Slow take-up for the newest Jelly Bean iterations of Android, coupled with consumers hanging on to legacy devices, left Google’s smartphone operating system looking as fragmented as ever this week.
According to data from Google’s official Platform Versions page, just 6.7 per cent of Android phones are running an iteration of the newest Jelly Bean software. Of these, 5.9 per cent are powered by Android 4.1, while 0.8 per cent are toting the up-to-the-minute version 4.2. Its predecessor, Android 4.0, AKA Ice Cream Sandwich, is powering 27.5 per cent.
However, somewhat worryingly for Google, which is attempting to clamp down on fragmentation, some 50.8 per cent of users are still stranded on the ageing Gingerbread edition.
Meanwhile, Froyo, Éclair and Honeycomb account for 10.3 per cent, 2.7 per cent and 1.6 per cent of smartphones respectively.
Fragmentation is seen as a risk to Android because it means that older devices will be unable to run newer apps, in turn discouraging developers from creating applications for the platform.
Delays in porting newer versions of Android to phones have been caused by custom skins and pre-loaded proprietary apps that complicate the procedure, once again calling into question Google’s decision to allow free reign to its partners to remake and remodel their Android phones’ user interfaces as they see fit.