Android Jelly Bean surpasses Gingerbread in adoption by users. Jelly Bean (4.1 and 4.2) is the latest version of Android but has taken awhile to be adopted by Android users due fragmentation, which resulted in what is now the 2nd highest adopted version of Android in Gingerbread (2.3.3), to lead for a few years.
Android’s largely fragmented operating system is due to having many devices by different brands, which allowed an old version in Gingerbread to be ahead of more recent versions of the Android operating system such as Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich. However, with the ever popular Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, Note 2 and HTC One, all running on Android 4.1 and up, it has certainly help Jelly Bean leap ahead of it’s predecessor, Gingerbread. Jelly Bean currently has 37.9% distribution among Android usages while Gingerbread has 34.1%.
Android’s fragmentation is a concern when it comes to adopting newer versions of the OS as older smartphones may not be able to update to the newer version of Android. New features from Android may not be fully adopted if many users do not have smartphones capable of running or powering those features. Users may also choose not to upgrade their devices to a newer model which will allow an older OS version like Gingerbread to be the most used Android resulting in stale growth of the operating system. On the other hand, Apple doesn’t have a big issue with fragmentation as they also create their own hardware and can maintain full control of their software and hardware. Recently, Google is trying to slow the fragmentation with the release of the Nexus versions of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, which will help to keep a more cohesive unit when it comes to adopting the latest version of Android using the latest smartphones.
Hopefully future Nexus editions of the ever popular brands of Samsung, HTC and Sony will continue.