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Android Distribution Numbers Updated for December – Same Gingerbread Story, Just Another Month

Until Gingerbread falls below 50% on the Android distribution charts, I’m going to continue to use the same post title for these stories over and over again. When did we get Android 2.3? Two years ago? Yep, two years ago, and it’s still dominating the Android platform. While Ice Cream Sandwich has slowly climbed to 27.5% after a year, and Jelly Bean to 6.7% after 6 months, it’s still a mobile OS that will be prone to criticism over its fractured update system. We still love every ounce of it, but that’s the reality of the situation.

But anyway, here are the new numbers for December 2012!

Via:  Android Developers

  • freeiam
  • While I understand the frustration over “fragmentation”, people also need to point out that Android 2.3 is far superior to iOS 6.0, or 7.0 will be and so on. It’s all relative. The Android platform from two years ago still has more features than its Apple counterpart.

  • its really awesome

  • It’s not all bad. GB share is starting to drop more rapidly. We were seeing about a 1-2% drop each month, this past month was almost 4%. If these keeps up, by mid 2013 GB could be at 25% or less.

  • GreenMeansGo

    Are all those Kindle’s out there being registered as Gingerbread devices?

  • SA

    This is especially unfortunate because, to my mind, Android didn’t get seriously usable until ICS. That was the first time I found it to be competitive with iOS. The jump from ICS to JB was nice but nothing earth-shattering, but the leap from GB to ICS was truly quantum, IMHO. So it’s a crying shame that GB is the version most people are still stuck on. Imagine how popular Android could be if nearly everyone had ICS.

    • Raven

      I agree and disagree. The jump from 2.x to 4.x was truly quantum as you say, but I considered 2.2 to be “seriously usable” and I clung to my Droid 2 for a very long time because it did everything that I needed and it did it well. I never encountered a single app that I couldn’t run because I was on 2.2. I was only limited by CPU and RAM. And running Go Launcher it didn’t really look that much different than my Droid 4 does running Nova.

      Only phone people really into having the latest OS even know the difference between 2.3 and 4.x. I have had people tell me that they hated there Droid RAZR after they were “forced” to upgrade (from 2.3 to 4.0). And, I have had to try to defend and explain the changes.

      I also have a big fundamental issue with the way that they changed how sdcards work at 3.0 and that also kept me from upgrading until I had to. Making a fake sdcard partition in the internal memory and not allowing anything to be installed to your actual sdcard is a big issue for me. I know all of the pros and cons arguments, but for me I still prefer how 2.2 and 2.3 worked over 3.x and up. I had over 600 apps installed on my old Droid 2 and still had half of my internal memory free. Now on my Droid 4 which has double the internal memory I am far more cramped on what I can install even though I have a 32Gb MicroSD card in it.

  • Abdul Momin

    I love Gingerbread more than any higher versions, it just does the job, its a battery saver and its got 100% compatibility with every app available.

    • JPXA

      I feel like you’re coping with self excuse because you can’t get a 4.1+ device yet.

    • JoshGroff

      My G-Nex and N7 get awesome battery life on JB. Also, my Thunderbolt had better battery life running the ICS leak than on stock GB.

  • I am the 0.8%

  • Is it just me but yes GB might be 2 years old but I would rather go by the date that the source to upgrade to ICS was released since Honeycomb was for tablets. I do believe it was around june no??? Flagship devices will get updates as much as possible you buy a peace of crap phone dont expect much updates, there not much wrong with GB anyways it still has a lot of functionality not being able to swipe away notifications etc, its all moot!

    • JoshGroff

      I was under the impression source was released when the G-Nex was. That would explain the Transformer Prime getting ICS late December – early January.

  • spunker88

    Its sort of similar to browser usage, theres always going to be fragmentation but that doesn’t stop devs from making awesome looking websites. Unfortunately a lot of hardware capable 2011 devices never got an ICS update. So that means GB probably won’t fall off until sometime in 2013 when people upgrade. But also there are still low end prepaid devices being sold with GB.

  • What is a good 4.2 ROM for the VZW Nexus?

    • Mike Yost

      MMuzzy’s ROM on XDA, already updated to 4.2.1 and is basically Bugless Beast but pushed out a lot faster.

      • Stable right? I tried XenonHD 4.2.1 last night and not stable at all.

  • ToddAwesome

    So, about that Thunderbolt…..

  • Justin Swanson

    This makes me wish that “customization center” idea in the falsified 4.2 report were true. It would certainly help with this.

    Also, keep in mind a lot of the GB numbers are coming from people who got “free” or close to “free” phones when their upgrade was due. I expect to see a large jump next year to the JB because more phones will be coming out with it when people are due for upgrades.

  • richard melcher

    I wonder how many people these numbers represent. And what age groups and regions. I would love to go over this data

  • If you think Barry`s story is exceptional,, a month-ago my girl friends mom basically also got paid $5087 workin a sixteen hour week from there apartment and the’re friend’s mother-in-law`s neighbour was doing this for 10-months and earnt more than $5087 part time online. applie the steps at this address, Ace60.ℂom

    • John Chief

      Where the real Adam

  • You can say whatever you want about the “fractured update system” however there are Android powered tablets and phones out there that quite simply cannot run the latest and greatest OS from Google (currently Jellybean 4.2) and I would hate to see Google force manufactures to update these devices for the pure sake of updating them to what is “new”. It would result in an Apple like eco-system where people with lower end devices and even people who are sticking out with a 2-3 year old phone feel forced to upgrade to a new device because their phone or tablet that was once working fairly well on an older operating system is now broken, lagging and crippled just because Google wanted to reach a 100% adoption rate. This is the model set forward by Apple and I personally know people who had a perfectly working iPhone 3GS or even a iPhone 3G but then ended up with a slow and broken device that gained really no significant benefit and was just updated for the sake of updating!

    • Diablo81588

      So true. Girlfriends original iPod touch is useless ever since the iOS 4 update. Laggy and buggy mess.

    • Capt. Crunch

      My OG Droid is currently running jellybean but that’s only because the Android community loves it.

      • Ram S

        Hey…so is mine 😀

    • Alan Paone

      The G1 can run at least 4.1. New versions of android are faster, not slower.

  • carlisimo

    Let’s just get used to it. There’s nothing entitling us to new software without new hardware, and your phone doesn’t get any worse when it doesn’t get updated. After seeing Apple update its devices all at once we probably thought the same could happen with Android, but that’s a silly thought; Android is based on the idea that its originator does not control all the devices. OEMs and carriers do, and both see costs with few benefits to updating phones and tablets.

    That said, I’m not so forgiving about new phones continuing to be released with old operating systems. It’s hard to believe Google and the OEMs can’t improve on that.

  • Diablo81588

    The reason gingerbread is on so many phones is because there are many that will never be upgraded any further. Until people with those phones upgrade to a new device they’ll continue to add to gingerbread’s share.

  • Dillon Brown

    we need to start a fund or some sort of help organization for the few on cupcake. “For just a couple cents a day you can help an android user in need.” If only you could just get of the cupcake you could realize your true potential. That drug don’t have to rule your life no more. Think about the children.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Fragmentation hell.

    All you nonbelievers in that, this chart should show you just how fragmented our beloved OS is. Pathetic.

    • TylerChappell

      Except it is not so pathetic when you consider how far fewer iOS devices there are which are just as fragmented, despite Apple lying to you by making the version number on an iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 the same, when in fact the software is not the same.
      Not to mention the fact that iOS6 added “brand new” features that Android had 2 years ago, so the fact of the matter is, Google’s 2+ yr old Android OS is still more capable than Apple’s latest iOS, and thus the whole fragmentation argument is moot.

  • Johnny

    jelly bean rose up, that’s good to see

    • FortitudineVincimus

      Which won’t mean shizzz as it will get left behind at the coming next OS and just linger out there partially adopted and then bailed on like all Android OS’s.

      I mean Jesus.. people are still waiting for ICS and yet JB is out and yet brand new phones – like the SGS3 for VZW – linger on ICS.

  • sadFaCE

    This is as much fault of manufacturers and carriers as it Google’s fault. Great – we get new Android OS every 6 months, and 6% of devices is running version less than year old. Instead of spamming with new release, perhaps Google shall focus in how to make upgrade process easier for non-nexus devices

  • Trey Mitchell

    In some ways Gingerbread makes me think of windows xp

    • Nathan

      What a great comparison!!! It has all the basics that would later turn in to Windows 7, or Jelly bean if you will.

  • Jason Purp

    They shouldn’t count those cheap-ass tablets from no-name companies that run Froyo and older.

    • Diablo81588

      Most of those don’t have access to the play store so I don’t think they’re included.

      • ERIC REED

        My niece has one, and yes it has access to the market.

        • michael arazan

          Chinese knock-off tablets sell very well in china and india, that is 3 billion people combined, I’m guessing it won’t go away soon. My brother bought off ebay 2 years ago, it was awful


      Why not? When they talk market shares they are included!!

  • SeanBello

    If these graphs aren’t reason enough to buy or stay with a Nexus device, I don’t know what is. look how terrible that is. no wonder why people with cheap phones b*tch and complain that their phones suck. their phone doesn’t have specs to run the current version aside from the terrible update schedule (most people don’t have the Nexus/DNA/Droids, they have the Inspires, etc)

  • lemonhead127

    After Christmas I’d expect Ice Cream Sandwich/Jellybean to rise significantly because many people, like me, still have their Gingerbread phone on a 2 year contract which ends this year and will be upgrading to an updated phone. I’m going with MAXX HD, so I’ll get Jellybean!

    • gkinsella2

      This is a great point…I’m curious if we can see how many Android phones are up for contract renewal over the next several months as it should give some insight into what the future distribution could look like.

      • +1
        Wife’s Christmas present; which she opens tonight. GB -> ICS/JB

    • Check new kindle fire HD the biggest hit in favor of Android


    • I agree. 2 year contracts kind of limits peoples progress like this, to where I’d expect to see GB have a significant drop over the next few months.

  • Jroc869, Cool story bro

    Well looks like according to that chart, Jelly bean distro is about the size of a slice of KLP

  • *phones dont get the full upgrades like how the leave out 3d maps on the 4 yet its on IOS maybe they should update the OS and keep out features like google NOW for example but honestly if u look at the specs 4.3in screen, 8MP camera have been on just about every android phone even before gingerbread, take the HTC EVO 4.3in 8MP and 4G and now what 4.3-4.7in 8MP 4G/LTE not much has change other than processor and screen resolution which non-techies dont even know how to measure those to what their value is

    • i always found it funny ,how people say that even the older iphones get upgrade to the newest build, but never take in the fact most of those phones never get the full upgrade .. there always alot of things missing

      • carlisimo

        It isn’t any different in Android. The Nexus S didn’t get face unlock because the front camera couldn’t handle it; in the same way, the iPhone4 couldn’t run Siri well (jailbreakers have tried, and the hardware just struggles too much). The Nexus S could run Google Now, but quite slowly. So slowly I barely used it.

        The main reason Apple upgrades old iPhones is for compatibility with new APIs; apps written with them will not work on older versions of iOS. By updating the iPhone3GS, that phone will be able to keep downloading new apps for some time to come. Besides that, it just gains some minor features like photo attachments in the mail app, nothing that would impress an Android user.

  • sigh… 4.2, we are the 1% when we should at least be the majority. Thanks carriers and manufacturers for the “differentiation”

  • jackbalfour


  • ChristianJohnson

    Honeycomb needs to cease to exist. ICS should already be available on all those tablets.

    • 4n1m4L

      I miss honeycomb

    • Alan Paone

      I’m pretty sure that whole sliver is samsung. Hasn’t everyone else updated their honeycombs?

  • Who is still using GB?!??!

    • Well my mom has a infuse 4g…

      • JustTrollin69


        • Jroc869, Cool story bro

          we have an grammer police siting

          • JustTrollin69

            We* grammar*

          • Jroc869, Cool story bro

            Sarcasm, read about it sometime.

          • JustTrollin69

            From your post, I can see that my job was effective. Signing off!

          • Jroc869, Cool story bro

            Yep you effectively came off as a douche who can’t detect sarcasm. Bravo!

    • 50%+ of people. Prepaid phones are still being sold with it. Not to mention the countless recycled GB devices on eBay and Craigslist.

    • starscream

      Droid X! whoo

      • Trueblue711

        Lord help you on that thing. I finally ditched mine in July. Yeaaa GS3!

        • Diablo81588

          The droid x was a bad ass phone when it was released. It’s now 2 1/2 years old.

          • Trueblue711

            It was, I got it the week it launched. But with every ROM upgrade, most notably Gingerbread, the phone got super slow and terribly buggy.

    • JetBlue

      LG Revolution here about to get the Note 2

    • mgamerz

      MOTOROLA ATRIX 4G. Epic update skills Motofailola, epic skills!

      Yes that was a terrible play on the name. Deal with it.

    • A lot of prepaid phones come out with GB

    • teleclimber

      Inc2 and Tbolt owners.

      And all those who wanted to order a Nexus to replace their Gingerbread device but couldn’t because of the Play Store cluster%@$%^.

    • PhoenixPath

      My stock Fascinate is still running GB. Funny thing is, it seems to run all the apps I run on my Nexus…just a little slower.

      (Now someone’s going to point out a bunch of apps (I don’t use) that won’t work on my Fascinate. I am sure I’ll find it.fascinating….)

  • chris125

    Well with Samsung and others updating their phones jelly bean should be even higher next month

  • Trevor

    That 0.1% need to upgrade their friggin phones already.

    • Leave those guys rocking their OG tank alone. It works for them.