Back in early November, the October Android distribution numbers revealed that Ice Cream Sandwich was now on a quarter of all Android devices. It was a good sign even if Gingerbread was still on over half of all Android devices. The November numbers have finally come in, and it’s more of the same.
The latest distribution numbers show that Ice Cream Sandwich usage has only jumped a measly two percent in a month’s time to 27.5 percent of the entire market. The slow growth can be attributed, however, to the relatively explosive growth of Jelly Bean. Android 4.1 was only on 2.7 percent of all smartphones, but now it has grown to 6.7 percent with 0.8 percent of users being on the newest distribution of Jelly Bean – Android 4.2.
As for the Gingerbread the undying, it refuses to let go. It’s still on a little above 50 percent of all Android smartphones at 50.8 percent. I predicted that Gingerbread usage would drop below 50 percent before the end of the year, and I still stand by that prediction. The holidays should provide enough new ICS and Jelly Bean equipped phones to push Gingerbread out of its majority stranglehold.
Even then, Android has a long way to go before it can rid itself of its fragmented ecosystem. Google has to work with carriers to deliver timely OS upgrades and updates to the numerous Android devices that are now invading the market. It doesn’t help that smaller players in the Android market are still offering entry-level phones with Android 2.3. Google needs to hold OEMs and carriers to an ICS standard if it wants to solve its fragmentation problem.
The next Android distribution numbers should be out at the beginning of January and cover the tail end of December. The holidays are coming up fast, and a Christmas miracle complete with Gingerbread falling below 50 percent could happen. We can only dream, but hey, that’s what the holidays are for. Let’s just hope Google doesn’t get too caught up in the Christmas spirit and names it next Android distribution “Kandy Kane.”