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Tablets just 1.8% of Android as Gingerbread still a minority

updated 12:00 pm EDT, Wed October 5, 2011

Android in October has tablet, fragmentation issue

Google's progress and drawbacks in Android were seen in equal measure at the start of the week as its latest version share breakdown showed how much it continued to depend on smartphones and older versions. After eight months, Android 3 (Honeycomb) tablets still make up just 1.8 percent of the user base. Less than half of that group, 0.7 percent, is using the latest version of the OS.

Android 2.3, or Gingerbread, was growing at a steady pace but was still the minority. After almost a year, the OS was now on 38.7 percent of active Android hardware. The earlier Android 2.2, released a year and a half ago, is still the most popular version at 45.3 percent.

Although the share is likely to grow, it underscores an ongoing problem with keeping Android users on the latest version. Google this spring set up an anti-fragmentation coalition of top hardware partners that promised to update their phones quickly and over a sustained period, but the alliance has yet to be tested without Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4) available. Before the alliance, many Android makers deliberately skipped updates, sometimes for hardware just a few months old, either to save costs on development or simply to push users into earlier upgrades.

Apple hasn't given users the same level of device diversity but has been much faster in getting devices on the same page. Because every user with a fast-enough iOS device is guaranteed to see an update at the same time, the majority of its base ends up using the latest version within weeks. Historically, Apple has also been better about long-term support, giving new operating systems to devices up to two years old.

The dominance of the iPad in the tablet field, combined with the iPod touch, also makes non-phones a much larger portion of Apple's business. iPod touch figures aren't available, but Apple sold nearly half as many iPads as it did iPhones in the spring, at 9.25 million to 20.34 million.

by MacNN Staff



  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969



    can you imagine what Chrome OS tablet or sub-netbook running Chrome OS will be? 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000001%. If they give away Angry Bird with it, it will be 0.000001%.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Amazon just froze Android development

    Now that Amazon owns the low-to-mid priced tablet market, developers will flock to it. For the first time, there is an Android-based tablet that can actually make money for them. Great news for the Android developers of the world.

    Terrible news for Google. Amazon's proprietary, closed fork of the mangled Android tree will dominate the Android market and developers and end-users will love it. Anything Google does with Android (Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and any future release) will be ignored. Sure, hobbyists will tinker with the experimental builds from Google, but there won't be much mainstream interest.

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