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Summary:

Android 4.0 is making adoption gains thanks to software upgrades and new devices on sale with the Ice Cream Sandwich software. Nearly 1 percent of devices run Android 4.1 thanks to Google’s Nexus device program and strong demand for the company’s 7-inch slate.

Android-Ice-Cream-Sandwich

After introducing Android 4.0 in October of last year, phones and tablets are finally seeing the version of Google’s mobile platform through upgrades and new devices According to Google’s own developer dashboard, 16.7 percent of the phones and tablets that accessed the Google Play store in the last two weeks of July are running Android 4.0 or a later version. Carriers are finally getting the updates out to devices and most new handsets that debuted this year come with this version of the software.

I’ve been watching for this data as Google typically updates it twice per month. However, earlier this week, the dashboard still showed data from the final two weeks of June. With the latest information, there’s a jump in Android 4.0 and even a fast bump in 4.1 adoption:

At this point then, 15.9 percent of devices have 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, while 0.8 percent have 4.1; the software known as Jelly Bean. That’s telling because the 4.1 devices would mostly be comprised of the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S smartphones — both of which have seen the upgrade — and Google’s new tablet, the Nexus 7. While sales figures for the Nexus 7 haven’t been released, this data supports the idea that the 7-inch tablet is selling well. Last month, Google had to stop taking orders for the 16 GB version of the Nexus 7 due to an underestimation of demand.

Through the rest of this year, I’d expect Android 4.0 to ramp up quickly; perhaps accounting for 40 percent or more of all Android devices. Jelly Bean, or Android 4.1, will surely take more time because of the software integration efforts needed by handset makers and the testing and tweaking made by carriers. But it will be interesting to watch the Android 4.1 adoption rate during that time as it may say more about Nexus 7 sales as well as the small slate market as a whole.

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  1. A little backwards. The JB update will probably go faster. It was ICS that was a major change and proved to be a task to get it ready for phones. JB is smaller easier jump.

    1. Good point, Phil. My thought was based on the work handset makers have already done for Android 4.0 integration. While it may not take much more effort to add or push 4.1, more devices will be selling with Android 4.0 and getting the 4.0 upgrade than those with 4.1 is what I’m thinking. Either way, it’s good news for Android phone and tablet owners!

  2. When will Android Ice Cream Sandwich come to Xperia U?

  3. This is one of the reasons I’m an iPhone user – when a new OS comes out, I’m instantly able to update.

    (please refrain from the “well Android phones have had the features iOS6 offers since version 1″. I’m well aware of what each OS can do. I just prefer the way iOS does things.)

  4. Shane Simmons Sunday, August 26, 2012

    The thing that makes me sad is that I’m the “proud” owner of a device that is capable of running ICS–a third-party effort has a port about 99% done–but the manufacturer has decided it’s not worth the effort, decided a few months after release that the phone is obsolete beyond upgrade, and the third-party effort is hampered by a locked bootloader. Oh, and Google bought this unnamed manufacturer. :->

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