The Macalope Daily: Rounding up

The latest Android adoption figures are out and—are you sitting down?—the current release, Ice Cream Sandwich, is up to an astonishing 10.9 percent.

Is that good? Well, it’s all relative, right? And relative to the adoption rates of other operating systems, no, it doesn’t seem so good.

The Next Web’s Jon Russell seems somehow divided on how to portray this (tip o’ the antlers to Jim Miles).

Adoption of ICS (Android 4.0) has continued to grow...

Yes! It has! Very slowwwwwwwwly. It would be a little odd if it had started to drop, wouldn’t it?

...and is up from 7.1 percent in June, but the ratio of devices it powers remains low against the total number of phones that Google classifies as ‘active’ in the market place.

Which is kind of the problem. Especially since Google CEO Eric “Three Crazy Statements Every Six Months or Your Money Back!” Schmidt proclaimed in December that Ice Cream Sandwich was what was going to propel developers to code for Android first.

Of course, even if Ice Cream Sandwich made up 110 percent of Android’s installed base, it probably wouldn’t cause developers to code for Android first because Android users just don’t seem as inclined to pay for apps as iOS users do. This, of course, is a problem Schmidt can’t solve, so he focuses on other things.

Google I/O saw the Mountain View based-firm reveal that it has activated 400 million Android devices to date, and it is adding to that figure at a rate of 1 million per day.

Based on the latest data and that device figure, we can approximate that there are around 42.8 million Ice Cream Sandwich powered devices.

Yes, we can! If we don’t mind being completely wrong.

Russell here assumes that all Android devices ever activated are still in use. Which, let’s face it, is probably a bit generous an assumption, don’t you think? Particularly considering the build quality of some of these things. Seriously.

Devices made by Apple generally retain their value better than those made by their competitors, but even the Macalope wouldn’t assume that every iOS-based device ever activated was stil in use.

The majority of Android devices are still running Gingerbread, a version introduced a year and a half ago. That’s not outrageously old in absolute terms, but compared to iOS adoption it’s no spring chicken and compared to the strategic pronouncements of Google's executives, it’s woefully inadequate.

[Editor’s Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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