Android 'Jelly Bean' passes 40 percent mark; leapfrogs 'Gingerbread' 4.1

Android 'Jelly Bean' passes 40 percent mark; leapfrogs 'Gingerbread' 4.1

Summary: Android's "Gingerbread" is to "Jelly Bean" as Windows XP is to Windows 7. And there's little sign of any fragmentation let-up any time soon.

TOPICS: Android

Latest figures from Google show the majority of Android users are now on the latest "Jelly Bean" 4.1 platform, overtaking the long-held favorite Android 2.3 "Gingerbread."

In all, 40.5 percent are running "Jelly Bean" on their mobile device, compared to 33 percent running "Gingerbread." However, just 6.5 percent are running the latest 4.2 build, up from 5.6 percent in June.

The figures, released by Google monthly, detail the state of the Android platform market by fragmentation, offering a unique look at how many devices are running which version of the platform. Data is collected from devices when the user visits the Google Play application store.

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 07.06.06
(Image: Android Developers)

Google has come under fire as of recent years as a result of its fragmentation "problem," which developers argue makes it difficult to maintain applications over time.

But now that the latest major Android version has the majority share, Google's fragmentation battle continues to be with "Gingerbread," and not just its trailing second-latest version iteration.

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Google's operating system is installed on almost three quarters of all mobile devices sold, and these devices are now outselling PCs. But is market dominance where the similarities end?

In other words, "Gingerbread" is to "Jelly Bean" as Windows XP is to Windows 7.

Both extremely popular albeit much older platforms, most are unable to upgrade because their hardware doesn't support the latest built. ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has long postulated that carriers do not care, or particularly want users to upgrade, because it puts a greater burden of pressure on them.

And there will, of course, be the legacy stragglers pulling the figures down at the very back — at the end of every marathon, there are always the rare few dressed in deep-sea diving suits that take weeks to finish the race. But on the whole the market is looking healthier than it was a year ago, about the time "Jelly Bean" was launching on the market.

The transition between "Ice Cream Sandwich" and "Jelly Bean" continues. Combined, nearly two-thirds are on the latest two platforms. It's a start for Google. But the sooner it can close the "Gingerbread" gap, the happier developers will be.

Topic: Android

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  • I've Started To Add Dual-Mode Compatibility To My Apps

    When running on pre-Honeycomb, I use the menu button. On post-Gingerbread, I add an action bar instead. Also I try to rely on the standard UI look in newer systems, reserving more customizations for older ones.

    I know Google offers a support library to bring the new look to apps running on older systems, but I'm not so sure about using that as yet.
  • So lets just say that its android 4= two-thirds and android 2= 1 third

    Does apple break it down any further than that? Android 2.3 is still chosen for new low end phones and will be around for some time.
    I don't get the "no fragmentation let-up anytime soon" thing. And whose complaining? If you are talking 'device fragmentation', how is that a bad thing? - choice. Its just a negative sounding word used to describe a positive thing.
  • I can't wait till

    Soon Blue Berry Pie & Chocolate Fudge will hit the market and they have more going for them than either Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean ever did. End of story
    Over and Out
  • how is Android the only fragmented OS?

    I have an iPad 1 and an iPod Touch that can't be upgraded to newer iOS. Apps that announce newer updates just say "not available".

    I have an Android 2.3 phone that was never offered an upgrade, and one that was offered an upgrade from 2.3 to 4.0.4.

    How is Android fragmentation any different from iOS?
    • Ssshhhhh

      It's not but we're not allowed to talk about fragmentation elsewhere, for some reason it's taboo to point out that not all idevices are running the same OS and availability of apps is different. Oh god, I've said it now, they're coming for me..........
      Little Old Man
  • Fragmentation an Apple invention.

    "Google has come under fire as of recent years as a result of its fragmentation "problem," which developers argue makes it difficult to maintain applications over time."
    Almost right - substitute "bloggers" for "developers" and you'll have it right.

    A small minority of developers complain of "fragmentation" from what I've read here and elsewhaere- from developers themselves.

    But bloggers are loath to drop a topic which can generate high numbers of clicks, even if they are a little loose with the facts.

    You complained about fragmentation when 2.3 stayed in use (kind of like XP) even though newe versions were available. Now that this situatuon is reversing, you claim that it is just as bad!

    Whole fragmentation argument is bogus and not worth bringing up.
    BTW, its Apple who has special "tablet" apps that won't run on phones. There's fragmentation for you!
  • Problem....

    Problem is that either users have ignored upgrades and/or the manufacturer has stopped supporting upgrades and/or Google has stopped trying to support older versions.
    If I buy a smartphone that just came out, I should expect a few years of upgrades.
  • Are you kidding with this?

    "However, just 6.5 percent are running the latest 4.2 build, up from 5.6 percent in June."

    4.1, 4.2, 4.3. Whatever. I know there are improvements between them but once you are using JB and Project Butter, consider your phone current enough. I've got 4.1 after two plus years of GB and am not wanting in the last bit.
  • Latest 4.2 build?

    "However, just 6.5 percent are running the latest 4.2 build, up from 5.6 percent in June."

    According to my Nexus 4, the latest build is 4.3 :D
  • "'Gingerbread' 4.1", Fragmentation?!?

    The title on the article incorrectly labels Gingerbread as 4.1.

    Also, it would take you less than 10 seconds on Google to find out that the latest version of Android is 4.3 not 4.2.

    I don't get how people actually think that fragmentation is a Android only problem. Guess what, fragmentation affects every company whether they're Google, Microsoft, Blackberry, or yes, even APPLE.
  • "Fragmentation" Should Mean "Incompatibility"

    "Fragmentation" should mean something bad, not good. Therefore it shouldn't refer to having a great choice of Android brands, models and form factors, because those are all good things. Nor should it refer to having different versions of Android, so long as those different versions are compatible--which they are.

    Compare Windows, for example, which has now been Balkanized into separate platforms with incompatible APIs, incompatible build systems and incompatible deployment channels--now THAT's fragmentation.