Android Ice Cream Sandwich Trickles Onto Phones - InformationWeek

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Commentary
1/4/2012
02:50 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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Android Ice Cream Sandwich Trickles Onto Phones

Android 4.0 has reached fewer than 1% of all Android handsets to date--but it's only been out for about a month.

According to Android Market statistics compiled by Google, Android 4.0 makes up 0.6% of the devices accessing the Market for apps. A tiny sliver, 0.3%, is represented by Android 4.0 through 4.0.2, and an equally tiny sliver of 0.3% is represented by Android 4.0.3. Android 4.x was released globally in November on the Galaxy Nexus, though the LTE variant didn't go on sale in the U.S. from Verizon Wireless until December 15.

This marks the first time Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been evident in the Android Market.

We can blame Android 4.0's low penetration rate on several factors: First, it has really only been available in the market for a little more than a month. Second, it is available on just one handset. Third, no existing Android devices have been updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich yet. Depending on the number of Android 4.0 devices announced at CES next week and how quickly hardware makers get Android 4.0 upgrades ready, we'll see Android 4.0's presence in the Android Market grow.

Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread has a commanding lead over other Android versions, with 54.9% of the installed base. Android 2.2 Froyo is on a depressing 30.4% of smartphones, while Android 2.1 Eclair is on 8.5% of Android devices.

[ Google has borrowed creatively to build its latest Android OS. See Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich: Brilliant Thievery? ]

Honeycomb's presence has improved a little bit to a total of 3.3% between variants Android 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2. (That's still a pretty pathetic number when you consider the number of Android tablets that are available in the market.)

What we don't know officially is the number of Galaxy Nexus handsets sold so far. Putting some of Google's statistics through some fuzzy math, The Verge estimates the number to be about 707,000 Galaxy Nexus sales so far. None of the parties involved with the Galaxy Nexus--Google, Samsung, Verizon--have shared sales statistics yet.

The fact that these companies haven't said anything yet likely indicates the Galaxy Nexus has yet to reach the one-million-sold benchmark. You know what has sold more than one million units? Samsung's five-inch tablet, the Galaxy Note. It's been a hugely popular device with those looking to combine the functionality of a smartphone and tablet in one device.

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