Six months after debuting, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been installed on a small percentage of Android devices overall. Most devices still use the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS.
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Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich's growth in the market jumped in recent weeks, but it is still scarce. According to the latest Google Play Store data compiled by Google, 4.9% of all Android devices are now running Ice Cream Sandwich. That's up significantly from last month's 2.9% penetration rate, but Gingerbread remains the dominant version running on nearly two-thirds of devices.
The reason behind Android 4's little jump in presence recently can be assigned to several factors. First, Google and Samsung have pushed out updates to the Galaxy Nexus S 4G in the U.S., as well as to the Galaxy S II in markets outside the U.S. This month also saw the release of the HTC One X and One S in several markets, including the U.S. These two devices run Android 4.0 out of the box. Last, Sony is providing Android 4.0 updates to several of its Xperia smartphones outside the U.S.
Filling out the rest of the field, Android 2.3 Gingerbread represents a whopping 64.4% of the installed base. Its market presence actually grew last month, as more devices recently have been updated from Android 2.2 to Android 2.3. It doesn't help that a number of new Android smartphones are—still--shipping with 2.3 rather than 4.0.
Other versions have lost share--which is a good thing. Android 2.2 Froyo's presence slipped to 20.9% of the installed base, Android 2.1 Eclair dropped to 5.5%, and Android 1.5 and 1.6 combined represent 1% of the Android installed base. The tablet-optimized Honeycomb version of Android 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 combined represent 3.3%.
Google shares this data with developers so they may more accurately target their applications for devices and platforms that are in the market.
Despite its weak presence in the market, Android 4.0 is set to climb quickly in the coming weeks and months. The HTC One X, in particular, is an outstanding Android smartphone and will surely be a hit with AT&T subscribers. Same applies to the HTC One S for T-Mobile. These are two exciting devices that will expand Android 4.0's footprint. Additionally, Sony is prepared to deliver Android 4.0 to a growing number of its Xperia smartphones in the coming weeks.
We also can't forget the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is being launched May 3 by Samsung. This device also will ship with Android 4.0 and should become available before the end of June. Given how successful Samsung's previous generations of Galaxy devices are, the S III is expected to be a smash hit.
I wouldn't be surprised if Android 4.0 reaches 10% or more of the Android installed base by this time next month.
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