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Android stats for August show Jelly Bean soundly in the lead with 40%, but Gingerbread won’t go away

androidauguststats-1

Each month, Google posts the breakdown of its Android versions, ostensibly for developers to see which ones they can target with their apps.

As of August 1st, over 40% of users run Jelly Bean and, combined with Ice Cream Sandwich, 63% of users run phones with Android 4.0 or above. While this is not necessarily the target we’re looking for — over 90% of iOS users run the latest version, according to Apple — it indicates that Google has largely stabilized the fragmentation issue.

Gingerbread is holding fairly steady at 33%, dropping only 1.1% from the previous month. In fact, Ice Cream Sandwich also dropped from last month as more devices were upgraded to Jelly Bean, both in the 4.1 and 4.2 flavours. Google’s now next-to-newest version, Android 4.2, is only running on 6.5% of devices, and some of them would have been upgraded to 4.3 in the past week or so.

Unfortunately, Android 1.6, 2.1 and 2.2 still exist, though their numbers are dwindling as users replace their phones with newer models.

The big takeaway from this is that developers can now soundly target Android 4.0+ without worrying that they’re alienating the entire ecosystem, something that couldn’t be said a year ago.

Source: Google Developers Portal

  • Alvin Avanzado

    GB will never go away. There are plenty of android users who needed the phone just to text and call. They won’t bother updating the OS because they don’t have to.

    • HiKsFiles

      They most probably don’t download apps very much, if at all, from the Play Store either. So there’s no reason not to move on and develop for Android 4.0+ from now on. ;)

    • Alvin Avanzado

      Just don’t understand why critics put too much emphasis on fragmentation. I don’t really think people really care. My dad uses Android and he gets pissed whenever I tried to upgrade his phone because he doesn’t care when everything is already working for him.

  • ChrisPollard77

    While on one hand, I think 4.0 has been out for AGES now … I also recall that it was just last June that I took home a Galaxy S2 that came with Gingerbread on it. It updated to ICS right away, but it still had 2.3.x out of the box. But for those who never update their OS, and are in three year contracts, I can see 2.3 lingering in the stats for another year or two yet. Some people don’t like change, and the idea of software updates scares them. You don’t get it … I don’t get it … but they exist.

  • Sensualpoet

    While 90% of iOS users “run the latest version”, that version is dependent on hardware: iOS 6 running on iPhone 5, 4S, 4 and iPod are not identical. So a more representative comparison is Android 4 … which has 63% penetration. That’s not bad considering it’s relatively new. The key thing is the evolution of the Android OS is much more rapid than iOS in the past 18 months, as has been the growth in the installed base.

    • Stuntman06

      My family members who have iPhones don’t update theirs at all. My father-in-law was on iOS 4 since got his iPhone 4. I had to update it for him just so he can use WhatsApp. That iOS update process back then was such a pain. Took me hours.

  • Mark

    Gingerbread was an era that saw huge adoption of the android platform. It was released in late 2010, it probably didn’t start appearing on devices until mid 2011, and it wasn’t succeeded in AOSP until late 2011. As such it was still being sold on devices throughout 2012, and most of those activations are still only half way through their contracts. The numbers for Gingerbread are entirely expected and reasonable.

  • Mathieu

    Gingerbread won’t go away (worldwide) and we (developers & users) don’t care.

    The only users who still use Gingerbread either have very cheap device or very old devices.

    For developers, Google and the “community” has provided various ways to make beautiful Android 4+ style apps for everyone running Android 2.1 and up.
    If your an Android developer and you don’t know how to deal with the Android diversity (f-word), you should quit your job.

  • Bbrysucks

    This is definitely true now, but a year and some months ago it wasn’t the case. Me thinks it had something fondue with the codebase maturing more than anything else. Stock 4.3 is wonderful! On my 2013 n7 the battery life is nothing short of stunning.

    • William Worlde

      Thanks for that info; I wasn’t aware. I came over from iOS, a phone ecosystem I’ll very, very likely never go back to!

  • protaginets

    Funny, considering the large number of phones out there that the various companies refuse to upgrade past gingerbread. And they wonder why it’s sticking around. Hell, even the iPhone 3GS can be upgraded to iOS 7….

    • QQ

      iPhone 3GS cannot be upgraded to iOS7. Only iPhone 4 and above, and even some iOS7 features aren’t available on iPhone 4.

  • Eric_M1968

    I totally agree with you. My first android phone was a N1 et I’ve tried every custom rom out there and was completely happy with them. Then I got a HTC Sensation and things started to change. Battery life sucked, and I had a quite a few random reboots. Then came my N4. I tried a couple of ROMs at first but again, battery life. I finally went back to stock and now I’m totally happy. I’m using Nova with the combination of UCCW, my phone looks like no other and is quite stable.

    • William Worlde

      That’s the other thing I forgot to mention: Just how stable it is on stock.

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