What version of Android is the most popular?

What version of Android is the most popular?Ever wondered how many people are using Ice Cream Sandwich, or Honeycomb, or Gingerbread?

Well, Google (as usual, with most things) has the answer. Data from the number of Android devices accessing Google Play within a 14-day period shows that nearly 26% are using Ice Cream Sandwich and there’s 2.7% on Jelly Bean.


A ma-hooosive 53.9% are still using a flavour of Gingerbread. Surprised? We’re guessing that there’s a large amount of entry-level Android handsets running Gingerbread … plus there’s the problem of upgrades not occurring smoothly. Oh yes. Remember that? Remember how Android upgrades were supposed to be easier? It’s not happening, at least not by these stats.

Link – Android Developer

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  • Anonymous

    Utterly, utterly depressing.

    This is why the Android app ecosystem will likely never be as good as iOS. Why update your apps when the majority of users can’t benefit from them.

    • Martin

      TBH, I don’t think this is bad news. Also the ref to iOS is not valid. I am betting there are still people out there on 3.xx. I know my missus didn’t upgrade her old 3gs past version 3. She has a iPhone4s and is not on V6 yet cos she doesn’t want a crap version of Maps. So why upgrade to a newer version and get crapper apps? ;)

      • Anonymous

        It’s totally valid. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but with iOS 6 there were something like 100m upgrades within a week. There will always be some that don’t upgrade, but with iOS the vast majority do upgrade. And quickly.

        And my point is that it ruins the app ecosystem because the more people that don’t upgrade, the fewer that can take advantage of all the new features and APIs that the newer versions offer.

        In the above table, more than 50% of users are on Gingerbread, with API version 10. What’s the point of devs trying to target API version 16 on 4.2 when most people can’t use all those new features?

        A great example is BBC iPlayer. It still uses crappy Adobe Air under the premise of backwards compatibility for Gingerbread. So everyone on ICS and JB miss out on HTML 5 video because older phones don’t support it.

        The result is that you get loads of lowest common denominator apps which don’t take full advantage of the platform. On iOS you get the opposite, where devs update their apps religiously to take advantage of new hardware and software.

        • Martin

          Fair enough, I sit corrected on the iOS side:) One thing though, getting to API 16 on 4.2 is gonna be difficult. I have a Sony Xperia Ray, looks like this will never (officially) get JB, I upgraded to ICS as soon as it was available. There have been 2 further Sony updates for ICS, both of these break the LED notification so I haven’t take them. A work colleague also has a Ray, he hasn’t taken the ICS and is more than happy with GB. On my Transformer Prime I have JB running. I noticed zero difference from ICS.

  • One of the things that needs to be considered when talking about ‘fragmentation’, lack of updates, etc, is that a vast majority of the people using an older handset will be quite happy with the OS it came shipped with and neither know nor care about updates as long as it works.

    My wife’s SGS2 was still on Gingerbread until a month ago when I finally convinced her to let me update it with Cyanogen Mod 10. She’s happy enough with the new features in JB 4.1 but if I’d not said anything would have been just as happy muddling along with GB 2.3…

    • Looked at doing mine but according to XDA Devs my handset is one of those at risk of bricking due to a known chip problem….. how do you get on ?

  • The experience I found with my family’s phones – they got the OS with their phone (HTCs in the main) and there’s often not enough memory to upgrade, even if they wanted to. In my view this chart represents a lot of people who could not upgrade the OS on their phone even if they wanted to.

    Google’s issue *may* be, as apps require more memory and a minimum OS, those people perfectly happy with their Gingerbread phone may be left only able to text, call & surf as their apps with stop functioning.

    Perhaps we might see a dramatic change after Christmas with lots of brand new phones being unwrapped.