Jelly Bean's sloth-like rise waits for Nexus jumpstart

Jelly Bean's gradual climb in the Android platform distribution charts continues its slow ascent, though Google's latest stats indicate Ice Cream Sandwich is still growing faster than the newer version. The new figures, which measure active Android OS installs accessing the Google Play market in a two week period, suggest 4.1 Jelly Bean is now on 2.7-percent of active devices, up from 1.8-percent a month ago.

However, Ice Cream Sandwich installs rose 2.1-percent in the same period, from 23.7-percent in October's figures, to 25.8-percent at the start of this month. The loss appears to have been primarily from Gingerbread devices, which fell 1.6-percent, though a decline in the comparative number of Froyo and earlier models also contributed.

The change in numbers lends credence to the idea that old devices are simply languishing, forgotten by manufacturers, and the only real changes in software are happening with phones roughly twelve months in age. Sony's recent decision not to roll out Jelly Bean to pre-2012 devices is a good example of that, with the fast pace of Android version changes meaning OEMs are struggling to keep up across their ranges.

Google's tablet-dedicated platform, Honeycomb, also proved reasonably steady, dropping only 0.1-percent in the month. That may well change when the Nexus 10 goes on sale, however, running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.