Google published Android version distribution stats today, and the results are pretty predictable based on the horrible track record manufacturers have when it comes to updating devices to the latest OS.Right now, Google says 55.5% of active Android devices are running version 2.3 Gingerbread, which came out more than a year ago.
And Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest and greatest OS that Google has been bragging about? It’s only running on a measly 0.6% of active Android devices.
Let’s put this into perspective.
Ice Cream Sandwich was released to the public on November 14, 2011. Since then, only the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and a crappy cheap tablet or two are running Ice Cream Sandwich. Seven weeks later, that accounts for the 0.6% distribution of Ice Cream Sandwich on active Android devices.
Even after the Ice Cream Sandwich release, the Galaxy Nexus wasn’t available in the U.S. for a whole other month. In the meantime, other manufacturers beat around the bush about their update plans, save for a few exceptions.
Now for Apple. iOS 5, the latest OS, was released on October 12, 2011. From that day it was immediately available to anyone with an iPod Touch third or fourth generation, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPad 2. There was no waiting and hoping those millions and millions of iDevices would get upgrades.
For the rest of the ~55% of Android users, it looks like many — if not most — will be stuck on Gingerbread for good. The only way to really guarantee you’ll get Ice Cream Sandwich now is to drop $300 on a new Galaxy Nexus or hope the phone you bought last year will be supported a few months down the line.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with this IM conversation I happened to have with Ellis this morning, before Google announced those numbers today: