Google released the latest figures today on the distribution of Android versions across all devices running on the platform. The dataset is based on devices accessing the Google Play Store over a 14-day period ending on October 1, 2012. The majority of devices running Android are still on version 2.3 Gingerbread, but version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and version 4.1 Jelly Bean continue to grow in popularity; combined, the two most recent versions account for a bit more than one quarter of all Android devices.
As of October 1, 55.5 percent of all Android devices were running some release of version 2.3 Gingerbread. About 16.8 percent of Android devices run a version older than that, with most of those devices running version 2.2 Froyo. Google's more tablet-oriented release, Honeycomb, which encompasses versions 3.1 and 3.2, runs on only about two percent of Android devices.
The push toward adoption of Android 4.0 has had some impact. Over the past six months, Android 4.0 has gone from running on fewer than five percent of Android devices to nearly a quarter of Android devices. Over the past two months, Android 4.0's install base has grown by more than 50 percent.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, first introduced alongside Google's Nexus 7 tablet, now runs on 1.8 percent of Android devices, more than twice the amount it did two months ago. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's recently revealed that close to 500 million Android devices are on the market today, meaning version 4.1 is running on about nine million devices, should Google's figures prove accurate. Aside from the Nexus 7, a number of other high-profile smartphones have been upgraded to Jelly Bean, with more upgrades on the way.
The growth in install bases for versions 4.0 and 4.1 is likely a welcome sign at Google, but the fact that a sizable majority of devices remain on version 2.3 lends credence to complaints that fragmentation remains an issue on the platform. Google has been making moves to address the issue, but even companies owned by Google have seen difficulties in bringing their devices up to date.