In order to help Android app developers to know which Android version to develop for, Google has the Android Device Dashboard that tracks certain hardware info of devices accessing Google Play.
According to the latest results, the current platform version distribution shows Gingerbread, particularly version 2.3.3 ““ 2.3.7, as still the most widely-installed Android OS version at 47.4%. Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) follows suit at 29.1% and Jelly Bean (4.1, 4.2) still at around 10.2% penetration.
It comes to no surprise as widespread adoption of Android smartphones happened last year while Gingerbread was still the OS version. Gingerbread also spent a long time in active duty before ICS came out. And the fact that a lot of entry-level, and mid-range smartphones are happily chugging along with Gingerbread made a lot of manufacturers stick to it for a while.
I had a conversation recently with an engineer from an international handset manufacturer who stated that the reason why they didn’t push for ICS update quickly is that they feel that Gingerbread is still the more stable version. There are performance and battery issues with ICS that they feel shouldn’t be a must-update version.
Do check the latest Android Device Dashboard to see the complete breakdown as well as device screen size/density distribution.