Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean catching Android king Gingerbread

Android users can't seem to quit Gingerbread, though Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean combined now top the aging Android OS.

According to February Android developer statistics, Gingerbread is still found on 44.1 per cent of Android-based devices; the more recent Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean together barely edge out the competition, with a combined 45.1 per cent.

A growing number of users have adopted Jelly Bean, the most recent version of the platform, reaching a total 16.5 per cent of devices — more than last month's 13.6 per cent, and even higher than January's 10.2 per cent. A majority of those are still running 4.1, while almost 1.6 per cent have upgraded to 4.2.

The imminent launch of Samsung's Galaxy S4 will inevitably boost the popularity of Android 4.2, which Google has already pushed out to its Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets, as well as the Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus smartphones.

Meanwhile, almost 29 per cent of Android-based devices are running Ice Cream Sandwich, which has held steady over months, never quite breaching the 30 per cent line. Barely one per cent of users are running the tablet-centric Android 3.1 Honeycomb, which landed just above an Android original, Donut, at 0.2 per cent.

Another 1.9 per cent are powered by Éclair, while 7.5 per cent use Froyo.

No matter the distribution of the platform, Google's Android remains the most popular mobile OS, with 52.3 per cent of the huge US market. Samsung has been a top seller for the operating system, gaining 1.9 per cent to land in the market at 21.4 per cent during the three-month period that ended in January, according to comScore. Apple nabbed almost 38 per cent of the market during the same period.

App developers are also setting their sights on the popular system, shifting gears to focus on building for Android, according to ABI Research, which suggested an "Android first" developer approach this year.