Android 'Jelly Bean' usage share grows in October, but 'Ice Cream Sandwich' grows faster

Android 'Jelly Bean' usage share grows in October, but 'Ice Cream Sandwich' grows faster

Summary: Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' finally has 3 percent usage share in its sights, but Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' continues to gain ground faster, currently powering more than a quarter of Android devices.


Data collected on Android devices accessing the Google Play application store shows that the latest Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' platform has finally broken the 2 percent barrier. But Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' has seen even better gains.

The data, collected during the 14-day period ending on November 1, 2012, shows that 'Jelly Bean' usage share has increased by 0.9 percentage points compared to the same period last month, up to 2.7 percent.

While the gains seen in 'Jelly Bean' will no doubt please Google, the 2.1 percentage points increase seen by 'Ice Cream Sandwich' will please the search giant even more, with the platform hitting an all-time high usage share of 25.8 percent, and continues to be the fastest-growing Android version.

The reason why 'Ice Cream Sandwich' is gaining market share faster than 'Jelly Bean' is simple -- 'Ice Cream Sandwich' is installed onto more new devices than the newer 'Jelly Bean'. New smartphones such as Motorola's Droid RAZR M  ship with "Ice Cream Sandwich" as opposed to the newer version.

Another factor that's contributing to the growth seen by 'Ice Cream Sandwich' is that older devices are slowly seeing this upgrade delivered to them. Updates are painfully slow in making their way to existing devices, and are almost invariably at least one version behind the latest.

The most popular version of Android continues to be Android 2.3 'Gingerbread,' a version that hasn't seen an update since September 2011.

While Google struggles to get 'Jelly Bean' onto devices, taking three-and-a-half months to break 2 percent, data published by Chitika Insights showed that it took Apple less than four weeks to get over 60 percent of iPhones and iPads upgraded to iOS 6.0.

Image source: Google Developer Dashboard.

Topics: Android, Apple, Google, Hardware, iPhone, iPad, Smartphones, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • ICS Was The Big Step Forward

    Speaking as an Android developer, I'm looking forward to when ICS will become the new baseline. That was the big step forward in functionality, 4.1 and later being fairly minor in comparison.

    The last project I released was written to run on 2.1 or later, though I think I'm ready to start demanding a minimum of 2.2 now. :)
    • Ice Cream Sandwich

      Ice cream sandwich will be the XP of Android not Ginger Bread.

      Users of ICS will choose not to upgrade. Ginger Bread users will move to ICS as their devices get too old.
      Ty Buchanan
  • yet another...

    yet another "android fragmentation speaks doom" article from zdnet
    • Fragmentation is becoming worse

      ... with so many vendors (such as Amazon / Chinese firms) choosing to break away from Google's predatory monopoly over Android and launch their own slavery-free phone OS.
      • Re: Fragmentation is becoming worse

        As long as the same apps continue to run fine with both forward and backward compatibility, it's a bit of a stretch to call it "fragmentation", don't you think?

        Whereas, when a company (let's call it "Nongoogle") decides that versions of its OS (let's call it Nondroid") up to 6.5 are a dead end, so Nondroid 7 will be a fresh start with no compatibility with the older version, and then two years later gives up on Nondroid 7 as well and announces that Nondroid 8 will be yet another fresh start, with no compatibility with Nondroid 7...

        Now that, you might more reasonably think, could be described as just a teentsy bit fragmented, wouldn't you agree?
        • Not in the same league...

 Android fans are so fond of pointing out, a ridiculous number of devices run Android, far more than iOS and far, far, far more than Windows Phone. I think devices running WM 6.5 or prior is less than 1% now (I'm sure you can find out), and those on WP7 will be coming out of contracts now, and will probably be switching up to WP8.

          WP8 is a much different beast - it's essentially the Win8 kernel on a phone, whereas WP7 was WinCE with bells and whistles. The underlying architecture had much more in common with WM than the desktop versions of the OS. So fragmentation had to occur for MS's strategy to play out, but going forward, it should be mainly WP8.
  • slavery free?

    That is the most ignorant statement i've ever read. Amazon's branch of Android is more locked down than Pure Android, how is that a slavery free OS? The largest factor for "fragmentation" is due primarily to carriers not forwarding updates through their devices, because they prefer a consumer buys a new phone and renews their contracts instead of keeping an old phone with new updates. (Not because of Amazon or China, they are smaller factors, which is another reason your point is "unimportant" to say the least)

    Fragmentation is an issue that needs to be fought at the service provider level. It's not Google's fault, but it is their problem. iOS fans like to pick fun at Google for not rolling out updates to their devices fast enough. Actually, the unlocked phones and tablets get updates pretty quickly (i got the update on my Nexus 7 before i even knew there was an update to get. The carriers and OEMs are to blame for the rest of the phones not receiving updates.

    You can buy a computer from Best Buy and it comes loaded with bloatware. Well you can always reinstall a fresh copy of Windows without all the crap on it. Problem solved. You CAN do the same with an Android device. But it is less user friendly to do so and generally requires a few devoted hours in a forum trying to figure out how to do it.

    The other area of distinction is that Windows can still get updates from Microsoft despite having the bloatware on it. smartphone operating systems are written more sucinctly beacuse memory is at a premium on a smartphone. So any alteration to the operating system by the carriers makes it harder to Google to "sideload" updates past a carriers modifications. So that option is unavailable to Android. iOS gets around this issue because they only have one phone and carriers can't make alterations to iOS aside from slapping their logo on the top. This is why Carriers instinctively push android devices over iPhones, because they sell more of them and make more money off of them in the long run (and they are better :P).

    If Google can combat the upgrading issue the carriers cause, that will go a long way in silencing the hordes about the "fragmentation" issues. However, i don't see a simple solution without stepping on a few toes (which means making carriers mad and going the route apple took and disallowing changes to the operating system).
    • added reply in wrong place, add remove/edit comment zdnet!

      meant to add as a reply to @LBiege
    • It's not the carriers

      It's the the carriers. It's all the skins on Android. TouchWiz, Sense, MotoBlur, etc. Manufactures have to code around that stuff first, then get ti approved by the carrier. The carrier has to make sure all their customization don't mess up their network.

      So don't blame the carriers. Blame it on the Samsungs that feel the need to ruin our pure Android experience with their cartoon looking skins.
      • true...

        The OEMs are at fault as well. but the comparisons i made to windows and the arguements i made are still valid either way. Until Google flexes a little muscle, customers will have to deal with late or no upgrades.

        However, I was taking the OEMs out of the picture by basing my arguement on just the Nexus Line devices (which now that i go back i realize i forgot to mention... oops). Those devices arent touched by the OEMs, just the carriers.
      • Re: The carrier has to make sure all their customization don't mess up thei

        Funny, in the entire rest of the world, it's none of the carrier's godda‌mn business what phone I'm using. I just buy their SIM card, stick it in my phone of choice, and it starts working straight away. The phones comply with the GSM spec, the carriers offer GSM networks, what more do we need?
    • Milind

      I agree with most of what you said, but I blame Google 100% for the problem. Google needs to make the OS available for download on all capable phones directly from their web site. It's Google's OS and they need to make a hardware abstraction layer that contains all the drivers and radios that every manufacturer has to provide to Google *before* the OS gets released. Otherwise, they are immediately denied access to Google apps on all their upcoming phones and are denied access to the Android Compatibility Program. All phones at least 2 years and under need to be completely supported by every manufacturer. It's all a matter of will and the will that's lacking is primarily Google's.

      I shouldn't have to choose a Nexus phone, just because I want timely updates. I want to choose a Nexus phone because it's the best phone out there - which it rarely is on hardware. The Nexus 4 is an excellent value for the money. But it's missing an SD Card and a removable battery. Both are deal breakers for me. I should not have to buy a Nexus phone just because it's the only phone on which I can get a reliable update. I should be able to choose between a Galaxy S3, a HTC One X, a Sony or any high end phone and be able to wipe out the OS and use the one from Google.
  • food for thought

    What people are forgetting is all the devices who processors and internal memory is an issue where they do not have the juice to run the newer versions of android. Many people buy these lower end phones because no one tells them a lot of apps simply won't work on there device, or the device is two or three years old and the hardware has come a long way in that time.
  • Author does not like Android

    How painful must it be to be a technology wizard, and oppose the greatest technology shift of the modern age? But such is the nature of change.

    Android is on 75 percent of mobile devices sold now. Half a billion devices worldwide, on a course for a billion next year. One of the most rapidly successful products in all of human history.

    Old man yells at cloud.