updated 11:30 pm EST, Mon February 25, 2013
Adoption rates on iOS devices reaches unbelievable levels
Ad network Chitika is reporting that iOS 6.1.2 has overtaken all other previous versions of iOS to become the top most-used version just four days after being released, despite coming just over a week after iOS 6.1.1 (which was available only to iPhone 4S users). The study, which measured mobile ad impressions across tens of millions of iOS devices from February 19 through to Sunday night, showed that iOS 6.1.2 is already accounting for more than 35 percent of North American iOS web traffic, making it the most popular single version.
Much of the staggering rate of adoption can be attributed to the ability of users to upgrade on the same day as a release, an ability denied to most users of the Android platform -- the latter group having to wait anywhere from a few weeks up to a year for version updates, even if security issues are involved. The graph of adoption (seen below) shows a corresponding drop in use of the initial release of iOS 6.1 and 6.1.1. Interestingly, the chart also shows that iOS 6.0 to 6.0.2 adoption remained steady, indicating that some iOS 6 users continue to wait voluntarily before upgrading, perhaps in the belief that not all iOS 6 bugs have yet been addressed.
Another factor in the rise of v6.1.2 is the addressing of a significant bug that interfered with Exchange email systems, resulting in resource overuse, heating issues and battery life -- which had been a major source of complaints with iOS 6.1. Indeed, Chitika notes that the adoption rate of the bug-fix-oriented 6.1.2 rivalled that of the highly-anticipated 6.0 major upgrade, indicating that the resolution of the Exchange bug was a strong motivator for users to upgrade.
Though it only took four days to surpass v6.1 as the most popular version, the latest results (which include another two days of polling) show the latest update approaching 45 percent adoption rates -- should it maintain that trajectory, it will top iOS 6.1's 60 percent share levels well before it concludes its second week of release. Unlike the 6.1.1 release, 6.1.2 also runs on iPads, iPod touch models and the iPhone 5 and 4.
The rapid adoption of iOS 6 and its subsequent updates have all but eliminated iOS devices running anything else -- other than those devices old enough not to have the option of running iOS 6). Because Apple included the three-year-old iPhone 3GS in the iOS 6 update, all but about 7.5 percent of iOS devices are running the latest major release, indicating that only about the same percentage of iPhones are still in use that can't upgrade to iOS 6.
About 92 percent of active iPhones are running some version of iOS 6, which was released in mid-September. The last major update, v6.1, was the second most-adopted version in the Chitika survey at 22.8 percent share, followed by v6.0.1 with 15.6 percent share. The 6.0 release is now down to 5.7 percent share.