Where is the Gingerbread love? Only 4% of Android devices have Gingerbread

As of May 2nd, only 4 percent of Android users have Gingerbread. The break down is 3 percent for 2.3.3 and 1 percent for 2.3.

Gingerbread was released 5 months ago on the Nexus S. We are expecting Ice Cream Sandwich to be announced shortly.

This is not a good situation. I still believe that most mainstream consumers are not concerned with what version of Android they are running, but what about the hardcores? We knew that the custom UI’s (Sense, Blur, Touchwiz) that are being installed on top of Android were going to be a problem, but it seems like it is getting worse.

Google introduced Froyo about 1 year ago and 65.9 percent of devices have it. This is disappointing. I am thinking that when Gingerbread is 1 year old, the percentage will be less. This is a trend that needs to be stopped. We are supposed to be excited when Google announces a new version of Android, but if you have to wait 6 or more months for it, then why get excited?

I wrote in a recent article that one of the main manufacturers should abandon their UI in favor of stock Android. They would be able to handle updates faster than the competition. Either one of the manufacturers needs to step up, or Google needs to offer the Nexus on all carriers.

It always comes down to the mainstream vs. the hardcores and the mainstream always wins because the hardcores represent such a small market share. This is why Apple has been so successful over the years. They cater to the mainstream and take away choice. The mainstreamer doesn’t know what they are missing.

If you are on the Android side of the fence and care about the updates, you have to be careful what you buy, especially if you are signing a 2 year contract.

[via android developers]

About the Author: Robert Nazarian

Robert lives in upstate New York where he was born and raised. Technology was always his passion. His first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80 Color that used a cassette tape to save programs, and his first laptop was a Toshiba T1200FB that sported a CGA greyscale screen and two 720kb floppy drives (no hardrive). From the early 90’s through late 2011, he only owned Motorola phones starting with the MircroTAC all the way through to the Droid X. He broke that streak when he bought the Galaxy Nexus. Now he's sporting a Galaxy Note 4, and absolutely loves it. He has a wonderful wife and a 6 year old son. In his free time he enjoys sports, movies, TV, working out, and trying to keep up with the rapid fast world of technology.

  • http://c4n00bs.posterous.com James

    With HTC rolling out the Incredible S, Desire HD update along with a few new 2.3 devices the numbers should rise for next month… especially is samsung get off their ass!

  • Sam Ali

    It sure is correct for us Android users. I have an HTC Desire and have been waiting on the Android 2.3 for months now and Telstra is taking its jolly good time in releasing it. I am sick of having the Sense UI as it is the only thing which is slowing me down from having the latest update. Besides,the latest update should be worldwide and not carrier-wide or phone wide. I don’t get why google is digging their own grave when they can easily do this and compete even fiercely with Apple products.
    I was looking to buy the Samsung Nexus S which already has the 2.3 Gingerbread but then I am stuck with this Telstra Desire for another 6 months.

  • The Wolf Sage

    This is exactly why the manufacturer custom UI’s need to die. All they do is cause fragmentation and slow updates to a crawl. At least three of the major carriers will have a pure Google phone once Sprint gets the Nexus S. We Verizon customers are just out of luck.

  • curse

    Galaxy S(I9000) got official GB just some weeks ago, it’ll take some time before all have upgraded.

  • http://www.dolphinfree.net Tenkely

    Buy a pure Google experience device if you want updates quickly. 2.3.4 is very snappy on my N1. #supportnexus

  • Noise

    it is simple. If you are an hardcore user go for a stock android, otherwise u’ll be happy with your not up to date personalized ui.

    Personally I have a htc desire and i’m ok with having gingerbread in 1 or 2 months. My phone is already awesome as it is :)

  • http://c4n00bs.posterous.com James

    Id love a nexus device!!

  • The Wolf Sage

    Tenkely, I wish Verizon had a pure Google device so I could buy it. As it stands right now the only way for me to get AOSP Android is to root my Incredible and install Cyanogenmod, and with the number of new phones being released with locked bootloaders that might not be such an easy option in the future. Besides, that still wouldn’t address the fragmentation the custom UI’s cause.

  • http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/ralphieboyo/1/1293297759/tpod.html Ralphie Boyo

    How do I update to GB? I have a Motorola Droid Global…

  • NerdArmy

    Its the manufacturers – its not in their interest to update your existing to the latest firmware – they want you to buy the latest model.

  • steph

    I have an out of contract N1 from Vodafone (UK). This was meant to be a vanilla handset, but we still have to wait months before getting upgrades. I was tempted by the Nexus S, but haven’t heard many good reports so am still swithering.

  • Nick

    I have an i9000 and I’m not updating to GB due to the crap firmware that was released. Until they come up with a bug free and stable release I’m not switching.

  • jeckhoff

    The only people who care about what version of android they are running is us. Us who read the blogs, xda, and root. I could care less about how fast the updates are coming because I’m running 2.3.3 (rooted of course). I’m hoping once ice cream drops they will try to start getting all phones to that version (and google will stop updating so much after that). If you want a newer OS just root…cyanogen anyone?

  • Crystal

    Nexus One was updated to 2.3.4

  • http://www.twitter.com/dalex7777 Daniel

    What’s worse is the 24.5% of devices that are still on Eclair. What percent of those do you want to bet are on Samsung? 90%?

    Let’s face facts: there is only one manufacturer who has been able to add consisten value to Android via their custom UI. You know who they are because you can actually get their UI ported to other manufacturer’s devices via custom ROM’s. And when a new version of their UI comes out, it actually makes news.

    All of the other UI’s, seem to slow down the manufacturer’s ability to deliver recent updates to Android on time. And one of the primary OEM’s seems to just struggle with software in general, and if they had not been chosen for the last Nexus device, I think they would still be figuring out how to put Froyo on their devices.

    This is a sad state of affairs, and I think it should culminate in this: HTC should be allowed to continue to provide Sense, and all other custom UI’s should go away with or after Ice Cream.

    The number of devices that Samsung, Motorola and LG are still announcing products e.g. Infuse 4G, Motorola Droid Bionic, LG Optimus Black that are shipping with 2.2 is embarrassing.

  • Rygle

    Gingerbread’s main new feature as far as I can see is better power management. A fairly similar gain can be gotten by using JuiceDefender on a Froyo ROM. There has been some tinkering around the edges but nothing as significant as Froyo.

    Froyo was a big step up from previous versions, among other things because it allowed apps on the SD car and added flash. So in my view I wouldn’t be incredibly worried about the update to Gingerbread.

    If you are worried there are plenty of custom ROMs that allow anyone (who has the courage to root their phone) access to Gingerbread and now 2.3.4 is coming out.

    Also if you just don’t like sense, you can run an alternative launcher without any rooting necessary. There are several available in the market.

  • curse

    Daniel – my HTC is still on Donut and won’t get upgraded by HTC, my Samsung got gingerbread, official from Samsung… The problems you’ve had with slow Samsung updates in the US is your carriers that wanna add crapware(bing search?) to and remove features(tether) from their most popular phones.

    I know most people in the US blame Samsung for slow updates and praise HTC, but it’s selected phones on selected carriers and usually the carriers to blame.