Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean make big gains over the holidays, now account for 40% of Android installed base.
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December saw a significant shift in the distribution of Android operating systems. Thanks to sales of new gear, such as the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, Jelly Bean adoption surged as Gingerbread's presence finally dipped below 50%.
Jelly Bean jumped the most in terms of its share among Android hardware. In December, Android 4.2 and 4.1 -- both named Jelly Bean -- were installed on 6.7% of all Android devices. They've climbed to 10.2% in January. Android 4.1 is on 9% of Android devices, while Android 4.2 (only available to Nexus devices right now) grabbed 1.2%.
Jelly Bean's increase can be largely attributed to device updates. For example the Samsung Galaxy S III began to receive the update from more U.S. wireless network operators in December. Of course, holiday shoppers helped out, too. All the Nexus-branded gear runs Android 4.2.
Jelly Bean 4.1 was first introduced by Google in June. It was revised to version 4.2 in October. Six months from launch, it has finally broken the 10% mark. Considering how quickly iOS users adopt new versions of Apple's smartphone platform, Google updates are distributed at a snail's pace.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich's presence on all Android devices climbed from 27.5% in December to 29.1% this month. A small gain, but an important one.
Android 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2 combined amount to 39.3% of all devices.
The rest of the Android OS field continues to dwindle. Gingerbread (Android 2.3) finally slipped below the 50% mark. It dropped from 50.8% to 47.6%. Gingerbread has long been the most-deployed version of Android. Android 2.2 Froyo runs 9% of all Android devices, Android 2.1 Eclair powers 2.4%, and Android 1.6 Donut and 1.5 Cupcake together have just 0.2%.
Google deduces the percentages of Android versions by analyzing which devices access the Google Play Store over a 14-day period.
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