Motorola made its customers rather unhappy yesterday when it announced that the Atrix 4G would not be getting the promised upgrade to Android 4.0. The phone is now forever doomed to be stuck on Gingerbread until owners switch to a new phone. The reluctance to upgrade phones might be considered anti-consumer, but it also highlights how Gingerbread is still the largest Android OS on the market. The latest numbers indicate that it will probably stay that way too.
Google released the latest Android distribution numbers, and it's similar to how it's been the last few months. Gingerbread, or Android 2.3, still makes up most of the market. The only real difference this time is that Ice Cream Sandwich is finally starting to make some progress towards usurping Gingerbread.
As of October 1, Gingerbread is now installed on 55.8 of all Android phones. In second place is Ice Cream Sandwich which is installed on a total of 23.7 percent of all Android devices. Third place goes to Froyo with 12.9 percent.
What about the newest OS, Jelly Bean? The latest numbers put it at 1.8 percent. It's only been out for just a few months, but it's still lagging behind legacy Android operating systems like Honey Comb and Eclair. The slow adoption of Jelly Bean shows that carriers are still trying to push Ice Cream Sandwich before they even touch Jelly Bean.
Google has been working furiously with carriers to get everybody up to speed on the latest versions of Android. Jelly Bean is obviously out of the question for now, but it's nice to see that Ice Cream Sandwich is now starting to gain some traction in the Android ecosystem.
Looking at the speed at which Gingerbread is losing ground and ICS is gaining, we can estimate that Android 4.0 will become the dominant OS before the end of the year. The holiday rush to buy new Android devices like the Galaxy S III will certainly help push Android 4.0 to the top. It may not happen, but it would definitely be nice to finally be out of the obsolete shadow of Gingerbread.