October 4, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Believe it or not, something other than Apple iPhone Mania took place today. The Android Platform Version Chart, which helps developers decide which version of Android to support, was released today. The latest breakdown on the number of software versions on active devices using the Android Market is predictable – Froyo’s falling and Gingerbread’s growing.
Froyo has been falling slowly for months, but the latest decline wasn’t a slow affair. While it once took five months for Froyo’s Android share to drop from 61 percent in March to 51 percent in September, Froyo is already down to 45 percent this month.
Why the sudden dip? For starters, a Gingerbread update was applied to some popular phones, namely the HTC Thunderbolt, and multiple new devices running Gingerbread went on sale. Because the platform chart pulls data from the Android Market, and those new Bionic owners couldn’t wait to load some new apps on their beloved phones, that greatly increased the Gingerbread’s shares.
Here’s a closer look at the Platform charts released today.
Notice anything else interesting? Me too. Honeycomb now accounts for 1.8 percent of the total apps accessing the Android Market. Going back to my previous estimates for counting the total number of Android devices believed to be in existence – about 168 million at the time of this writing – and multiplying it by 0.018, we can guess that there are more than 3 million active tablets running a version of Android Honeycomb. It could actually be more considering that even our conservative estimates say that there should be about 730,000 daily Android activations by now, but it’s tough to get a truly accurate picture until Google updates activation figures.
On the heels of Ice Cream Sandwich, the difference between Honeycomb tablets and phones may be less of an issue. Device fragmentation will still be a problem for the foreseeable future, but it’s on track to be a smaller issue than it is today.