The latest Android platform version distribution numbers are in and there’s nothing surprising. It is all that could be expected since no single OEM has pushed through with an aggressive KitKat upgrade schedule. They’re all pointing to sometime in 2014. Samsung, HTC, LG and Huawei are all planning global rollout of Android 4.4 to most of their eligible devices in the next few months.
Motorola’s timely release does not seem to have influenced things since KitKat’s dominance rose by just 0.3 percentage points. The numbers clearly reflect the truth that Nexus devices, the pricey Google Play editions and the mostly America-only Motorola devices (the Moto G might change that in future) which already have KitKat don’t reflect a good percentage of the Android population.
Jelly Bean is still the dominant force it was towards the end of 2013 for nearly 60% of the total number of Android devices that accessed the Google Play Store as of 8th January 2014. Most devices however are still stuck on the first iteration of Jelly Bean, Android 4.1, with only 7.8% of devices running Jelly Bean having the very latest iteration, Android 4.3.
Older versions of Android continued experiencing a decline with Ice Cream Sandwich taking a dip from 18.6% to 16.9%. Froyo and Gingerbread also posted a decline with only Honeycomb remaining stagnant at 0.1%.
|Android Version||Codename/Dessert Name||Distribution|
|4.0||Ice Cream Sandwich||16.9%|
Next time these numbers are out (which is next month), expect Gingerbread to further spiral down and enter the below 20% category. That could also be the time that Froyo becomes negligible on the distribution charts while KitKat will finally start slowly gaining ground and move at least a percentage point higher. KitKat is likely to have a more solid presence in early March when a good number of 2013 flagships will have received the update.
Samsung is already testing KitKat internally and could release it any time after February as evidenced by Friday’s leak of Android 4.4-based firmware for the Snapdragon 600 Galaxy S4 variant. LG has been testing the same in Korea for the G2 while the 90 days that HTC promised for a KitKat update to its flagship One will be over by the end of this month.