Nov 02 AT 4:10 PM Dustin Earley 43 Comments

Android 4.x close to 30% install base


The transition away from the old Android, anything below Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, has been slow and painful. It’s been a year since Android made the major shift away from the confused mess that was its earlier releases. Now it’s time to see just how many users are actually enjoying the more mature operating system Android has become.

Google has released the latest numbers for their frequently updated Android distribution chart that shows the, “number of Android devices that have accessed Google Play within a 14-day period.” In other words, how many people are running what version of Android in the real world. According to the current distribution numbers, Android 4.x, including ICS and Jelly Bean, is close to a 30% install base – 28.5% to be exact.

To put that into perspective, it has taken a full year for Google and its partners to get three out of every ten users on modern Android. Five out of ten still use Gingerbread, while the other two are stuck with something else. Clearly, it will take something drastic for Google to get users all on the sameĀ generationĀ of Android, let alone version.

Google doesn’t seem to be bothered by the current adoption rate of new versions of Android. They’re more worried about providing all Android users with access to their ad driven services, which they’ve been relatively successful in doing.

With the way Nexus devices are being sold through the Play Store, globally accessible and incredibly affordable, I wouldn’t be surprised to see quite a jump in distribution numbers after the holiday season. What version of Android are you running?

Source: Android Developers

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • redraider133

    Good to see it growing pretty rapidly. It will only continue growing with how phones keep seeming to get updated more and more every couple weeks.

    • thel0nerang3r

      Hopefully the new Android PDK will help updates. Also, I’m glad that Google updates the GApps directly through play store and not through major firmware updates. I hope that when VoLTE becomes the norm, we’ll be able to just bring our phones into all carriers.. like GSM currently is and we can avoid the carrier… if we so choose.

    • Romney (president, villain, traitor, american)

      wow thats a lot of framentation – awful!!!

    • Stats_Carol

      > Good to see it growing pretty rapidly.

      I’ve seen you are one of many that have been totally mislead by androidandme’s false/misleading info. Again.

      Even though v4.0 has been out since 2011… it’s still only a VERY small 25%.
      Even though v4.1 has been out since July 2012… it’s still only a VERY small 2%.

      None of these are “good numbers” or “rapid” or anything short of AWFUL.

      Most people (50%+) will always be 1-2 *YEARS* behind the latest release.

  • Nate B.

    I really wish this chart would only refer to the Nexus devices. It just makes Android look bad as a whole.

    • mustybooks

      Well yeah but what percentage of android devices are nexus? haha

      • DSaif

        Almost 10%

        • mustybooks

          I doubt it man, anyway my original point was partly that it would be a pretty pointless graph as nexus devices tend to be updated within a number of weeks

          the other part was this:

          Nexus 7 is selling at 1 million units a month now with previous sales from july being 500k per month then 600-700k pm for 2 months (.5+(.65*2)+1)=2.8 million

          Galaxy Nexus sales were supposedly around 0.5% of the total market share, which equates to about 910k if you take the recently published figures on market share.

          If you take Nexus S sales to be the same (generous IMO), the total number of official Nexus devices, since nexus 1 didn’t get any JB update, is around 4.62m.

          If the android total sales is around 136m (according to latest studies) then the percentage of nexus devices compared to android is (4.62/136)= 3.4%

          This coincides the number of devices on jelly bean (2.7%)

          So a nexus chart isn’t that big of a deal for the majority of users, but it might encourage people to go stock I suppose!

          I’m going to look like an arse if they’ve published the number of nexus devices haha… but i did look and couldn’t find any thing. :)

    • Stats_Carol

      > I really wish this chart would only refer to the Nexus devices.

      Why hide the truth? Only show 1 line devices and then we can all just pretend that “everything is fine” with the ancient updates being issued?


  • jenskristian

    I’m running 4.0.4 on my phone and 4.1.2 on my tablet.

    It will be tough for Google to drastically improve the time it takes to get updates out to the people, but hopefully there is something they can do to speed up the OEM’s and carriers.

  • Oscar Ortega

    right now im at 2.3 using HTC G2 but in the next couple of weeks im going straight to 4.2 :) with the nexus 4

  • john in brisbane

    Nah the real figures will be much lower than that. My reasoning: the lower the version number, the less likely you’ll be to download apps. Think about all those cheap Android phones running 2.3. After getting a few apps, most of those users will just use the phone as a phone and email terminal from then on.

  • mikey

    4.0.3 on my one s. Though I on ocassion like to show off ny G1 running 1.6 of course.

  • Jenny

    > v4.x = 28%

    Why are you combining the TOTALS for all v4.0, v4.1, and v4.2 releases?????

    Are you also going to include v4.3 and v4.4, and in 2014 say “gee, a whopping 50%”????

    • mattcoz

      Because the jump from 2.3 to 4.0 was pretty major, and seeing the number of phones that have made that jump is an important metric.

      • Janice

        Maybe *YOU* want to continue to run the VERY old v4.0 (Oct 2011, yes 2011) but not me.
        There’s a BIG difference.

        • EmagehtmaI

          To be fair, in the nexus 4 review, cnet stated that it takes an expert eye to be able to tell you’re running 4.2 and not 4.0.4.

        • LuckyHermit

          My Phone runs 4.0.4. My tablet is on 4.1.something (Nexus 7). While there IS a difference, it’s really not a big difference at all.

          My wives phone is still on Gingerbread, and there really is a BIG difference there.

  • poler166

    Android has made some amazing progress from Froyo to jellybean but i believe that a lot of android user that had a bad experience with Eclair, Froyo or gingerbread are too scare to either go back to android (iPhone users), or to get a new android (possible iPhone users). I just wish some people gave them another chance, for example i had a friend that got an iPhone i asked why dint he get one of the ICS or JB androids, his answer was “i had a bad experience with my droid x”, this guy is probably never going back to android which is really his lost.

    • Mandy

      I have an iPhone 4 and i will not downgrade to any of these android devices!

      • EmagehtmaI

        Actually, anyone who has ever used both OS’s will tell you that once you realize all you can do with Android, iOS is definitely the inferior platform.

    • Derek

      You make an excellent point. I know people just like this. Several of my friends had Droid Eris and hated it. Soon as their 2yr contract was up they got iphone 4S and absolutely love them. And all they do is badmouth Android to everybody because of it. Lots of bad reputation out there because of crappy hardware and software from 2-3 years ago. Ice Cream Sandwich is MUCH better than Eclair and Froyo, but a lot of people have been burned by Android and lack of carrier approved updates in the past and will not be coming back any time soon.

  • pinyin_samu

    It’s very nice to see more devices are running on Android 4.x, but it hurts me to see that there are still more than 50% of the Android devices running on Android 2.3.x Gingerbread. Also my Samsung GS2, because I’m not able to upgrade to ICS in my country. This is a very big shame Samsung! This is also one of the many reasons why I don’t like Samsung devices at all. But my SGS2 is a device from the company I work for and I had not the choice about it. If I choose for myself I choose for Nexus, because it’s the best Android device you can get.

    All the phone manufacturers and carriers for some countries (not mine because phones and carriers are completely separeted in my country) have to think about a way to make it faster and easier to upgrade to the latest Android OS, but tthey are thinking only about there own money. That means customers have to buy a new device in stead of upgrading an older one.

    Google is on the right way with his Nexus line, but the global users (not IT-peoples) have to know the stengths and availability of the Nexus devices.

  • Dr.Carpy

    This is where if more people are/were willing to root their devices that this Android 4 saturation could be significantly higher. The manufacturers should dictate to carriers more and advocate for the end users of their devices.Unfortunately, the carriers and manufacturers are stifling Android 4, to sell newer phones. There needs to be a higher price to pay for mistreating customers.

    • Derek

      rooting should be completely unnecessary. Updates should be sent out in a timely manner. An end user shouldnt have to void his/her warranty just to get the latest update.

  • BigCiX

    Patiently waiting for jelly bean to arrive on my One X.

  • Equilni

    If Android was more like Chrome or Firefox, where the base system would be updated to the latest version without possible carrier/manufacture/user interference, then this would be a null issue.

    Hopefully Google is looking into a solution like this, or something similar to what Apple has (through the Play store), just for the base system alone.

  • thatGuy

    i have two android devices. A Archos 28 gen8($89.99) and a pandigital novel white($59.99 refurb). i have kinda made peace with neither ever running 4.x. The archos is crippled by its low ram so its stuck on froyo. however with the pandigital i was able to get gingerbread on but that’s pushing it due to the fact that pandigital never released the source code for it. limiting it abilities. I’m sure I am not the only person to full into this pit hole. One Company putting little ram as possible in its devices. and another trying to wall-garden theirs. this is the price we pay for budget devices sometimes. Being locked into one version of android

    But with the new nexus line of devices and kindle fires. It puts the pressure on all other companies (i’m looking at you archos). Either they make a device that can go one round with a nexus/fire or they dont make one at all.

    side note. i love watching all the prices of tablets drop after the nexus 7 32gb and nexus 10 came out. let’s see who is still willing to have a 7″ with a 800 x 480 resolution over $150 now. And lets not forget dropping play market for getjar or mobile1.

  • Nathan D.

    About time, I’m still wondering how long JB will take to reach that high.

  • JobsTheSavior

    Why is Android so fragmented? Jesus!?!??!
    All iPhones get updates… On time!

  • Joseph

    “With the way Nexus devices are being sold through the Play Store, globally accessible and incredibly affordable” are you joking? You obviously haven’t seen this message “Sorry! Devices on Google Play is not available in your country yet.” Basically no devices are shown in the store outside of North America and Europe.

  • h0ruza

    I like to come up with direct ideas that would never see the light of day but I’ll keep typing and maybe one or two will stick.

    Contracts: Bring back the 12 month contract for two years and watch sales go through the roof and adoption triple.

    Do it for them: at the point of which the android team sits down to develop the next OS they are given the source code of the top three sold manufacturers versions of android and Google /the Android team implements there software tweaks into the next release.

    Boom! The majority of the Android user base gets the upgrade when it’s released and all future phones that come from the top three are released with the latest version of Android as well.

  • Hom0ncruse

    final nail in the coffin for android 3

  • randyw

    Running 4.1.2 Jelly Bean on my Playstore Galaxy Nexus. And more than ready for 4.2 a week or two after the offical release of 4.2 on the 13th. I love having a Nexus!

    • anekatipo

      Waiting jelly bean on my htc one x

  • anekatipo

    Too much device.and not all support for upgrade to latest os. It’s hard to be exclusive or to be populist

  • OnIn2

    ** Looking at my G2x **

    “Don’t worry little buddy. LG will provide an ICS update soon”.


  • onetonofclay

    Sadly still on Gingerbread. Hoping to be on 4.2 this month though! Nexus 4!

  • kookeetree

    Skyrocket is not in that 30% =(

  • Hank

    I think the biggest problem with updates is there are none. For example, I’ve had my cell phone for over a year with only one tiny update. My Acer a510 tablet FINALLY got the update. It only took 8 months. So those stats are misleading. More than likely people haven’t updated BECAUSE there simply is no update. It all depends on which phone/tablet you have and if they put the effort into the software or just make you get new hardware. Maybe the others have so many updates is there are so many problems and bug fixes?