Latest report show very small growth in ICS adoption at 7.1%
Google has posted the most recent numbers for Android on their Android Developer site and the numbers they are showing for Ice Cream Sandwich adoption leave something to be desired. As of June 1st, Android 4.0 has a share of 7.1% of all Android devices coming to the Google Play site which is a good indicator of usage. And it is those numbers which are showing very disappointing results for the expected rise in ICS adoption. It seems that Android Fragmentation is alive and well with no signs of going away anytime soon.
Over the past 3 months, we have been watching the numbers with an expectation that ICS would climb above the 10% mark with the June report. In the previous May report of 4.9% the growth back then seemed like things were beginning to make progress, growing from 2.9% to 4.9%. The growth from 4.9% in May to 7.1% in June may seem like it has seen some great increases in adoption. But if you realize that ICS was first presented with the Galaxy Nexus in December, things do not look so good.
Making things even worse is the fact that Android 2.3 has grown from 64.4% in May to 65% in June. If Android 4.0 adoptions where growing at a much faster rate, that percentage should have gone down, not up. With the slow growth for Android 4.0, it is starting to look like the most likely outcome is growth through attrition. As Android 2.3 phone owners replace those devices with Android 4.0, we will begin to see the numbers start to move up much faster. The problem with that possibility is that there are still large numbers of Android 2.3 devices on sale and that is going to continue for much of the year.
Given all that is being shown here, it is quite possible that finger pointing for the lack of adoption of ICS could pick up again. There is the path that ICS has to travel from Google, to manufacturers, to wireless carriers. Each stop takes time as they add their pieces to the puzzle in order to make it more of their own. Take the case of the Galaxy S2 and the ability to get Ice Cream Sandwich installed on that device. Here is the US, T-Mobile has announced it coming on June 11th and there is no word from AT&T or Sprint. It has rolled out in other countries, but not yet in the US. It seems that the roll out is moving at a snails pace and there are no signs of things changing very much in that direction.
Exactly when we can expect to see ICS take off and have at least a 25% market share is unknown. Whether attrition is the most likely method of growing ICS seems likely this year given what we are seeing. That is not the way this should be going because Jelly Bean in on the horizon and that will add to the fragmentation even further than it already is. Who is responsible for all of this is a moving target as Google says they have released it to manufacturers. Manufacturers have released it for various devices to wireless carriers. At some point, the length of time between Google releasing a version and the public getting it has to be radically shortened. Is that ever going to be possible?