 (Froyo) is still on 17.3% of devices, despite being years old. Android 2.1, which is archaic by today's standards, is still seen on over 4% of Android products. Android 2.3.x claims the lion's share of the Android pie, with 64% of devices.
It's obvious that Android users are sliding up slowly to the latest, but the idea of giving OEMs the ability to customize Android has made it really tough for Google to mandate OS updates. Basically, it's up to companies like Motorola, HTC and Samsung to update their own products due to the use of skins, and in a lot of cases, buyers have simply been left to deal with an aged copy of Android while Nexus-class devices are updated by Google itself. Guess that's a strong reason to go Nexus if nothing else, huh?