Uptake of Android Ice Cream Sandwich is steadily increasing, according to information posted by Google on its developers website.
The last month has seen nearly a 4% rise in ICS’ share of Android’s user base. However, the number of Android devices running the latest version of the software is still alarmingly low.
ICS’s share of the Android market now stands at 10.9%, up from 7.1% a month ago. Reasons for this increase are likely to include the recent release of several leading handsets which run ICS, including Samsung’s Galaxy S III and HTC’s One series. Older handsets that launched with Gingerbread are also steadily receiving updates from their manufacturers, with Sony’s Xperia range being a prime example.
What is alarming about the figures is that Gingerbread is still running on 64% of Android devices, despite being nineteen months old. Having long since been surpassed by ICS and then superseded by the recently announced Jelly Bean iteration of the platform, Gingerbread still holds a vast majority of the market share.
Compare this to the rumoured 80% market share that iOS 5 has amongst its associated devices and it becomes clear that Ice Cream Sandwich’s uptake has seen nothing like the adoption rate that Apple’s latest OS can boast. A likely reason for this is the fragmentation of Google’s platform, with manufacturers introducing updates at different times and sometimes updating older handsets before more recent ones (as is the case with Sony). Also, there has been speculation that many Android users have a more casual attitude towards their smartphones compared to Apple fans who prefer to stay up-to-date with platform fixes and patches.
Either way, the prevalence of the older Gingerbread OS amongst Android phones is something that causes problems for the platform. Recent statistics have shown that app developers far prefer iOS over Google’s operating system, with the fact that most of Apple’s mobile devices run the latest OS being cited as something that makes the platform easy to work on.