Friday, August 03, 2012

Ice Cream Sandwich rises to No. 2 among Android versions; Jelly Bean begins rising

When iOS 6 was unveiled at WWDC earlier this year, Apple made a point of ridiculing Android's Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) version because it had been introduced at the same time as iOS 5, yet only seven percent of Android devices were using it, vs. 80 percent of Apple's customers who were on iOS 5.

They have a point, but it is OEM customization of Android that creates these delays, not Google.

Two months later, and we've now seen Android 4.0 more than double in market share, while Jelly Bean, still available on only a few devices, has reached 0.8 percent in only about three weeks.

The info comes straight from Google's own website.

Not only that, ICS' 15.8 percent means that it is now the second-highest utilized Android version, behind Gingerbread (Android 2.3) at 60.3 percent. ICS is barely in second place, as Android 2.2 (Froyo) is in third at 15.5 percent.
These long delays in platform adoption are frustrating for end users. Long after ICS launched, OEMs were still pumping out Gingerbread-based handsets. Only recently have we begun to see OEMs shipping handsets with ICS. Of course, now Jelly Bean is here, and the question will be: how long until handsets begin being shipped - predominantly, anyway - with Jelly Bean.

One Jelly Bean-only feature that has drawn attention is Google Now, a tool that has been compared, favorably, to Apple's Siri. However, as it is limited to JB handsets, it is not going to be adopted quickly enough unless one of two things happen: a) Google separates Google Now from JB and allows downloads in Google Play, or b) OEMs begins shipping JB in bulk.

The first of those is probably unlikely to happen at all. The second of those, if the trend shown by ICS continues, will take a long, long time.

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