Feature Article

January 13, 2014

Android Jelly Bean Now on 60 Percent of Devices

Android may have solved the Android fragmentation problem by delivering most major new features via the Google apps suite, but there are some features that cannot be delivered this way. Besides, it’s always interesting at the very least to see just how the different versions of Google’s mobile OS stack up against each other from time to time.

Fortunately, Google was kind enough to post the latest Android version market share numbers to the Android developer portal recently.

According to the figures, Jelly Bean — which encompasses versions 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 — is now present on almost 60 percent of Android devices. If this had been the case this time last year, it would have been cause for celebration, but there’s been a new Android release since then, Android 4.4 Kitkat, and so the game has changed.

As it stands, Kitkat is on a mere 1.4 percent of devices — a slight improvement over December’s numbers, but still only a drop in the bucket. It’s not too surprising, though, since only Nexus devices, and the Moto G have received an official update to version 4.4.

It might be tempting to compare this figure to last January’s Jelly Bean market share — the Android iteration sat at around 10 percent in January 2013 — but, by that point, Jelly Bean had been available for roughly six months. Kitkat, by comparison, has been out for less than two. In other words, it seems the Android fragmentation problem might really be solved or, at least, soothed.

Sure, roughly 20 percent of Android devices still run 2010’s Gingerbread, version 2.3, but that number is way down from nearly 50 percent a year ago. While this is largely due to the fact that consumers have been ditching their older Android devices for a newer smartphone, the fact that Kitkat was designed to run well on low-memory devices means Gingerbread should soon be a thing of the past.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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