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Android’s KitKat is rolling out even more slowly than Jelly Bean did

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:47PM EST
Android KitKat vs Jelly Bean

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Even though Google designed Android 4.4 to work on more devices than any of its predecessors, it looks like KitKat’s adoption rate is lower than Jelly Bean’s was when it first launched. GigaOm citess data from a new Chitika report showing that in the 6 months since Android 4.4 KitKat was launched, only around 10% of Android devices part of the study have been seen running it. Comparatively, Jelly Bean was installed on 14% of devices 6 months after launch, the company revealed in a similar report in early 2013.

“[L]ooking beyond the device type breakdown, on a wider scale, KitKat has not progressed quite as quickly as Jelly Bean in North America from an adoption perspective,” Chitika wrote. “We previously observed Jelly Bean users generating 13.6% of North American Android Web traffic approximately 24 weeks following its debut on the Nexus 7. This overall number is 10.1% for KitKat as of this study, close to 22 weeks following its release on the Nexus 5.”

The study only includes data for the North American mobile landscape, with Chitika having analyzed ad impressions on tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian Android devices between March 31 and April 6, 2014.

In addition to Jelly Bean, Chitika found that 55.2% of smartphones run a Jelly Bean version, from Android 4.1 to Android 4.3, with the former found on 23.7% of devices. Meanwhile 20.3% of traffic is coming from ancient Gingerbread-based handsets. When it comes to tablets, KitKat is also present on around 10% of North American Android tablets, with Jelly Bean at around 61.8% and Ice Cream Sandwich on 21.3% of devices.

Google has recently revealed that overall, KitKat is currently installed on over 5% of Android devices. Graphics from Chitika’s recent study, showing Android distribution in North America, follow below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.