03rd Aug 2012
The most common complaint you'll hear from Android users is that while they're clamouring for OS updates to their devices, manufacturers are merrily ignoring them. This stand seems to be vindicated by statistics on Google's Android Developers website, which shows that around 61% of devices are still running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), while only 16% have Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), even though it was released more than 6 months ago. This figure is almost identical to the percentage of users (15.5) with an even older OS, Android 2.2 (Froyo). Meanwhile, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is currently at a paltry figure of less than 1%. The data is based on the number of Android devices that accessed the Google Play store within a 14-day period ending on 1st August. The good news is that according to the graph at the bottom of this story, the adoption rate for ICS is on the upswing.
The reason for this slow growth cannot be laid at the users' doorstep, because the majority of Android users are always more than ready to update their gadgets. The blame lies fully with manufacturers, who have been unusually slow in rolling out firmware updates for their products. Of course, as time passes, more devices will eventually get updated and older devices will run out of use, thus changing the graph.
As for other mobile OSes, Apple is known for its yearly iOS upgrade cycle, and it is well-known that it leaves out older devices from the eligibility list — and for good reason too, since they're not powerful enough to run the new software. Similarly, Microsoft will also come out with a Windows Phone 8 update later this year, but will not bring all the features to older handsets, instead giving them a watered-down WP7.8. As far as BlackBerry users are concerned, RIM is in all sorts of trouble, leading to a delay in the launch of its new BB10 OS and wild rumours floating around about the company's plans. Suddenly, owners of Android devices seem to be the luckiest of the lot!
Android adoption trends for the last six months.
TechTree Blog: Google's Data Reveals That Most Devices Still Use Android 2.3 Since Manufacturers Are Slow To Issue Updates
Gingerbread accounts for 60% of all devices that accessed Google Play in the past fortnight, Froyo (2.2) and ICS (4.0) stand equal at nearly 16% each.
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