In spite of the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) version of the Android (v4.1) operating system being launched almost a year ago, only about 23.7 percent of all Android devices are running on this version, according to the monthly distribution report released by Google on the Android Developers Forum. Although the adoption rate for ICS has been extremely slow, Jelly Bean adoption has been slow too, with only 1.8 percent of all Android devices running on the latest version of the operating system.

The figures have shown some growth since last month, though; the number of devices running ICS grew by almost 3 percent from last month’s 20.8 percent, while Jelly Bean gained a measly 0.6 percent. The number of devices running Gingerbread (Android v2.3) is at 55.5 percent, a 1.7 percent fall compared to last month’s 57.2 percent. The number of devices running Froyo (Android v2.2) is now at 12.9 percent, down from last month’s 14 percent. All of these figures are based on the number of Android devices that have accessed Google Play over a 14-day period.

The Jelly Bean statue's back.

Not so many Android and Jelly Bean devices out there.

The slow growth in the number of Jelly Bean devices is not so surprising considering the low number of devices compatible with the operating system, but the snail’s pace at which Ice Cream Sandwich adoption is growing indicates how big a problem fragmentation is for the Android platform. Unlike Apple, there is too much of a variation in the hardware Android devices run on for manufacturers to simply push an update once Google makes it available. It also seems casual users aren’t too bothered with updating their devices either.

The statistics also show that while the number of Android smartphones is high, Android tablets are still struggling to catch up. The number of smartphones running Android, measured by Google as having ‘Small’ and ‘Normal’ sized screens – 4 inches or lower- at mdpi (medium) hdpi (high) and xhdpi (extra high) resolutions, account for up to 89.3 percent of all Android devices. The number of Android devices with ‘large’ or ‘xlarge’ screens – 7 inches or more – account for only 10.7 percent.

The number of Android activations continues to grow by the day. Google’s Hugo Barra, Android's director of product management, revealed in September that Google had recorded 500 million Android devices activated. CEO Eric Schmidt, while speaking at a press event in New York earlier in September had said that the number of activations on tablet devices stood at 70,000, while the total number of Android users was 480 million. He also revealed that the company had recorded 1.3 million Android devices activated per day. Google had revealed at its Google I/O conference in June that it had reached 400 million activations, and that the rate of activations was 1 million per day at the time.

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