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Android 4.0 and above eat away at Gingerbread

Newer versions of Google's operating system -- Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean -- are slowly but steadily gaining on the older and popular Gingerbread.

Data collected during a 14-day period ending on March 4, 2013. Google
Data collected during a 14-day period ending on March 4, 2013. Google

Android's Gingerbread operating system has sticking power, but it's finally starting to loosen its hold.

New numbers from Google show that nearly half of all Android devices are running versions of 4.0 and above -- surpassing Gingerbread's individual installed base.

Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.0, and Jelly Bean, 4.1 and 4.2, combined run on 45.1 percent of Android devices, according to numbers from the two week period ending on March 4. This is a 2.5 percent increase over last month.

However, individually, Gingerbread 2.3 still holds the majority of the market. It currently runs on 44.6 percent of Android devices -- dropping from 45.6 percent last month. Adding up Gingerbread and other earlier Android iterations, such as Honeycomb, Froyo, Eclair, Donut, the numbers equal 55.1 percent of device adoption.

Gingerbread, released in 2010, keeps its stronghold because it's the operating system that's typically used on less-expensive phones. However, Jelly Bean, released in June 2012, is steadily gaining mostly because of its integration on devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, and Google's Nexus brand such as the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.

A wrench could soon be thrown into all of this, however. Google is expected to announce the launch of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie sometime this spring.