Android 4.3 is probably more popular than most people are assuming

Google has updated the Android dashboards with statistics of Android version distribution for the week ending on September 4, 20313. As expected, newer versions of Android are slowly becoming more popular, while the ever-lasting Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is slowly disappearing.

The notable fact is the absence on statistics of the very latest Android version, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. This version is already available in a few devices, most notably the Nexus tablets and phones, but it is nowhere to be seen in the current charts.

Android version distribution

Other news sources have also reported on the news, noting the absence of 4.3 and sometimes speculating that version simply doesn’t have enough penetration to show on the chart; that is, 4.3 is in less than 0.1% of the existing Android devices right now.

I don’t believe that is true.

I checked the statistics for 4 different applications I have access to on Google Play. Of all 4, the one with the oldest audience – an application that supports Android up to version 1.6 – currently has 1.03% of its users on Android 4.3. Other two applications (for Android 2.2 and up) have 4.3 at 1.54% and 6.45%. The last one, Kana Mind, has 7.27% of its 8,600 user devices at version 4.3 (and this is an application with global reach).

While these are just four data points, and with some skew towards a western audience at that, it makes me believe 4.3 is already at more than 0.1% globally, but that Google has decided to hide those numbers from the charts for the time being for reasons unknown. My guess is that in a month or so, when the chart is updated, we’ll see 4.3 showing around 2 or 3% of the global market. While still pretty low in the grand scheme of things, it’s more than the nothingness that some websites are choosing to believe.