While Android has a large and growing market share, fragmentation in its development platform is often cited as a problem. So which flavor of Android is currently the most popular?
The latest Platforms Versions distribution figures released by Google show that Gingerbread (Android 2.3.x) is now in use on almost a third of Android devices. But Froyo's (2.2) share remains stable at over half.
These stats are collected from devices that have accessed the Android Market in each 2-week period and what comes as a bit of a shock is that Honeycomb has made so little impact.
As the table below reveals adding together all the Android 3.x versions, in use on tablets such as the Motorola Xoom, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, comes to just 1.4%.
Tellingly Android 3.x has not been added to the legend of the historical chart that shows the change in share of different versions over the past six months (March - September 2011).
The other point of interest is how consistently Android 2.2 has maintained its popularity with the increase of Android 2.3.3 only recently outstripping the decline in share of version 2.1 and earlier versions.
(Click on chart to expand)
Before concluding that apps for Android tablets are not gaining ground as they should it must be pointed out that most of the tablet devices in use are running Android 2.x. Moreover many, both device manufacturers and app developers are waiting for the soon to be released Ice Cream Sandwich, which like Eclair, Froyo and Gingerbread, will work on both phones and tablets and so put an end to Android fragmentation that Honeycomb exacerbated. So Honeycomb is likely to remain the neglected flavour of Android - think of it as the Windows Me of Android.
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