Google Android has seen a great evolution post Gingerbread with Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and now Jelly Bean. The issue which has been plaguing Google ever since the first few versions of Android is with regards to fragmentation. There are a vast majority of users still running Gingerbread despite Android evolving up to Jelly Bean now. What this basically means is that unlike iOS or Windows Phone, not all devices are running on the same version of the OS. Of course, iOS and Windows Phone 7/8 devices don’t have as many smartphones as Android does, as the number of manufacturers producing Android smartphones are substantially higher. But with time, Google has tried to reduce fragmentation by making several older devices compatible with the newer versions of Android. And according to the recent numbers showing marketshare for each versions of Android, Jelly Bean has increased in number since the last time we checked (10.2% from 6.7% last month). Even though Gingerbread still remains on top, we don’t think it will be there for long as newer devices with newer firmware make their way to the market. Ice Cream Sandwich has seen an increase in adoption of about 1.6%. These numbers don’t tell the whole story though.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is currently the top selling Android flagship in the world. But despite that, there are several other smartphones from various manufacturers that come with either Android 2.3 Gingerbread or Android 4.0.4 on board. Although manufacturers these days have grown particularly keen on updating their current lineup of smartphones, it takes substantial amount of time to get it on board. And by the time these manufacturers finish working on the newest version of Android for their smartphones, there will already be a newer version announced by Google. Manufacturers just cannot resist the urge to make custom tweaks to their smartphones which would allow for better performance and usability of the smartphone. So if you’re planning on getting a new Android device and timely updates are important to you, you should look no further and get a Nexus smartphone. These come with little to no UI customization and provide the stock Android experience to the users. But as of now, users are potentially stuck if they want to get a Nexus device as the current Nexus flagship, the Nexus 4 is out of stock on the Google Play Store.
So on the whole, Android has come a long way, but there’s still some distance left till all users come under the same radar. Early versions of Android like Donut and Éclair are almost on the verge of extinction (2.6% collectively), which is very good news and Gingerbread too has dropped by 3.2% since last month. After Gingerbread, it’s Ice Cream Sandwich which has the most number of users at 29.1%. Android 2.2 Froyo is still running on 9% of all Android smartphones which is down from 10.3% when checked last month. You will be pleased to know that the ill-fated Honeycomb OS only has about 1.5% users left out there. Hopefully in the coming days, numbers for Jelly Bean should increase while Gingerbread and Froyo should further fall down.