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iOS 6 adoption rate remarkable: 93% of iPhone, 83% of iPad owners

updated 09:00 pm EDT, Thu June 6, 2013

Nearly all users on iOS 6 among active-use iPhone, iPad devices

While users of each of the two major mobile platforms debate each one's merits and issues, in one aspect of comparison there is a clear and unequivocal difference between Android and iOS: Apple has a serious advantage when it comes to having its userbase all on the latest major version of its smartphone and tablet OS. A new study by mobile ad and market analyst Chitika shows that an astonishing 92.7 percent of iPhone owners are using iOS 6 as of June, while 82.9 percent of iPad owners are also using iOS 6 -- far ahead of Android users on OS 4.1 or later ("Jelly Bean").

The finding, Chitika says, reinforces the idea that "[iOS users] tend to be serial updaters," meaning that they immediately or swiftly update to the latest OS version as soon as it is available. In the case of iOS 6.1, it became the top iOS version just four days after release. While iOS updates have not been completely without glitches, they generally add features and broadly benefit the user -- and are rarely the source of any new issues, meaning users have built up a trust and reliability on them.

Developers find this to be a major advantage of iOS over other mobile OSes, particularly Android. A high uniformity of users on the latest OS version means two things from their perspective: first, that a majority of active users are using recent hardware, and second that they can develop and code their projects to take full advantage of the latest OS rather than having to spend time and effort preparing different versions for different OS levels.

While Google also routinely updates its Android OS with improvements and fixes, the so-called "fragmentation" of delivery -- which is generally controlled by carriers rather than Google or users -- means that many devices never receive more than one update, and in some cases never receive any. Even when updates are customized and released by carriers, they often take weeks or months to do so -- slowing adoption and take the impetus away from users to update with any sense of immediacy. As a result, most Android users are at least one version and usually two or more major versions behind the latest Android OS version.

Figures from Google itself show that more than 40 percent of users are still using as far back as version 2.x of the Android operating system -- a figure that rises to 66 percent when including "Ice Cream Sandwich," the previous major release (4.0.x). Google's statistics -- which were recently altered to favor users who interact with the Play online store and thus "hide" some devices on older versions of the OS -- show that only one-third of Android owners have access to the latest "Jelly Bean" (4.1 and higher) release, which has vitally important security and functionality upgrades included in it.

Even iPad owners, who lag behind iPhone users on upgrading, have an overwhelming plurality of users on the latest version -- an unusual figure in a PC-oriented electronics paradigm that says that most users rarely (and sometimes never) upgrade the OS on their computers from the one it shipped with, often preferring to wait until the hardware is replaced. Chikita analysts say that iPad owners may be slower to adopt iOS 6 due to the focus of the update being aimed at cellular devices like the iPhone (improved turn-by-turn navigation, Siri commands, FaceTime over 3G/LTE networks) where the majority of iPads sold are Wi-Fi only, meaning most new features in iOS 6 wouldn't necessarily be useful for such users. There are also a significant number (perhaps as many as 15 million) of the original iPad model still in use that cannot upgrade to iOS 6, topping out at version 5.1.1.

The Chitika study portends good news for developers in terms of being able to count on users swiftly upgrading to iOS 7 when it is released later this year. Barring a major flaw or user dislike of the redesigned iOS version, which is being handled by Senior VP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple and developers can expect that by year's end, a clear majority of users will be running the new release.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Truthsayer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-06-13

    What a piece of Apple loving drivel. I have never read such a shameless pro-Apple garbage! Just report the news with editorialising and denigrating Android at every opportunity. So what if iOS 6 adoption is high? That makes iOS better than Android does it? LOL.

  1. EstaNightshift

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 07-19-12

    Nice of you to stop by with your one post.

    While I didn't write the story, can you find one factually incorrect item in it? If so, we'll happily fix any inaccuracies.

  1. seanpatterson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-04-11

    I'm not sure how useful these adoption rate numbers really are, but that said, Apple's would be higher if they would stop removing useful features with major updates (I'm thinking RSS here, but I could probably think of another feature of two, given time). I like iOS 5. It works, and works well!

  1. Truthsayer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-06-13

    Is that what you do at this site, put down users who post a comment that doesn't agree with you Cupertino-centric world view?

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    When you come along and and bad-mouth an article without offering *any* sort of counter-argument to the newsworthiness of it, you should expect some pushback and being called out for empty trashtalking, yes.

    The name of the site is "MacNN." It is, by definition, Apple-centric. But that doesn't mean it's always pro-Apple. For example:

    http://www.electronista.com/articles/13/06/05/company.looking.to.keep.speeds.relatively.even.between.carriers/

    Not really very "pro-Apple garbage," is it?

  1. EstaNightshift

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 07-19-12

    Originally Posted by TruthsayerView Post

    Is that what you do at this site, put down users who post a comment that doesn't agree with you Cupertino-centric world view?



    I personally didn't put you down.

    What factual differences do you have with the article? Like I said, if there are any, I'll happily fix them.

    Did you look at the source report?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by TruthsayerView Post

    What a piece of Apple loving drivel. I have never read such a shameless pro-Apple garbage! Just report the news with editorialising and denigrating Android at every opportunity. So what if iOS 6 adoption is high? That makes iOS better than Android does it? LOL.



    Yes, that's exactly what it does. Don't take our words for it: Ask a developer.

  1. Truthsayer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-06-13

    Freedom of speech - ever heard of the concept? It really is 'remarkable.' Nothing remarkable about forcing Apple users to use iTunes, which then pushes users to update. Of course the figure is going to be high. Let's hope the are no 'major flaws' in the iOS 7 - no going back once you do. After the Maps debacle, users might be less swift to upgrade. Once bitten, twice shy as they say.

  1. Truthsayer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-06-13

    @Spheric Harlot - there is a certain smugness to your remarks. Think fragmentation isn't an issue for Apple too? Already users are quickly being left behind by developers who are not making apps for the original iPad and earlier iPhones. Even Apple has stopped extending the full features of iOS 6 to phones like the iPhone 4 that it is still selling to customers. And even though iOS 6 has been out for a year, there plenty of lazy Apple developers out the who haven't updated their apps to work on the larger iPhone 5 screen. This story is not news to anybody - it's just stating the bleeding obvious.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by TruthsayerView Post

    Freedom of speech - ever heard of the concept? It really is 'remarkable.' Nothing remarkable about forcing Apple users to use iTunes, which then pushes users to update. Of course the figure is going to be high. Let's hope the are no 'major flaws' in the iOS 7 - no going back once you do. After the Maps debacle, users might be less swift to upgrade. Once bitten, twice shy as they say.



    Methinks the Lady doth protest too much.

    A) freedom of speech works both ways. If it goes for you, it goes for people who call your claims unsubstantiated bullshit.

    B) this is a private website. Freedom of speech does not apply to comments posted here.

    Your problem with people on this site have nothing to do with free speech; that approach to dealing with disagreement is not going to fly.

    Having got that out of the way:
    Nobody is forced to use iTunes to use an iOS device, nor to update it.

    Good luck rolling back that Android device to an earlier version. Oh wait, you never actually got an update for it in the first place, because the update was never approved by the carrier or adapted by the manufacturer for your device. If it were offered automatically, of course everybody would install it. Or are you telling me that you're living with the critical security holes from two years ago OUT OF CHOICE? :rolleyes:

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by TruthsayerView Post

    @Spheric Harlot - there is a certain smugness to your remarks. Think fragmentation isn't an issue for Apple too? Already users are quickly being left behind by developers who are not making apps for the original iPad and earlier iPhones. Even Apple has stopped extending the full features of iOS 6 to phones like the iPhone 4 that it is still selling to customers. And even though iOS 6 has been out for a year, there plenty of lazy Apple developers out the who haven't updated their apps to work on the larger iPhone 5 screen. This story is not news to anybody - it's just stating the bleeding obvious.



    I'm not aware of any app that stopped working exactly the same way as it did before when people switched to the iPhone 5.

    And yes, lesser hardware gets fewer new features. Hello technology world, we've lived with this since the dawn of technology, but I personally have dealt with it for about 25 years.

    iOS 6 has nothing to do with the iPhone 5. I'm running it happily on my 4S, and I even got new features when it was offered to me automatically on my phone, including panoramic photos. For free! On a phone I'd paid Apple for a whole year earlier, so no financial incentive to them, except increasing the likelihood that my next phone will also be an iPhone.

    The iPhone 3GS was released four years ago and got the same updates, with all the security features and iMessage, sans some newer features.

    OF COURSE there is some fragmentation on the Apple side, but if you're honestly trying to make the case that it's even remotely as bad as on the Android side of things, you are out of your bloody mind.
    If developers support only A SINGLE iOS version, they've already covered 9 out of 10 iPhone users, and 4 out of 5 iPad users.

  1. Truthsayer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-06-13

    Yes, you really do get taken by your own brilliance don't you? There a plenty of iOS apps that don't use the full screen of the iPhone 5. Your pearls of wisdom are truly priceless. This is a 'private website' hahahahahahaha.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by TruthsayerView Post

    Yes, you really do get taken by your own brilliance don't you? There a plenty of iOS apps that don't use the full screen of the iPhone 5.



    I distinctly remember mentioning that.

    Are they in any way less functional for not having been updated than they were before?

    Do the developers in any way have to budget time and effort for supporting these new devices when they are released? Or can they just assume that stuff will continue working exactly as before, with ZERO effort on their part, and they can adapt to the new resolution eventually, or not, at their leisure?

    There's software fragmentation, and hardware fragmentation.

    There are three currently supported iPhone/iPod touch resolutions: 3.5", 3.5" retina, and 4". Also, there is a total of six different hardware configurations over the past six years. Yes. That is fragmentation. Very good.
    How many target resolutions do developers have for Android phones? How many hardware configurations and chipset combinations?

    This article is about software, which is another moving target for developers. I appreciate that you completely failed to address my post on that matter, despite replying to it, so I take it you agree with my points.

    Pray tell, what is your point?


    Also, pulling the "free speech" card on the internet really is the dumbest troll trick, so the joke's on you there.

  1. Truthsayer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-06-13

    You really are so clever and have such an amazing intellect - I am truly envious. I wish I was you!

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Pray tell, what is your point?

  1. Truthsayer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-06-13

    That's right, keep feeding the troll. More fool you.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by TruthsayerView Post

    That's right, keep feeding the troll. More fool you.



    :lol:

    Guilty as charged. I should probably stop feeding, but shooting trolls in a barrel is the only sport I get around to these days.


    So apart from that Apple forces iOS uses to use iTunes (which they don't), you have nothing to support your claim that iOS' high and fast adoption rate is not an advantage it has over Android?

    Your posts devolved into the Free Speech and ad hominem fallacies rather quickly. I was hoping for some substance. All we got was windy blahblahbbering about feeling "put down" by somebody who simply requested that you substantiate your claims by pointing to inaccuracies.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    And I'm happily using iOS 6 on my 3Gs. 3Gs!!! ;)

  1. Truthsayer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-06-13

    "ad hominem fallacies" - you really are a

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    I take it you've never heard of logical fallacies?

    It's big words that means you're stupid. :P

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