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According to the Android Developer Dashboard, the market share of Android 3.2 is only 0.1%, and no other 3.x version has even as much as that. Versions 2.x and 4.x have all the market share.

Can someone please explain why there's a whole major version of Android that is apparently unused, while the previous and the next major versions are in wide use? Was 3.x quickly replaced by 4 and all devices forced to upgrade? What would have made 3.x so bad that no one uses it?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted
  • Honeycomb was a tablet-only version of the OS
  • It was only ever released for a few devices
  • The source code was never released not released until the source for Ice Cream Sandwich was available, and even then the Android devs noted that 3.x source was not complete
  • It never had much in the way of market share

See also:

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"The source code was never released". This again. The source code was released with v4. – Alex May 14 '13 at 19:53
@Poldie: I missed that. Have a source? If so, I'll gladly update my answer. – Al E. May 14 '13 at 19:56!msg/android-building/… "This release includes the full history of the Android source code tree, which naturally includes all the source code for the Honeycomb releases. However, since Honeycomb was a little incomplete, we want everyone to focus on Ice Cream Sandwich. So, we haven't created any tags that correspond to the Honeycomb releases (even though the changes are present in the history.) – Alex May 14 '13 at 19:58
I see your update. To be clear, Google have stated that Honeycomb was incomplete; all its source has been published, though. – Alex May 14 '13 at 20:08
I'd add one more bullet point, that a lot of devices that were initially sold with 3.x have since been upgraded to 4.x. – GAThrawn May 15 '13 at 10:21

To build on Al Everett's answer:

Yes, 3.x was a tablet only version of Android. The user base is phone dominated until more recently, but now Android tablets are coming with 4.x. Since the first Android tablets came out with 2.x (the first Galaxy Tab) I am assuming that there was an initial tablet crowd that picked that up instead of an iPad, which was dominant in the market at the time to begin with, and then when 3.x came out there was some hesitation for the unfamiliar since there was no way of knowing what 3.x was like since it was not available for the phones that users already possessed.

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Thanks for the additional info. +1 – Joshua Frank May 14 '13 at 23:17

For a Vendor to release a 3.x tablet its hardware needs to be approved by google. Very few vendors hardware was approved to release their Tablet with 3.X version. Devices with 3.x are less in the market so are the downloads

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