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Jelly Bean finally overtakes Gingerbread in Android share

Google faces long tail of outdated OS users

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The latest stats released by Google show that Android 4.1 and 4.2, aka Jelly Bean, has finally overtaken the outdated version 2.3 Gingerbread release, thanks to a rash of new phones running the OS.

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook took a swipe at Android's fragmented user base. He pointed out that iOS was actually the world's most popular smartphone operating system (because Apple users upgrade), ahead of the 2010-vintage Gingerbread Android build. Gingerbread is on a lot of older phones that carriers aren’t upgrading, and the OS was never overtaken by the version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich build.

As of the first week of July, however, 37.9 per cent of the devices that connected to Google's Play store were running Android 4.1 or higher, compared to 34.1 per cent who were running Gingerbread. Users of Ice Cream Sandwich currently make up 23.3 per cent, with another 4.6 per cent running operating systems that are even older. There's even still 0.1 per cent of die-hards clinging to version 1.6, aka Donut.

A similar tiny percentage are using the tablet-only 3.2 Honeycomb version – possibly attendees at the 2011 Google I/O conference, to whom the Chocolate Factory handed out version of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 fondleslab that has never seen an upgrade.

In terms of the devices themselves, Google's data shows the vast majority of users (79.9 per cent) are running Android on a screen that's between three and five inches, with 10.1 per cent having a larger viewing area (tablets included) and 10 per cent going smaller.

Google is going to be hoping for even better news by the end of the year, with the next build of Android, Key Lime Pie, rumored to be due out in November – at around the same time as its subsidiary Motorola is hoping to set America alight with the Moto X. ®

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