Android Jelly Bean More Than Doubles Market Presence

New smartphones and system updates helped Android 4.1 and 4.2 gain significant ground in the last 30 days.
Samsung Galaxy Note II: Visual Tour
Samsung Galaxy Note II: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Android 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2 have finally established a significant presence among all Android versions. The latest data shared by Google reveals that Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, released in November, debuted with a sliver at just 0.8% share among Android devices. This version of Android is only available to select devices, including the Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and Galaxy Nexus.

The real mover among Android variants, however, was Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This version, available since late June, climbed from just 2.7% of all Android devices to 5.9%. Its presence more than doubled in the last 30 days.

This can be attributed in part to the number of devices updated from Android 4.0 to 4.1 in recent weeks. For example, on Tuesday AT&T is pushing Jelly Bean to the Samsung Galaxy S III. The Sprint and T-Mobile variants of the GSIII have already received Jelly Bean. Also, a higher percentage of new devices are shipping with Android 4.1 on board (including the new Nexus gear from Google).

Together, Android 4.2 and 4.1 -- both named Jelly Bean -- have a hold on 6.7% of all Android devices.

[ Android owns 72% of the mobile market. Learn Why Android's Dominance Is Bad. ]

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich also saw some growth. Its percentage climbed from 25.8% last month to 27.5% this month. Keep in mind, Ice Cream Sandwich saw growth despite the fact that many devices were updated from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean during the last 30 days.

The rest of the Android OS field continues to dwindle. Gingerbread (Android 2.3) managed to maintain its grip on more than half of all Android devices with 50.8%. That's down from 54.1% last month. Android 2.2 Froyo owns 10.3% of all Android devices, Android 2.1 Eclair owns 2.7%, and Android 1.6 Donut and 1.5 Cupcake together have just 0.4%.

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is the best version of Android yet, though Android 4.1 isn't that far behind. Some of the newest features in 4.2 include Photo Sphere, which takes 360-degree panoramas, and continuous text input with a new traceable keyboard.

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer