You can’t talk about Android version distribution without mentioning the word fragmentation. There comes a time in every operating system’s life when an older device doesn’t meet the requirements to get updated to the latest software version. Whether it is iOS, BlackBerry or Windows Phone, all platforms must deal with fragmentation to some extent. The problem seems to be more prevalent on the Android operating system, though.
The latest numbers from Google (GOOG) highlight a jump in devices running Jelly Bean, from 2.7% in November to 6.7% in December. The Gingerbread operating system, however, is still found on more than half, or 50.8%, of all Android devices. The 24-month old software version’s share of Android devices declined month-over-month from 54.2%, while Ice Cream Sandwich increased slightly from 25.8% to 27.5%.
It is clear from the latest numbers that device manufacturers need to work with wireless providers to ensure users are receiving updates, and if a device does not meet the requirements, they should help consumers get a new one.