'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

Summary: Android is still horribly fragmented, with most devices stuck several versions behind the latest release.

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TOPICS: Android, Google
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Google's latest release of its mobile operating system, Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich,' is now powering 0.6% of Android devices in the wild, according to data released by Google.

0.6% isn't a lot, but it's pretty impressive when you consider that the OS was only released back in October of last year.

But the information also paints a picture of fragmentation. Almost 55% of Android devices are running Android 2.3.3 - 2.3.7 'Gingerbread' released in December 2010, while another 30% are running Android 2.2 'Froyo' which was released in May 2010. Android 2.1 'Eclair,' released October 2009, still runs on 8.5% of devices, which is more than run Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' and Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' combined.

Android is still horribly fragmented, with most devices stuck several versions behind the latest release. The historical data chart shows just how bad Google's problem with fragmentation has become.

This is a problem that Google doesn't seem to be able to address.

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Topics: Android, Google

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52 comments
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  • Funny

    It's funny how no one called the Windows ecosystem fragmented when most users were 2 versions behind for a couple years.
    Michael Kelly
    • Exactly my thoughts

      @Michael Kelly Exactly what I thought. I still use windows xp at work and vista at home, and I know many people who still use xp.
      I'm an Android user. I have 2.3.3 and I'm fine with it.
      arki7
    • Exactly my thoughts

      @Michael Kelly Exactly what I thought. I still use windows xp at work and vista at home, and I know many people who still use xp.
      I'm an Android user. I have 2.3.3 and I'm fine with it.
      arki7
    • Exactly my thoughts

      @Michael Kelly Exactly what I thought. I still use windows xp at work and vista at home, and I know many people who still use xp.
      I'm an Android user. I have 2.3.3 and I'm fine with it.
      arki7
    • Exactly my thoughts

      @Michael Kelly Exactly what I thought. I still use windows xp at work and vista at home, and I know many people who still use xp.
      I'm an Android user. I have 2.3.3 and I'm fine with it.
      arki7
    • Exactly my thoughts

      @Michael Kelly Exactly what I thought. I still use windows xp at work and vista at home, and I know many people who still use xp.
      I'm an Android user. I have 2.3.3 and I'm fine with it.
      arki7
    • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

      @Michael Kelly <br><br>Your problem is; You are trying to make sense out of Zdnet's nonsense.
      Return_of_the_jedi
    • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

      @Michael Kelly

      The difference is that when they bought those PC's they were running the current version of Windows, and moreover the majority of those PC's could be updated if the owners wanted them to be.....neither of these things are true about many Android devices, obsolete versions of Android are still being sold AND most of those can never be upgraded to a more recent version.
      Doctor Demento
      • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

        @Doctor Demento: I am NOT going to put Win7 on my 6 year old PC when it runs XP SP3 just fine. I upgraded an old Win95 PC to Win98SE and while it became more stable, it was dog-slow.

        I rooted my old Samsung Moment to upgrade from Eclair to Froyo and while it became more stable and smoother, plus added features, it became much slower.
        jabster17
      • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

        @Doctor Demento : ok, how do i update Windows Mobile 6.5 to the latest windows mobile software? So, out in the big wide world, there is Win Mob 6.1, 6.5 etc.. so Windows is fragmented as well.
        Do all versions of the iPhone upgrade to the latest version of IOS? Fragmentation in the mobile world is rife, most governed by carrier or in MS/APples case, the manufactorer.
        deaf_e_kate
      • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

        @Doctor Demento You obviously don't know the meaning of the word obsolete. Just because a version of the OS is not the most current doesn't make it obsolete. There are many reasons why users wouldn't want to run the latest versions of an OS on hardware.

        As long as the OS works for you on your hardware it's irrelevant whether it's the latest version or not. Only iOS users would see it differently.
        mrxxxman
      • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

        @Doctor Demento Good point Doc, ignore the nay-sayers, your point is well taken.
        billtech66
      • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

        @Doctor Demento Exactly..
        crtvance
      • That's Android strengths...

        @Doctor Demento When I bought my HTC with 2.3.3 it was exactly what I wanted. Better than anything Apple could offer me, even if I wanted to spend more money paying Apple's taxes to become their property. Now, I don't want to upgrade my Android to the next version... When the time for that device is over, I will replace it with another Android, running whatever version the maker chose to offer it at an affordable price, fit for the hardware I'm going to buy.
        FuzzyIce
      • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

        @jabster
        My Samsung moment is also rooted and running Froyo, I think it is much faster, although I hack the Roms and cut useless junk out them. I think I cut the Rom I am using by 35%-45%*...

        You can cut the Rom size fast by killing the ringtones and wallpapers that are included in most of them. My primary is an HTC Evo, running MikG 3.0, I cut that from 252MB* to 212MB* (even after adding my ringtones, I use customized ones for important people that might call me, and a 900KB redirecting hosts file) before installing it, now that I've used it a few weeks, I see several other "system" apps that it has as useless and next flash they will be cut also... I just used Titanium Backup to remove them now, although I am not 100% that it actually removes them. As a test, I removed 15MB of system apps and the available system space only went down 200KB, even after a reboot or three.

        * - note that is the compressed pre-install file size
        aiellenon
    • Exactly my thoughts, but hopefully only one response.

      @Michael Kelly <br><br>I'm going to join the chorus. I do find the number of people on Froyo 2.2 is a bit concerning, but that is because the vendors haven't upgraded the phone to Gingerbread which is the final step for what is now "legacy" hardware. Most of the Froyo 2.2 phones *should* be due to upgrade and the new hardware will come with Gingerbread or ICS...<br><br>Personally, what I see is that "Fragmentation" (as used here) is an artificial Apple construct to deflect attention from it not having any much diversity in the product line. That construct is starting to break down with 3.5" screen iPhones with single cores of varying capabilities, then fragged it decidedly with 3.5" screen iPhones with dual cores, then 2 fragged iPads, and the new "fragglerock edition" iPhone 5 with a modernish 4" screen presumably. <br><br>I've been through this on an embedded product lifecycle when it converted from Windows to a Linux based appliance. The big reason was to get rid of version fragmentation (not called that at the time) and force customers to run ONE version of software (the LATEST) to reduce support costs. Long term the newer Linux based versions started piling up as well. From my experience, the only way to actually avoid "fragmentation" is to release ONE product, and never update/upgrade it ever again... Then you have just ONE version to support. Of course you'll be bankrupt in a couple of years if you're lucky, or one year if not.
      admiraljkb
      • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

        @admiraljkb "Personally, what I see is that "Fragmentation" (as used here) is an artificial Apple construct to deflect attention from it not having any much diversity in the product line."

        You nailed it right there. Wired magazine, which understands Android in a way Mr. Kingsley-Hughes doesn't, ran an article entitled "There is no such thing as Android, only Android-compatible". They even quote Ed Bott. They explain how users are going to have to accept that you didn't buy an Android device running Google software; you bought an HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc. device that is Android-compatible. They explain how Android is a "weak OS" that takes a backseat to the hardware and the customizations of the manufacturer, and that we haven't seen this in the mobile space before.
        jgm@...
    • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

      @Michael Kelly I wouldn't compare Windows OS and Android OS in that regard. People with decent PCs running XP can easily upgrade to Windows 7. But you can't do that with older Android phones. My HTC Hero is stuck at 2.1 with no upgrade path.
      SmlBizAdmin
      • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

        @Axenet Unless you root it--not unlike the experience of having to do a full wipe to install Win7 on an XP box. But, learning from experience, some of those old Android phones can't handle the newer versions of the OS, so be careful what you ask for.
        jabster17
      • RE: 'Ice Cream Sandwich' powering 0.6% of Android devices

        @Axenet I'm sure if you go to XDA you can find a custom ROM to upgrade to a newer version if you want to put in the work to do it. Just like you would on a Windows machine going from XP to Win7.
        mrxxxman