updated 06:00 pm EST, Tue November 8, 2011
iPod Touch owners much slower to upgrade
Chitika Insights, a market survey and analysis firm, has analyzed IOS traffic from the last week of October -- just two weeks after the release of iOS 5 -- and found that nearly 38 percent of iPhone users had already adopted the new platform, with 30 percent of iPad owners doing the same. Owners of the iPod Touch were the least likely to immediately upgrade, with only 12.2 percent having done so at the time of the survey. The survey also determined what portion of iOS device users were on an earlier iteration.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of owners of all three types of devices were still on iOS 4, with iPod Touch owners leading at 78.3 percent, followed by iPad users at 63.2 percent and iPhone users at 58.7 percent. The significantly lower rate of iOS 5 adoption for iPod Touch users in the survey may be explained by the more casual-use nature of the product, which is mainly utilized "on the go" rather than at home, and see the iPad and iPhone as more productive devices that have a greater need to stay up-to-date.
The survey also showed that iOS 3.x has, for practical purposes, all but disappeared from use, with only 8.8 percent of iPod Touch owners using it, 6.5 percent of iPad owners using it, and only 3.2 percent of iPhone users still on it. The low percentage of iPhone users still on 3.x is thought to be a combination of users who cannot upgrade (still using the original iPhone) or those who use later models primarily as a phone (and who don't buy apps) and thus don't have a compelling reason to upgrade.
The information clears the way for developers to stop including iOS 3.x compatibility in their apps, though a surprising number continue to do so. It also shows that iPhone and iPad owners are interested in staying up-to-date and are likely to upgrade quickly following a new release in order to take advantage of new functionality.
The higher statistic for the iPhone could be due to the high popularity of the iPhone 4S, which sold 4 million units in its first weekend and which only runs on iOS 5. The research also backs up Chitika's previous finding that iOS 5 soared to 20 percent of all iOS traffic just five days after release, a record number for Apple.