updated 10:22 pm EDT, Wed May 1, 2013
Older operating systems decreasing, buoyed by older hardware
Google's latest Android adoption numbers, fueled by a recently-changed methodology, are showing improvements in adoption of Android "Jelly Bean" variants. The 14-day snapshot shows a 3.4 percentage point increase in Android 4.1 and 4.2 "Jelly Bean" to 28.4 percent with a contraction of Android 4.0.3 and 4.0.4 "Ice Cream Sandwich" devices to 27.5 percent, a decrease of 1.8 percentage points.
Other notable changes were Gingerbread-based hits on the Google Play store decreasing from 39.8 percent to 38.5 percent, likely reflecting retiring of older devices in favor of other platforms or newer hardware, capable of running newer versions of the operating system.
This set of data is the third consecutive poll using the new collection metric. The new count is based on Google Play hits only, versus the older method of counting hits on any Google server, including Google Mail and Google+. The new counting method skews the results from the actual installed base, making it look as though more users are switching to newer releases -- but has the advantage of providing developers information on which operating systems are the most popular at the Play store, in order to tailor offerings to customers who may actually buy.