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Android anarchy: Ice Cream Sandwich adoption crawls forward, Gingerbread remain supreme

Android Ice Cream Sandwich large

Compelling users to update their phones to the latest mobile operating system has been a headache for Google. While the latest uptick in Ice Cream Sandwich adopters may be promising, the actual percentage of adopters remains small. In the 14-day period ending on June 1, only 7.1 percent of Android devices are using Ice Cream Sandwich, a slight increase from its 4.9-percent share during the first 14 days in May.

Looking at the data month over month, Ice Cream Sandwich’s adoption has increased between April and May by over 244 percent. During April, Ice Cream Sandwich had a mere 2.9 percent Android market share.

android OS share 2nd half of may
 

Platform

Codename

API Level

Distribution

Android 1.5

Cupcake

3

0.3%

Android 1.6

Donut

4

0.6%

Android 2.1

Eclair

7

5.2%

Android 2.2

Froyo

8

19.1%

Android 2.3 -
Android 2.3.2

Gingerbread

9

0.4%

Android 2.3.3 -
Android 2.3.7

10

64.6%

Android 3.1

Honeycomb

12

0.7%

Android 3.2

13

2%

Android 4.0 -
Android 4.0.2

Ice Cream Sandwich

14

0.4%

Android 4.0.3 -
Android 4.0.4

15

6.7%

Surprisingly the predominant Android OS, Gingerbread, has seen an increase in adopters, accounting for 65 percent of Android devices while Honeycomb remains at a 2.7 percent market share.

When Digital Trends spoke to Google in March regarding it operating system, the company acknowledged that the adoption rate among users of it latest operating system was slow and low. But the company assured us that the low adoption was only temporary as new smartphones toting Ice Cream Sandwich would saturate the market — including the latest wave of devices announced at Mobile Congress. Note that the statistics are an approximation, intended to represent all Android devices by collecting data from the devices that have accessed Google Play every 14-day cycle.

The biggest barriers for existing smartphone users looking to receive the latest Android OS updates come from carriers and original equipment manufacturers. Carriers and OEMs delay the latest Android OS updates in an effort to install their own Ice-Cream-Sandwich-compatible bloatware, before releasing the latest Android OS update to existing smartphone users. Some devices may not even receive an OS update, like Sony’s Xperia Play, in a ploy to attract existing smartphone users to the newest devices sporting the latest OS.

According to Google, a coalition of OEMs and carriers got together and pledged to update all of their devices within 18 months. Three months later, we’re finally seeing the “coalition” take charge. HTC, Samsung, Motorla, LG and Sony are all rolling out Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) updates. (See our Android 4.0 update schedule to see when it will reach your phone.)

Despite the slow adoption of Ice Cream Sandwich, the next iteration of Android is just around the corner. Android 5.0 Jelly Bean will be ready for deployment first in Nexus tablets.