March 6, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
More than three months into Android 4.0 being introduced, Android 2.3 remains the dominant OS version. We’d expect as much given Android’s slow upgrade history, but there is something surprising – Android 2.3 is actually growing rather than shrinking.
The latest Android Platform Versions chart shows that Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) accounts for 62 percent of all visits to the Android Market in the past two weeks. That’s up from the 59 percent reported in February, and 55 percent reported in January.
It’s no surprise that Gingerbread would remain the top dog for considerable time since that’s the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, is only commercially available on two devices. But the increase of Gingerbread phones at a time when no phone has been upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich is disappointing. It’s worth noting that a number of recently announced devices will still be running Gingerbread when they are released, meaning that Android 2.3 may not yet be finished gobbling up more device share.
For now, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has only 1.6 percent of Market visits, up from the 1 percent reported last month. Froyo accounts for 25.3 percent, Honeycomb 3.3 percent, and long-time holdout Éclair is still on 6.6 percent of phones.
The fragmentation vs. legacy debate has been going on since Google I/O 2010, and there’s no sign of it ending any time soon. If anything, the latest platform versions chart is yet another reminder that Android device makers need rapidly increase their pace of getting updates out to customers.