It will be close to nine months now, since Google announced their Ice Cream Sandwich, the successor to Gingerbread and even though it’s every bit as good as it’s advertised, the adoption rate leaves a lot be desired. Having said that, Android Developers reports that the adoption rate has gone up and is now up to 6.7 percent, as of June 1, which is a healthy growth, when you compare it to the 0.4 percent it was at the beginning of the year. However when compared to Gingerbread, which still holds the major slice of the Android distribution pie, ICS adoption has been a lot slower than expected. The delay most likely lies with the OEMs, since they have to skin the new OS, test it out to make sure nothing is broken and then release it. This ideally shouldn’t take too long, but most manufacturers have a fleet of different versions of the same phone that’s being sold in different countries and for different carriers, which is where the bottleneck comes in. It’s not like the iPhone, which is just one phone and one version that’s being sold globally. Gingerbread launched in December 2010 and according to the chart, more than 50 percent of all Android phones were already running 2.3.3 by December 2011. We are almost half way through 2012 now and the number of ICS handsets is nowhere close to that number.
Adoption rate is not quick enough
And then there’s Jelly Bean. According to the various rumors floating about, Google will, at the very least unveil, if not launch, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, come Google I/O towards the end of June. Let’s say they launch it later, somewhere around October, then that’s just another four months before manufacturers are occupied with Jelly Bean. It is very much possible that some of the OEMs may go straight from Gingerbread to Jelly Bean (JB), since it looks like JB is just going to be a tweaked version of ICS, anyways. It seems like we’ll have to play the waiting game, again as OEM are going to lag behind once more. Other than the Nexus devices, there’ll be a long delay before manufacturers get their act together with Jelly Bean. We hope that we are wrong, but it doesn’t seem like the trend is changing too soon.