Android ‘Jelly Bean’ passes 40 percent mark; leapfrogs ‘Gingerbread’ 4.1

Latest figures from Google show the majority of Android users are now on the latest “Jelly Bean” 4.1 platform, overtaking the long-held favorite Android 2.3 “Gingerbread.”

In all, 40.5 percent are running “Jelly Bean” on their mobile device, compared to 33 percent running “Gingerbread.” However, just 6.5 percent are running the latest 4.2 build, up from 5.6 percent in June.

The figures, released by Google monthly, detail the state of the Android platform market by fragmentation, offering a unique look at how many devices are running which version of the platform. Data is collected from devices when the user visits the Google Play application store.

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 07.06.06

Google has come under fire as of recent years as a result of its fragmentation “problem,” which developers argue makes it difficult to maintain applications over time.

But now that the latest major Android version has the majority share, Google’s fragmentation battle continues to be with “Gingerbread,” and not just its trailing second-latest version iteration.

In other words, “Gingerbread” is to “Jelly Bean” as Windows XP is to Windows 7.

Both extremely popular albeit much older platforms, most are unable to upgrade because their hardware doesn’t support the latest built. ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has long postulated that carriers do not care, or particularly want users to upgrade, because it puts a greater burden of pressure on them.

And there will, of course, be the legacy stragglers pulling the figures down at the very back — at the end of every marathon, there are always the rare few dressed in deep-sea diving suits that take weeks to finish the race. But on the whole the market is looking healthier than it was a year ago, about the time “Jelly Bean” was launching on the market.

The transition between “Ice Cream Sandwich” and “Jelly Bean” continues. Combined, nearly two-thirds are on the latest two platforms. It’s a start for Google. But the sooner it can close the “Gingerbread” gap, the happier developers will be.