Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' hits 0.8 percent market share

Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' hits 0.8 percent market share

Summary: While Android 2.3 'Gingerbread,' first released December 2010, continues to be the most popular version, Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' has made rapid, albeit overall modest, progress.


Android updates are painfully slow, almost glacial, in making their way to user's devices. However, it seems that the latest Android 4.1 release, codenamed 'Jelly Bean,' is seeing quite rapid, albeit overall modest, adoption rates.

According to data collected by Google, based on devices accessing the Google Play store within a 14-day period up to August 1, the new Android version is already installed on 0.8 percent of devices.

Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' was officially unveiled at Google's I/O conference on June 27th, and was released as an over-the-air (OTA) update for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on July 11, and was preinstalled on the Nexus 7 tablet which has been making its way to enthusiastic consumers since mid-July.

While Google doesn't break down the data based on devices, it is likely that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and the Nexus 7 tablet make up the bulk of these devices running 'Jelly Bean.'

Comparing this latest data to that collected in the 14 days up to June 1st we find that apart from 'Jelly Bean,' only Android 3.2 'Honeycomb' and Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' have gained ground, up 0.2 and 9.1 percentage points respectively.

The most popular Android version continues to be Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' with a 60.3 percent market share on Google's app store. This version was first released December 2010 and last updated September 2011.

If you currently own an Android smartphone or tablet, then history shows that you're unlikely to see this latest update delivered to your device. Many of the major players appear to have little to no interest in delivering the update to their users.

Google is primarily interested in new handset activation and increased market share above all else, not in creating a unified ecosystem. The handset makers have sold you a phone and hope to never hear from you again until it's time to buy again. And, not to mention, the carriers already have you hooked up to a multi-year contract and don't care a jot about what operating system your smartphone or tablet runs.

The problem is that while Android updates have to go from Google to the phone manufacturers, then to the carriers before being sent to devices, iOS updates go from Apple directly to devices. Aftermarket firmware projects such as CyanogenMod work to bypass this lengthy and laborious chain and deliver updates for hardware direct.

This lack of Android updates not only denies users access to new features, but is also means that security vulnerabilities are not patched, leaving both devices and the data they contain open to hackers.

Image source: Google Developer Dashboard.

Topics: Android, Google, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • that's why you buy a nexus

    I have two samsung galaxy nexus's, the best value on the planet for $349 direct from google. Have been running 4.1 for weeks now. If people really care about getting updates, they would buy this phone. I also have a Galaxy S3, which is physically a slightly nicer phone and more software bells and whistles, but I prefer the stock Jellybean and the benefits you have with a pure google device. If you buy something like an S3, that's what you get. You don't worry about updates to the OS because none of that shows through the touchwiz layer. That isn't google's problem and is what android is all about, for better or worse, just like living in a capitalist democracy.
    • Updates?

      I have two Galaxy Nexus that were purchased last week, and they are still on version 4.04 with no updates available. Where did you get these updates? They certainly aren't available OTA from Verizon.
      • Umm

        You have the LTE version... that version hasn't received an update yet!
      • Verizon delays updates by months

        The Verizon Galaxy Nexus gets it's updates many months after the other carriers, it's Verizon's fault not Google's. If you want timely updates on a Verizon phone your only choice is to root it. Fortunately rooting is an easy process on the Galaxy Nexus. The Jelly Bean ROMs for the Verizon GN started to appear within hours of Google's release of Jelly Bean so it you are willing to root your phone you can stay up to the minute. If you aren't willing to root your phone then you should stay away for Verizon.

        I'm running the Vicious Jelly Bean V1 4.1.1 ROM on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus. I've been running it for weeks and it's completely solid, much better than the version of ICS that the phone came with. Here are some links for Verizon GN users who want to run Jelly Bean,
      • Updates

        Oh I think the only way you can get quick updates is by having the GSM unlocked versions -Ive read repeatedly that VZ is very slow at updates. My update was available the second I turned on the phone. Go to Settings/About Phone/System Updates. You can check under Android Version what you have, tap system updates and see if anything happens but they may be right - yours is tied to Verizon - not Google itself. Mine is on version 4.1.1...But not thrilled with the phone; it was a gift and I can use cheaper Tmobile prepaid plans (so I dont have to spend over $100 on a cell phone plan and dont have to pay all those carrier fees, and can bolt at any time); on Tmo though you only are getting 3g speeds (but i guess if thats good enough for iphone 4s users, I can deal); many other functions are not working properly ;and I miss a lot of things from Samsung phones that are not present here...also while I was glad to see a direct support line (since my experience with samsung and tmobile support is horrendous), the reps dont seem to konw much. They keep saying I dont know or Reset your Phone - Ive then gone to play with it and figured out all the solutions - and Im not a techie at all. BTW< does anyone see where the voice call app is; the instructions tell me to tap on this icon which I dont see; youtube videos showed an app in the app list that I dont have - but anyway they said it didnt work well and just t yping the microphone was better although its not recognizing a lot of thenames in my contacts..The original syncing also created contacts I didnt have in my account along with duplicating contacts and mixing up others where it was one persons name and another persons information and picture...Of course another thing I figured out how to fix myself.
    • lol @ the connection of capitalism, democracy and phones. :P

      lol @ the connection of capitalism, democracy and phones. :P
  • Painfully slow? you are kidding right?

    With what other platform do things change so quickly? Its only been what, less than three years since 2.0 on the original droid? See the other article on your own site talking about how only now is Windows 7 overtaking XP in overall usage.

    Its the ADD generation always wanting an update every two weeks that is dissatisfied.
    • "With what other platform do things change so quickly?" - iOS

      80% of Apple's 365 million iOS customers are using the latest OS (iOS5). How's that for fast.

      The most popular Android version continues to be Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' with a 60.3 percent market share. 60.3% of Android users are using an OS released in 2010, 7% are on ICS. (painfully slow).

      "Its the ADD generation always wanting an update every two weeks"

      With malware and other security issues currently affecting Android, maybe you should be pushing for carriers to release updates faster instead of defending it.
      • iPhones dont really change

        Ok Dave95 but how many android phones are on market and how many different iphones are on market. IPhones period dont really change at all so everyone can get it.
        John Vicencio
        • Apple changes the iPhone every year...

          and iOS get's updated every year.

          Apple also have to first go through the carriers with their updates just like Google and Android handset makers (for testing etc). But the precess is so smooth and behind the scenes that all iOS users know is they're getting their updates immediately after Apple releases the OS.

          Carriers and Android handset makers are not as eager to get updates out to older Android phones, unlike Apple.
          • re: Apple changes the iPhone every year...

            Google really needs to work out this update issue with the manufacturers/carriers if it wants to seriously compete with iOS. Having to root your phone to make it secure is ridiculous.
          • re dave 95

            and from what i read, as of august 1, .08% were running Jelly bean; i guess i feel honored now, but certain apps and widgets are not working well with JB
          • re vancevep

            well the carriers want you to buy a new android phone to get the latest version of android....carriers are still selling new phones with gingerbread (yes mostly prepaids but i know tmobile is too); and promoting them as latest and greatest. Im more curiuos to know how much people pay for their plans...before i got the nexus, i was planning to swtich to iphone (cuz everyone I know has it, and unlike m e, they never have phone issues); but the carrier plans are $90 and above and are just going higher. Tmo prepaid becomes a great value if you have a phone or can get one less expensively which the GN is probably the best value for a high quality phone for only 350 these days...I saw that when they first came out people were paying over $800 for them
      • Interesting thing about iOS upgrades

        If you look at features included in iOS upgrades, 99% of them fall into 2 categories:
        1. features added to iOS that were already in Android 2.0 (like notifications)
        2. features that are not available without purchasing new hardware (like Siri)

        Upgrades are not useful in and of themselves. Having a device that gets 3 upgrades in a year is not automatically better than having a device that gets 0 upgrades in a year. If anything, it is worse (everything else being equal) because every upgrade is time consuming and carres a >0 risk.

        So you are right, one of the facts about iOS devices is that people upgrade faster. I call it a fact and not a feature or an advantage because it is neither. The truth is that Android is a more modular, more open system allowing applications more control over the capabilities of the handset meaning that OS upgrades are simply less important for Android. OS upgrades are essential for iOS because 3rd party apps have no ability to add features to the UI. Android devices started out with more features AND the platform allows for more customizations that don't require OS upgrades when compared to iOS.
        • Update/Upgrade

          I find myself agreeing with pretty much everything you've said. I think though, we should distinguish between updates (bug/security fixes) and upgrades (major OS changes with new look and feel and features. I've been luck with my HTC Sensation to be upgraded to ICS, but I think updates should be available more speedily. I guess this is due to the multi-layered process for changes to Android - Google, the manufacturer and the service provider. The reason more people update iPhones is there are less layers. It's one thing Apple are good at, in part because they effectively miss out on the third step.
          I guess is this is because the service providers were so desperate to get the "coolest" phone, they allowed Apple to effectively circumvent them in the update process. It would be nice if the other providers had the same b4lls. An added benefit would be the service providers wouldn't include their junk in the firmware!
      • re dave 95

        and from what i read, as of august 1, .08% were running Jelly bean; i guess i feel honored now, but certain apps and widgets are not working well with JB
    • re cornpie

      um...iphones get their updates pretty quickly if you have one of the last few versions - they get the ios update right away..and n o carrier intervention...thats one thing I like about the gn - while there were some pre installed apps, I was shocked when I could just uninstall them cuz that was a pain in the samsung phones. some people might not like the lack of sd card but its enough space for me and i find it running so much smoother than my old phone - it isnt freezing every day - or taking forever to load; it isnt power cycling; itsl etting me send sms...i was ready to go for an iphone but im gonna give this a couple of months and see how it goes.