Gingerbread now on more than half of Android devices

Gingerbread now on more than half of Android devices
Android Froyo was dethroned as the most popular Android version recently and Gingerbread-running handsets became more and more popular. They now account for more than a half of all Androids out there. Gingerbread versions from 2.3.3 and higher are the most common ones and this is good news for those fearing fragmentation on Android.

Froyo now accounts for just above a third of all Android devices, and the third most popular version is Android 2.1 Eclair with 9.6% but on the way out. 

Donut and Cupcakce by now are almost extinct with shares of 1.3% and 0.8%, but as rare as they are, they are still comparable to the tiny share of Honeycomb tablets which stood at a mere 2.4% of all devices running on Google’s platform. All pre-Eclair versions combined, including Honeycomb, make up less than 5% of all Androids. 

The stats released by Google every two weeks are based on devices accessing the Android Market throughout that period.



1. Packer29

Posts: 56; Member since: Sep 10, 2011

Its sad and pathetic that gingerbread is just now the most popular used!

2. jbitounis

Posts: 54; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

"...good news for those fearing fragmentation on Android". For real? This is actually proving that there is fragmentation on Android. Gingerbread has been out for, what, one year? And it only became the most popular Android iteration after the release of ICS. Focus, PA, focus!

3. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

maybe he talks about that 85% runs on similar versions from witch the SDK for apps and other stuff should be around the same. there has being fragmentation for a while.

4. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Most high end Android phones run at least 2.3.4. So, there is really is no concern for fragmentation anymore.

7. jbitounis

Posts: 54; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

That is not the point. For sure, most high end devices available must be on a version of Gingerbread. However, the results of the aforementioned survey reflect the state of phones that have already been sold and are currently active. So, yes, there is fragmentation and there will continue to be unless: 1. People frequently buy the most recent android phones available (the manufacturers' dream and goal). 2. Google sets more strict guidelines about the hardware of phones, so that all models can handle a newer and probably more demanding version of the OS for at least 18 months (something that Google will never do, because it would increase the average price of an Android handset and narrow their target group). 3. Manufacturers stop customizing the "vanilla" version of Android, resulting in speedier updates once Google releases the code of each Android version (which will never happen, because "skins" are one of the big manufacturers' selling points, like HTC's "Sense"). So, fragmentation will go on for Android and this is a fact that reflects its highly customizable nature, a blessing and a curse at the same time, in my eyes.

9. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

True, you get what you pay for!

18. wakingup

Posts: 51; Member since: Aug 13, 2011

This really makes me sad. I get it. But I'm still running froyo (2.2.1) and can't afford an I feel like I'm left behind. And eventually become obsoulete...

5. TheSeph

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Pathetic. 85% of all Android phones are at least 2 major releases behind. 35% are 3 major releases behind. That is laughable. Android is the new Windows Mobile, but on a much larger scale. What a huge cluster f***.

8. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Your math is so wrong that it's pathetic. 50 percent of all Android phones are up to date. Ice cream sandwich is too new to consider anything running Gingerbread as "a major release behind." 35 percent of all Android phones are still on Froyo, which at this point is only one major release behind. Gingerbread hasn't been out for a year yet, and many of the remaining devices (like those on Eclair) comprise only about 15 percent of the software distribution. We'll see many of the devices on Honeycomb get updated to Ice Cream Sandwich, and the devices on Eclair and below are coming up on their contract end dates and so will be switching to Gingerbread or above. Furthermore, if you have a phone that's Froyo or above (read: in that 85 percent) the likelihood that you'll run across an app that's incompatible with your device is pretty damn low. Get your facts straight.

10. TheSeph

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You obviously have your head in the sand. The major releases go like this: Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich. My math is absolutely on-point. Ice Cream Sandwich has already been released and can be found on the Galaxy Nexus. You're looking at Android on a device-by-device basis. In that ridiculous take on an entire operating system landscape...each device can be updated to the latest version. You're pathetic if you think app compatibility solely rests on the Android version. Fragmentation exists even between two devices running Gingerbread from different mfgs. I own an Android device running Honeycomb and I come across app compatibility issues all the time. The only reason you might not would be because you don't download many apps.

11. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Ice cream sandwich is too new to expect it to be on any devices except for the Galaxy Nexus. Honeycomb was only meant for tablets. Therefore, Gingerbread is UP. TO. DATE. Furthermore, Honeycomb is once again a tablet only OS version. Most apps on Android market are still phone only. Imagine the f**k out of that, why don't you? I have an Atrix with over 80 apps installed, dipstick. I'm actually well above the average user in apps installed. Bring it on, bitch. Your logic is flawed. You're arguing about a problem which is far less relevant than it was a year ago.

13. TheSeph

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Only in the Android world is it acceptable for devices to be update to a version that is made obsolete shortly after it's pushed out. It's likely most phones won't get ICS until Android's next major release. The same type of fragmentation and update hell happened with Windows Mobile. If Google doesn't lock down Android (which it probably can't do at this point), then Android will slowly meet the same fate Windows Mobile did. "iOS 5 is too new for us to expect it to be on anything but 4S.". LOL. I doubt you get my point.

12. TheSeph

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Your case for defending Android update and fragmentation hell can be summed up like this: "DeviceX is running Gingerbread, DeviceY is running Honeycomb, and DeviceZ is running Ice Cream Sandwich...therefore those devices are all running the latest major release of Android." To any sane person, you're argument is absolutely laughable. In the real world. DeviceZ is the only one running the latest major release. The others have to wait until the mfgs and carriers decide to update them to the next major release...which may never happen for some devices.

14. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

iOS and Android are two completely different systems. The former is entirely controlled by Apple with no input from carriers or other manufacturers. Therefore updates tend to get pushed out to every phone at once (though that tends to cause problems with servers either slowing to a crawl or crashing, as was found out during the iOS 5 push). However, Android is on several different manufacturers with pretty strong input from carriers. So yes, there's going to be a delay from the time that the source code is released to the time an update that isn't chock full of bugs and compatibility issues is released to the individual phones. My case for arguing against your definition of Gingerbread as being "two major releases behind" is that 1) Honeycomb was never meant for phones, which was understood from day 1, and 2) considering the implicit nature of Android, I wouldn't expect any phone but the Galaxy Nexus to have ICS at this point in time. Even if I allow your ICS argument, as unrealistic and ludicrous as it is, you're still only one major release behind on phone software, because Honeycomb is not phone software. And like it or not, even though there is still some fragmentation, the problem becomes less and less relevant with each passing month. People will continue getting rid of the oldest devices (those which run 2.1 and below) and even the devices like the original Droid will be dispensed of in favor of upgraded devices. The manufacturers and carriers are getting better at updating phones on a relatively timely basis and/or releasing them with the latest available software. Google already sat down with the manufacturers and told them to get their acts together regarding updates, and will likely get stricter as time goes on. I'm not saying the problem doesn't exist. I'm just telling you that you exaggerate its relevance greatly.

15. TheSeph

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

It doesn't matter the excuse for the phones being at least a major release behind. When a consumer finds out about the latest mobile OS, whether it be Android, iOS, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry, they want access to that OS. Especially when that OS offers fixes for things that have plagued their user improved battery life, better UI, more social integration, etc... To get that OS a whole year later and on the cusp of an even newer release is unacceptable. For iOS, it meant having the iOS 5 ready to run on 5 different devices (3 phones, 2 tablets) For Windows Phone that meant releasing the newest version to all existing 1st gen devices (12 devices from 4 mfgs on 4 carriers in the US alone) 1.5 months before devices shipped with the new version. 2 months later and only 2 weeks after new devices shipped, the new OS has been pushed to all 25 Windows Phones devices from 7 different manufacturers and numerous carriers around the world. That is something Google can't do because of the platform's fragmentation and openness...but, again, the reason doesn't matter to consumers. They aren't getting their updates for a long time. That's all that matter to us.

16. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Actually, dude, the vast majority of customers don't really care as long as their phone WORKS. Almost every customer I speak to has to be educated about software updates and what they mean. Windows Phone is an intermediary between Android and iOS in terms of how its hardware and software is handled. Unlike iOS, Microsoft doesn't make the hardware. But unlike Android, Microsoft has pretty strict guidelines for hardware and software. All Windows Phones look the same software wise. You're still comparing apples and oranges, is what it boils down to. Yes, the openness of Android means fairly slow updates once the new version is released, but it's a fair sacrifice in the face of greater choice in UI skins, features, and hardware (which is a seemingly insignificant abbreviation of choices such as processor speed, screen size, color, memory capacity, keyboard/no keyboard, camera quality, etc. etc. etc.) Let's not also forget that updates aren't a perfect issue on the other major OSes either. With iOS, older phones tend to have truncated features and/or run worse with each successive update. With Windows Phone 7, Mango was like Bigfoot; it took a YEAR for Mango to arrive in the first place, and it just served to *mostly* catch WP7 up to Android and iOS. And Blackberry? *snorts and starts laughing* So I'll take a slow-in-coming update that's optimized for my device and allows me to choose the phone I WANT rather than forced into a "one size fits all" bulls**t non choice.

17. TheSeph

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

So, what you're saying is that we shouldn't compare a mobile OS to other mobile OSes in a certain area because of the way the OS is distributed? What kind of bullsh*t is that? "Apples to Oranges" because your OS of preference needs a handicap? The average user cares a hell of a lot more about new OS features than you give them credit for. You fandroids have no idea how your precious OS is perceived by users who have already owned an Android device. In fact, the only people I know that are satisfied with the Android experience are people who have never owned a smartphone, former BlackBerry users, or techies who love launchers and customizing and rooting their phones. As OSes mature and smartphone users along with them, you're going to see a shift that makes the mobile landscape look a lot like the desktop space. Linux is highly customizable...but users aren't interested in that kind of thing. I've never seen a non-technical user unhappy with a switch from Android to iPhone. The performance is better, the entire experience is much better for the average smartphone user. The only reason Android is popular right now is because of the hardware options and device price points. Apple is combating the price point issue by having more frequent hardware releases and reducing the cost of previous handsets. As for the hardware issue, as the Windows Phone platform matures, you'll see equivalent hardware options on handsets running an OS that's easier to use, more stable, and an ecosystem that is far more cohesive than that of Android. The future doesn't look good for Android. It looks like it's going to settle into the same space that Linux occupies. The performance isn't there, the ecosystem isn't there, and the overall user experience isn't there. You're right. If you want an Apples-to-Apples comparison, then you have to compare Android to the defunct Windows Mobile. As for the WP7.5 took iOS 3 years to catch up to where BlackBerry was when iOS was first released. MS has done a whole lot in very little time. The OS is critically acclaimed and is way ahead of where Android and iOS was at this point in their lifetimes.

6. TheSeph

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I'm quite sure there is some confusion about what fragmentation is and how it relates to the Android platform. When you talk about fragmentation, it's similar to the Linux landscape - which release people are on has very little to do with it. The source of fragmentation is the openness of the platform, just like it is with Linux. The question isn't "who is on what version?". The question is "how many distributions are there and what are their compatibility with one another?" The telltale sign of the mass fragmentation is the fact that there is a good chance that you'll find an app in the Market that will not run on your flavor of Android because of something a mfg has done to customize the OS.

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