Ice Cream Sandwich distribution continues to grow at a slow but steady pace. According to the latest figures, ICS now accounts for 10 percent of all Android devices in the market. Last month’s numbers were around seven percent, so this new increase can be attributed to the recent outflow of updates from Samsung and Sony for their mid-range and high-end handsets. You’ll also notice that the share of Gingerbread devices actually dipped a little for the first time while Froyo handsets continue to decline further.

A slow climb

However, we are not sure how long this will continue since Jelly Bean has already been announced and Google has released the PDK early on for OEMs to start porting their skins over before the official release in mid-July. Does this mean we can expect a direct jump from Gingerbread to Jelly Bean? Or will OEMs continue to take a detour before adopting the new OS? Since Jelly Bean is a tweaked version of ICS, it makes perfect sense for OEMs to ditch skinning of ICS and concentrate on Jelly Bean.

LG has turned out to be one of the laziest OEMs when it comes to updates, as users of their older phones had to suffer a very long and painful wait before being able to update. Hopefully, that changes soon. HTC are currently the only ones releasing new phones with ICS on a consistent basis.

Compared to previous offerings

Compared to previous offerings

If OEMs choose to ignore Jelly Bean right now and work on Ice Cream Sandwich, the future for handsets quickly receiving the new update seems bleak. Something has to change; either Google has to set some ground rules and limit the amount of customizations OEMs can do (the way Microsoft does with Windows Phone), or OEMs should realize that Android is way past its infancy and doesn’t need candy-coating to make it presentable. Once this happens, we can expect faster updates across devices; this will bring Android on par or at least close to Apple in terms of update rollouts. Until then, however, consumers have no choice but to play the waiting game and keep their fingers crossed, hoping that their handset isn’t already scrapped from their OEM's update cycle.

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