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Android Distribution Charts Updated – Same Gingerbread Story, Just Another Month

As expected, since it’s the first week of the month, the Android distribution numbers have been updated. Also as expected, they look very similar to last month’s numbers, which show Gingerbread (Android 2.3) continuing to dominate and Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) slowly on the rise. Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) on the other hand, jumped a whopping 0.6%. This is life on Android, folks. 

If you want the most current version of Android, you buy a GSM Nexus phone. If you don’t want to leave Verizon for said GSM device, then you are forever going to be stuck in the 6-8 month long update cycle. Since Android OEMs do not control both hardware and software like Apple, it’s always going to be a struggle. Google creates the base of the software, OEMs tweak it to their liking, and then carriers sign off on it before letting it reach your device. It’s an impossible battle to win in a timely manner, until some miracle update process is discovered.

Via:  Android

  • I’m in the 55.5%. YAY!!

  • jeesung

    i got JB on my OG Droid and ICS on my Razr Maxx. Boo!!

  • ClarenceY

    I’ve had it with Verizon. I had a Droid 2 for 2 years, never got an OS update. Have had the Bionic since 1/1/12, and no idea when I;ll get an update. I think the delays are fundamentally a Verizon problem, besides I don’t like all of the bloat-ware and the hassle of getting it off – does anyone use their “value added” bloat-ware??? And it will not be AT&T, and I do not want a long term contract – I’ve spent some time in Europe and Asia, and the large carriers are giving us the shaft in the U.S.

  • master94

    You know Android is the best when the usa decides to install Android onto all new super computers from now on.

  • Daniel Russell

    I’m sick and tired of waiting for updates. My Droid Bionic has patiently waited for ICS let alone JB (I don’t even think this will happen). After playing with JB on my Transformer Prime, I’m officially disgusted with how terrible the update process has become. Let me download the newest one for my phone NOW, and then once the OEMs and carriers tweak it to add their terrible bloatware or custom skins, they can have us updated later to their version later. In the mean time, don’t keep me stuck in Gingerbread and Motoblur hell for the next 2 years of my phones’ existence.

    • Devin Nickle

      I have all the same hardware, software, and disgust as you. 🙁
      The Prime with JB is awesome.

  • Chris Hollenbeck

    The Thunderbolt has had a cursed existence since it was first announced. This phone has to be the template on how not to market or support a phone.

  • paul_cus

    Thanks to the recent ICS updates to the Xperia phones by Sony, all of my phones are running 4.0.4. And my Nexus 7 is completely up to date, so that’s nice.

  • Pedro

    Oh my gawd! Can you see the fragmentation??

    I have two XOOMs and a GNex on JB. I may be personally responsible for JB > 1.7% 🙂

  • Buckoman

    Can we give all of the users who are still on Eclair and lower a medal and a free phone?

  • tjz

    Just glad VZW did not totally suck this time around 4.1.1 already on GNexus… Now if only they get the next nexus device…

  • Detonation

    The Kindle Fire runs on a GB base, right? I’ll bet that will continue to account for a large GB percentage going forward.

    • I don’t think Kindle devices get counted because this info is gathered from the Play store

  • Detonation

    The Froyo number is that large because there are still a lot of people with low end android feature phones that never got updated (and never will) for whatever reasons. My friend has one…it’s not pretty.

  • goincarcrazy

    I am the 1.8%!

  • moelsen8

    die cupcake, die!!!

  • Manny

    Gingerbread and Froyo are ridiculously popular.

    • BrianLipp

      not necessarily popular, just a lot of people with older devices who dont want/dont care to upgrade

  • MrChips

    I expect that we will see a significant drop in pre-ICS versions after the start of the year (Jan 2013). Why? A lot of the “normals” who have contracts on the GB and older phones are going to be wrapping up their 2-year jailtime and getting newer phones with ICS/JB on them around X-mas time. Of course that means that they will then keep those ICS phones for 2-years, and we will end up lamenting why people haven’t switched to KLP-or-better… And the beat goes on…

  • MikeCiggy

    Happy to see ICS climbing, it’s a substantial update compared to the others. And if a device can run ICS it can run JB.

  • MikeSaver

    Verizon sucks

  • ArrowCool

    It’s almost getting to the point and time that Google needs to start using a heavy hand with these OEM’s and Carriers. They, OEM’s and Carriers, will continue to take their time with updates unless Google starts pushing them. The fragmentation of Android is only going to get worse. Google needs to take a stand, and I hate to say it, but perhaps stop supporting older versions of the OS. This could inevitably force the other players to take the time and resources to upgrade their products.

    • jak_341

      Exactly. If the OEMs don’t want to upgrade in a timely manner, then don’t let them use Android anymore.

  • Butters619

    Every month I see that Froyo number and I cry a little.

  • Well it’s obvious it really doesn’t matter to anyone but the tech crowd….I mean Android is still selling a ton and most people (casual users) just don’t care. If they did, they would be jumping from Android because we all know how big of an improvment JB is comapred to GB. I couldn’t imagine going back. WIth that said, the OEM’s just don’t see the need to keep things updated. We know it would make for an overall better Android experience but the truth is, we are a very small minority in the Android community.

  • Jon

    This graph makes me wonder what Google will do with the next update and whether they will even call it key lime pie or save that for mid next year with the release of the next tablet. Everyone is just way too behind to do anything but an incremental update.

    • I doubt that Key Lime Pie will be out until IO next year.

  • 98.2% of Android users have no idea just how good Android really is.

    • Sirx

      And THAT is a damn tragedy!

    • Waaaait a second. I count for both Jelly Bean and Gingerbread. Some other multi-device users may know but still be stuck with a device that isn’t Jelly Bean. 😛

      • You’re never stuck. Put a JB ROM on that GB device.

        • ArrowCool

          You beat me to it.

        • Find me a Jelly Bean ROM for a Droid Charge with working data and I’ll do it. Until then shhhh. Don’t get me riled up about the lack of Charge support and my inability to afford a replacement phone.

          • Save up your pennies and buy yourself a used Gnex on Ebay for $200. 😉

    • Anon

      Which goes to show how Google needs to take a much more active role as an advocate for phone owners against wireless carriers, and work with (or in some cases, actively push) phone vendors to ensure better support for devices.
      If we’re going to be locked into a 2-year (or 3-year, for the Canadian folks whom I feel sorry for), you would think they’d want to guarantee a little more support vs. their primary competition, whose updates are carrier-independent and generally guaranteed for a period of time. With locked bootloaders becoming the norm, it’s not like customers get the choice to take things into their own hands without a fair degree of work.

      • michael arazan

        With the new verizon iphone 5 with lte, I doubt Verizon will give apple the proprietary code for the updates to lte iphone just like android phones. Verizon is going to have to approve of the lte iphone updates now just like android phones, since their LTE code is so super secret which is why they grant the updates and don’t allow anyone to have their code.
        So if iphone owners bitch along with the rest of the people, maybe verizon may take notice of update delays and actually invest more than the bare minimums.

  • Or if you don’t want to leave Verizon, you get a VZW Galaxy Nexus, in which case there’s no OEM middleman, just Google and the carrier, which reduces the wait time from 6-8 months to 1-2 months. Still not great, but it’s better than the status quo.

    • JoshGroff

      Also, the dev community cuts it down to a matter of hours/days.

    • True. Many people rip on the Verizon Gnex because it gets updates late compared to the GSM Nexus. What they fail to realize is the Verizon Gnex STILL gets updates WAY faster than any other Verizon Android phone. And if you’re into ROMs, you’ll have the update nearly immediately.

      • Well said. It also stands that every single update the GSM Gnex has received, so has received the VZW Gnex…both shipped with ITL41(X)/4.0.1 builds, both got ICL53F/4.0.2, both got IMM76(X)/4.0.4 builds, and both got JRO03(X)/4.1.1 builds. So we have to wait for VZW to test and approve them. Big deal. Is it a little frustrating waiting that 1-2 months for the update, sure it is. But at least you know it’s coming. That’s more than I can say for other phones where one minute it’ll see an update and the next minute it won’t because of “unforseen hardware limitations” or “not providing a good enough user experience.”

        This exact same argument applies to the Xoom. Google released the Jelly Bean update for the WiFi Xoom in late July…so we should see it on VZW soon. The VZW build from Google leaked back in early August, so now that we’re in early October, it should release any time now. But again, at least we know it’s coming, no ifs, ands, or buts…because Google releases the software updates for the device, not OEMs.

        Bottom line is, carrier approvals don’t matter to me so much. What matters to me is OEMs taking forever and a year to get the new version of Android on their devices because they have to customize it all over the place.

        Take the Galaxy S III: Upgrade process = Jelly Bean released, Samsung customizes it with Touchwiz, does their own testing and QA, then submits to VZW for approval, then finally gets released.

        Galaxy Nexus and Xoom: Google releases the new version of Android, they build it for both devices (since after all, these are AOSP devices), maybe get some radio fixes from the OEM (which never takes long), then submits it directly to the carrier for approval, then rolls it out.

        The customization step at the OEM level is what always takes the most time. So when you eliminate the OEM from the UI and go straight Google->Carrier->End User, it’s much better in terms of wait time.

    • Paul Otto

      It’s lousy that you have to make the choice between (mostly) up-to-date software on mediocre hardware (Nexus), or high build quality but terrible upgrade paths. Say what you want about OEMs and carriers, but Google certifies all Android installs that in order to get the official Google packages. Google should be requiring a turn-around time for their roll-outs. I know people who have left Android for that very reason.

      • S_T_R

        “Google should be requiring a turn-around time for their roll-outs. I know people who have left Android for that very reason.”

        No, you don’t, because that doesn’t make any sense.

        • fauxshizzl

          I know a fair share of Android users that went the fruity route simply because they actually got updates when they came out. If I was any less of a nerd I would have already jumped ship myself. The Android update process is nothing shy of an utter slap in the face to consumers. Half the time those updates patch huge security holes, not just add new features. That is a big problem because those phones simply will not ever get the update. Phones that had been approved for updates regularily just all the sudden fall off the companies road map because the decided not to update it anymore after telling people they would. Google needs to get a hold on this like ASAP before more customers realize “it just works” on another mobile OS.

          • hyperbolee

            Once Google starts using Motorola for their phones I’m fairly sure the updates will happen much more timely and will be closer to acceptable. I still expect carriers like Verizon to take their sweet time, but it will be more like a Nexus timeframe.
            I.E. Galaxy Nexus being updated to JB on GSM quickly and the CDMA version coming out 2-months later.

  • Sad there’s more Honeycomb users than JB users 🙁

    • triangle8

      There are few devices being sold by carriers with JB. The nexus is really the only one so far. It’s up to carriers and device manufacturers to actually sell JB devices. They need to get with it.

      • Yes, they certainly do.

      • The sad part is once they do, we’ll be on to Key Lime Pie. If the OEMs truly cared (and they don’t), they could have the most recent version of Android running on all their devices within a few weeks of a new version showing up in the AOSP. Devs do it, why can’t OEMs?

    • Yeah, I really can’t believe that many Honeycomb devices are still in service.