Ice Cream Sandwich, Android’s newest and most acclaimed operating system, has a surprisingly low level of adoption among users: Over seven months, a mere 7.1 percent of Android phones actually run it. It’s still something of a leap, however, considering that on April 1 it lived on a scant 2.9 percent of phones, so in a relative sense, it’s a pretty nice jump. Nevertheless, the absolute number is just plain tiny.
ICS’s successor, code-named Jellybean, has not been announced yet, but it looks as if it will be by the end of the month. If ICS continues as it has for the next 2-3 weeks, Jellybean will be announced before it even cracks 10 percent. Interestingly, 65 percent of Android users are still using version 2.3, Gingerbread. Even more surprising is that Gingerbread’s marketshare is still growing.
Android users experience barriers between them and the latest system software that iOS users don’t have to deal with. Where an iPhone can be updated to whatever the latest OS software is by simply checking for an update via iTunes or the phone itself, Android users, to get ahold of the latest system software, have to either do some messing around, which requires a certain amount of tech-savviness, or wait for their carrier to pass it along. This probably explains why the latest version of iOS was adopted by more than 66 percent of users by the beginning of 2012.
The latest big thing from Samsung (their Galaxy S3 phone) reportedly enjoys nine million pre-orders from carriers. If it actually sells a decent chunk of those phones, the ICS marketshare will climb, but, alas, not enough to crack 10 percent by the month’s end.