updated 07:06 pm EST, Thu January 3, 2013
Android 4.0 now on over one in three Android devices
Google today released the latest figures for install bases of its various Android versions, revealing that devices running Android 4.0 and higher now account for almost 40 percent of all Android devices. The new figures represent a considerable jump for Android 4.x in terms of overall share, as 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and 4.1/4.2 (Jelly Bean) gained 5.1 percentage points over the last month. Much of the gain appears to have come from newer devices, with version 4.1 accounting for 3.1 of those percentage points, while version 4.2 added another 0.4 points.
Android version 2.3 Gingerbread remains the most widely-installed iteration, with 46.6 percent of the roughly 500 million Android devices running version 2.3 through 2.3.7. That figure, though, is down from 50.8 percent just a month ago. These latest numbers mark the first time in years that Gingerbread has accounted for less than 50 percent of the total Android install base. At the same time, just over 60 percent of Android devices are still running a version older than 4.0, largely due to either carrier tardiness with upgrade or planned obsolescence.
Still, the newest numbers, derived from data collected during a 14-day period ending on January 3, 2013, indicate a continuing positive trend in both sales of newer Android devices and OS upgrades for older devices. Having nearly four out of ten Android devices running close to the newest OS may help Google tamp down its persistent fragmentation problem, which has made many developers reluctant to build quality apps for the platform.