Disappointing increase from 2.9% to 4.9% indicate a slow down in adoption.
Numbers for the various flavors of Android have been updated on the Android Developers site. Those new numbers are an update to the April 2nd ones and are as of May 1st which reflect the previous 14 days and reflect active mobile devices during that time frame. The much smaller than expected increase continues to magnify the Google Android Fragmentation issues which are a growing problem for Google. Given the number of active version in play, the expectation was for Ice Cream Sandwich to be in double digits with this latest report. There has been a growing number of reports for mobile devices getting Android 4.0 and that was expected to drive the numbers much higher than they are being reported. You can take a look at the most recent information at the Android developers site under the Platform Versions.
I talked about the numbers last month and the reported delays in mobile devices getting Ice Cream Sandwich. Some popular Android phones are in the process of getting Android 4.0, such as the Galaxy S2 but it is still rolling out and Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy S3 in a few days. That speaks to the problems which are plaguing the latest OS from Google. Even the Galaxy Note 5.3, which was announced to be getting Ice Cream Sandwich in the first quarter and has yet to receive the update. It is now being reported that the Galaxy Note will get it some time this quarter which is a pretty vague statement for the arrival. And this is for a phone which Samsung is heavily promoting.
While some are promoting the idea of Android fragmentation as good for developers, it is problematic for consumers. Those who have purchased smart phones in the past 6 months have expected to already have received the latest update to Android 4.0 and many are still waiting. There are new Android smart phones being sold this year which are not coming with Ice Cream Sandwich and that condition continues today. It has been almost 6 months since Google announced Ice Cream Sandwich and another month before it appeared on the Galaxy Nexus. That was in December and here we are in May and still Android 4.0 has yet to roll out to all possible mobile devices. This is a huge mistake and should be at a point where we are seeing the last few devices getting the latest OS. It looks more like we are in the middle of the roll out given the poor showing of the numbers here.
Given that Jean-Baptiste Queru of the Android Open Source Project has said it takes about 8 months to “seeing it widely deployed” for software in the cell phone industry to be distributed. Since Android 4.0 came out in November, that would mean we would see it widely deployed by July. At a 4.9% distribution as being reported here, they have a really long ways to go before it will get to that point.
The expectation of Android 4.0 being “widely distributed” by July do not seem realistic given we are at 4.9%. That is no where near where they need to be if a substantial distribution is expected. At this point, Jelly Bean , Android 5.0, is rumored to arrive in Q3 and there have already been leaked builds. At the rate of distribution for Android 4.0, there will be some mobile devices still waiting for for Ice Cream Sandwich when Android 5.0 is released. Android fragmentation is only going to get worse given what we are seeing from this most recent report.
Do you believe that Android fragmentation is going to get much worse?