One percent a month
The number of Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich has doubled over the past couple of months and adoption seems to be picking up. However, the numbers are hardly impressive by any standard.
Google introduced Ice Cream Sandwich last October and more than seven months later an estimated 7.1 percent of Android phones and tablets sport the latest version. Gingerbread still accounts for almost two thirds of the Android universe and two-year-old Android 2.2 Froyo holds 19 percent.
Worse, the number of Gingerbread devices is still increasing, which seems to indicate that the majority of Android phones on sale today feature an OS introduced in late 2010. Some vendors, e.g. Sony, are still launching Gingerbread devices with the promise of an ICS update down the road.
In addition, fragmentation is also proving to be quite a challenge for Google. Vendors simply can’t be bothered to roll out ICS updates for numerous devices, due to their perceived obsolescence or poor sales figures.
One poignant example is Samsung’s original Galaxy S. One of the best selling phones of 2010 and 2011 can be credited with carving out Samsung’s foothold in the high-end market, yet it won’t be getting an ICS update. Its sibling, Google’s Nexus S, already got the update in spite of lackluster sales, just to make sure Google wouldn’t lose face. The trouble is, most phone makers do not seem to care about theirs.