Latest Android developer numbers show Gingerbread is still on a third of Android devices

Android 2.3 Gingerbread is a thorn in Google’s backside. It’s the version of their mobile operating system that simply refuses to die. Why? Because it was the last version of Android before Android became not just pretty, but incredibly bloaty too. No one really wants to talk about this in Europe or the US, but the bulk of Android devices being sold today cost less than $100 and run a two year old version of Android because that’s all cheap chips can support.

And with that, the news: Google has updated their Android Developers Page, the one that shows you which versions of Android have recently accessed the Google Play Store. In the lead, there’s Android 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean. Combined, they account for over 40% of Android devices. Next up is Android 2.3 Gingerbread with 33%. After that is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with just over 22%.

Does this mean Android fragmentation is a serious issue? Yes and no. If you’re a developer trying to make money, then you’re wasting your time trying to make your app work on a device that someone bought for less than $100. Why do you think they bought they phone? Because they’re broke. If you target the flagship phones, the ones people with disposable income purchase, then you’re doing the right thing. Considering Jelly Bean is on four out of ten Android phones, you’re golden.

Screw backwards compatibility.