Android Jelly Bean overtakes Ice Cream Sandwich but fragmentation continues

Android Jelly Bean has finally overtaken Android Ice Cream Sandwich in terms of active users, but it’s no closer to solving the Google platform’s age-old fragmentation issue.

Up until recently Google’s previous version of Android, Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich, was still in operation on more Android handsets than Android 4.1 and 4.2 aka Jelly Bean.

The problem appears to be receding – at least for the moment. Recently released Google figures over on the official Android developers website show that the current iteration of Android has finally overtaken its immediate predecessor some six months after its initial launch.

The number of active Jelly Bean devices rose by 3.4 percent in April, bringing the total up to 28.4 percent of all Android devices in use today. This surpasses the 27.5 percent claimed by Ice Cream Sandwich.

This can obviously be attributed to a couple of factors – Ice Cream Sandwich handsets finally getting a software update to the latest version, and owners of older pre-Android 4.0 devices upgrading to brand new Jelly Bean-equipped smartphones like the HTC One.

Android Fragmentation

Don’t think that this is a significant step towards eradicating the old F problem. Android still suffers from chronic fragmentation.

The evidence for this is right there in the same pie chart as the aforementioned figures. Jelly Bean may have overtaken Ice Cream Sandwich, but it’s still only the second most widely used Android OS out there – and by a considerably margin.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread represents a whopping 38.5 percent of currently active Android devices. This means that a two and a half year old mobile OS remains the dominant Android build.

Naturally that percentage is falling fast, but you have to suspect that the next version of Android will be released way before Jelly Bean gets the chance to overtake Gingerbread become both the most recent and the most popular version of Android

If you’re due a smartphone upgrade around about now, why not use our Best Mobile Phones 2013 roundup to help you decide.