Vast Majority of Android Users Still Chomping on Gingerbread

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News Posted: Sat, Jun 2 2012 11:28 AM
Cover your eyes, Android fans, here comes that dirty F-word no one in the Google camp likes to see, hear, or acknowledge: Fragmentation. It's an F-bomb that resonates with any Android user waiting on their carrier to deliver that delicious Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) update long after Gingerbread (Android 2.3) started to taste stale. The good news is, things are improving. And the bad news? There's still a long ways to go.

Google's Android Developers portal was just updated with new statistics that show the current distribution of Android builds to date. By and large Gingerbread is the most-used version of Android, with nearly three quarters (65 percent) of all active Android devices running anywhere from version 2.3 to 2.3.7.

Image Source: Android Developers

After that, usage drops off to just 2.7 percent of active devices rocking Honeycomb, and 7.1 dripping with Ice Cream Sandwich, Google's latest and greatest Android OS to date.

That doesn't sound like much -- and it isn't, not when you consider how long the OS has been available, and the fact that Jelly Bean (Android 5.0) is just around the corner -- but that's 2.2 percent higher than it was a month ago, when 4.9 percent of Android devices were running ICS. That's encouraging.

What's not as encouraging is that Froyo still accounts for 19.1 (Android 2.2) percent of active Android devices, Eclair (Android 2.1) accounts for 5.2 percent, Donut (Android 1.6) for 0.6 percent, and Cupcake (Android 1.5) for 0.3 percent. Part of that distribution has to do with devices that are simply too old or under-equipped to handle newer Android builds, but some of them can and have simply been abandoned. It's the same old song and dance -- carriers don't want to spend a ton of money supporting older devices, figuring those resources are better spent focused on newer hardware.

Are you using an Android device? If so, which OS do you have installed?
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skarbon replied on Sat, Jun 2 2012 12:39 PM

You have to keep in mind, there was an explosion of buyers about two years ago in the days when Froyo was the latest and greatest, and many are hanging onto old devices just so they can have their "grandfathered" unlimited data plan.

Also - the reason we don't like to hear people talk about it is that they never say anything meaningful about it, and that includes this article. Not a lot of people are on ICS yet - so? Do they have a problem with not being on ICS? I have a feeling that part of the reason Gingerbread takes up such a huge portion is that it works just fine.

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Manduh replied on Sun, Jun 3 2012 10:52 AM

I have an Android tablet and it runs Honeycomb.

To add, the same thing happens with iOS devices too, mind you more for different reasons, the older thevOS the easier it is to jailbreak/unlock (most times). So people tend to stick with what they have, 'if it ain't broken, don't fix it' right?

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timaeus replied on Mon, Jun 4 2012 9:49 AM

I have a Droid Razr Maxx, running Gingerbread, and I've been waiting impatiently for ICS for months now. I may just end up rooting so I can get it sooner. Getting tired of Motorolla's vague comments about eventual ICS updates.

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