Earlier this year, Jelly Bean was slowly working its way up the Android distribution charts as Gingerbread sat atop its near majority share. Slowly but surely, those roles have reversed with Jelly Bean now on the brink of being on a majority of Android devices.
In the latest Android distribution chart released today, it's revealed that Jelly Bean is now on almost half (48.6 percent) of all Android devices. Compare that to Ice Cream Sandwich (20.6 percent) or Gingerbread (28.5 percent) and you see that Jelly Bean is now without a doubt the new king of Android.
Jelly Bean can't celebrate just yet, however, as it's still not over the 50 percent threshold. Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich will undoubtedly continue to decline in usage, but Jelly Bean will soon have a new version of Android to compete with.
So, will KitKat present any immediate threat to Jelly Bean's dominance? It's not likely as Android 4.4. will likely only be available on Nexus devices for the first few months of its existence. This year's best selling Android handsets are only just now upgrading to Android 4.3 so who knows when they'll make the jump to Android 4.4.
The launch of Android 4.4 may present an interesting look at how Android distribution evolves though. Over the past year, we saw Jelly Bean emerge as only a tiny blip on the distribution charts when it first launched to now being on almost over half of all Android devices thanks to its proliferation on devices like the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One.
Will KitKat see the same amount of support next year when Samsung, HTC and other Android handset manufacturers launch their new flagship devices? It's certainly possible, but we've also learned throughout the years that handset manufacturers stay one generation behind where Android currently is. That helped with the proliferation of Android 4.1 this year, but it may just mean that next year's devices will ship with Android 4.3 instead of 4.4. If that becomes the case, it may be a while before we see KitKat make any significant progress on the Android distribution charts.