The number of Andriod devices running version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, has risen to 25.8 percent. According to data released every month by Google on the Android Developer site, 2.7 percent of all Android devices run the latest flavour of the Android operating system, Android v4.1 Jelly Bean.
Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean are showing slow but steady growth in the rate of adoption. The number of Android smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich increased in October by almost two percent from September’s 23.7 percent, while Jelly Bean showed a growth of almost one percent from its September figure of 1.8 percent.
ICS slowly but surely eating up Gingerbread
As has been the case for a long time now, Android v2.3 Gingerbread is dominating the Android market with its 54.2 percent share. This has, however, fallen by more than one percentage point since September’s figure of 55.5 percent.
The number of devices running Froyo hasn’t fallen as much as Gingerbread, though. Froyo is now at 12 percent, down from the September figure of 12.9 percent. All of these figures are based on the number of Android devices that have accessed Google Play over a 14-day period.
The slow growth in the number of Jelly Bean devices is not so surprising considering the low number of devices compatible with the operating system, but the snail’s pace at which Ice Cream Sandwich adoption is growing indicates how big a problem fragmentation is for the Android platform. Unlike Apple, there is too much of a variation in the hardware Android devices run on for manufacturers to simply push an update once Google makes it available. It also seems casual users aren’t too bothered with updating their devices either.
Apple’s latest operating system for its mobile and tablet devices, iOS 6, has shown quite some growth in its rate of adoption. According data compiled by Chitika Insights on the iOS 6 rate of adoption, barely six weeks after its launch, iOS 6 accounts for 61 percent of all iOS traffic in Canada and the US. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook also revealed at the iPad mini launch last month that between iPads, iPods, and iPhones, 200 million devices have upgraded to iOS 6 since its launch.
However, the sheer number of Android devices out there is staggering. According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the total Android smartphone shipments worldwide reached 136 million units, accounting for 75 percent of the 181.1 million smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012. The 91.5 percent year-over-year growth was nearly double the overall market growth rate of 46.4 percent, the report states.
The report states that Android, having topped the 100 million unit mark last quarter, reached a new record level in a single quarter. By comparison, Android's total volumes for the quarter were greater than the total number of smartphones shipped in 2007, the year that Android was officially announced. Samsung once again led all vendors in this space, but saw its market share decline as numerous smaller vendors increased their production.