In late October, Google released the newest version of Android – KitKat. Like all new Android releases, the only devices getting KitKat are Google’s own Nexus phones and tablets. As such, you can expect its first few months of growth to be a little slow.
KitKat made its debut on the Android distribution chart today with the newest version of Google’s mobile OS showing up on 1.1 percent of all devices. Compared to Jelly Bean’s first few months, KitKat is actually doing pretty well for itself. That’s mostly due to more people owning Nexus devices now than they did in the middle of 2012 though.
As for the other versions of Android, Jelly Bean continues its reign over the Android ecosystem with it being installed on 54.5 percent of all devices. Gingerbread retains its second place standing at 24.1 percent, but Ice Cream Sandwich is not far behind with 18.6 percent. With Christmas coming up, both Gingerbread and ICS stand to lose a lot of marketshare as Jelly Bean devices are likely to find themselves in more hands after the holidays.
So, what does the future hold for Android? KitKat adoption probably isn’t going anywhere that fast as most Jelly Bean users are still on version 4.1. Mobile carriers are slow to upgrade these devices, and it might be a while before some devices are upgraded to versions 4.2 or 4.3. With the reduced system requirements of KitKat, some carriers may choose to just upgrade some devices to version 4.4. If that happens, KitKat may just grow a bit faster than its predecessor.
Still, we won’t be able to see where things are heading until after Christmas. In early January, we’ll be able to see a mostly accurate representation of how many new Android devices were activated over the holidays. My bet is that Jelly Bean is going to see some explosive growth while KitKat only sees minor growth.