The latest numbers from Android’s Current Distribution page reveal somewhat exciting results for the folks in Mountain View. Android 4.1 – 4.2 Jelly Bean has now crossed the 10 percent threshold for all Android devices on the market. It now sits at 10.2-percent. Additionally, Gingerbread has dropped below the 50 percent mark for the first time in over a year, as Ice Cream Sandwich made gains to get close to 29.1-percent total share. Maybe this is how things should have always been. But, at any rate, sales from the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, and more seem to be paying off.
Sometimes it is fun to take a break from reviewing the newest high-end Android phones out there to see what the other end of the spectrum has to offer. Virgin announced its new low-end phone, the PCD Chaser, which is just $79.99 without signing up for a plan.
Virgin offers unlimited data 3G plans starting at $35 a month. So, you are looking at just under $500 for a year of this phone with unlimited data. That is an incredible deal for an Android 2.3 device that does not totally suck. The Chaser comes with many of the same specs as the previous Virgin-base model, the Optimus V, including a 3-megapixel camera, 800MHz processor, 3.2-inch display, and hardware buttons. The Chaser adds the new, lower $80 price tag and Android 2.3, which the low-cost folks will welcome. However, those who want to see Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean on their devices will lament (Virgin never updated the Optimus V, so do not expect this one to get an upgrade either).
It is still a remarkable little device that once retailed for $149 (but lately it is often on-sale for much less). The Optimus included a 2GB Micro-USB card, but the Chaser does not, which frankly is pretty petty. Although the phone has a low-end camera, you cannot take videos or still images until you buy a Micro-SD card. Lame. I was able to take some borderline decent pictures and movies once I popped in an SD Card. Therefore, this might actually be a step down from the Optimus V.
Otherwise, this fine Android device will be a good step up for feature phone users. Some notes:
HTC plans to push Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to its popular line of One smartphones. HTC Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon issued the following statement to The Verge:
“We know HTC fans are excited to get their hands on Google’s latest version of Android. At this point in time, we can confirm that we have plans to upgrade our HTC One X, HTC One XL and HTC One S to Jelly Bean. Please stay tuned for more updates regarding device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Jelly Bean.”
It is worth noting the One V is missing from the company’s update list.
With the rollout of Jelly Bean to a number of new devices just around the corner, Google updated its platform statistics today on the Android Developers website. After having been released for nine months, Ice Cream Sandwich was able to post an increase. However, it remains at just under 11 percent of total Android devices. That is an increase of approximately 3.8-percent for ICS 4.0 and 4.0.4, and it definitely highlights the fragmentation issues Android continues to face. Jelly Bean is not included in the platform stats, because it has not launched on any devices available to consumers.
Google also released updated information about the number of devices currently utilizing a particular screen configuration. The graph below shows the majority of Android devices are still running what Google classified as “Normal/hdpi,” which is a configuration that includes devices roughly 3.5-inches to 4.5-inches with at least 470dp-by-320dp:
In its bi-monthly report, Google posted some impressive numbers on Ice Cream Sandwich and bragged its latest mobile operating system was installed on 7.1-percent of all Android handsets. Ice Cream Sandwich was released on the Galaxy Nexus last fall, and the Roboto-filled OS now seems to be making some headway on the charts. Google’s second oldest version of Android, Gingerbread, still leads the way, however, with 65 percent of Android’s user base. It is worth noting that Gingerbread also saw a bit of growth during the last few weeks. We cannot wait to see where Ice Cream Sandwich heads before the release of Jelly Bean. Hopefully, we will hear more information on Jelly Bean at this year’s Google I/O happening from June 27 to June 29. In the mean time, you can check out the graphs after the break for the full breakdown.