updated 08:47 pm EDT, Wed September 25, 2013
US adoption seemingly slower, just over 52 percent upgraded so far
Data on global and US adoption of iOS 7 (from Mixpanel and Chitika, respectively) paint somewhat different pictures, but show the same trend: iOS 7 is now on more iOS devices than there are those it isn't on, a crucial crossing of the 50 percent threshold that occurred in the US one week after its release, while globally iOS 7 crossed the mark on Saturday -- just over 36 hours after it first became available. By all measures, iOS 7 adoption has outpaced iOS 6 rates from last year.
According to new figures released from mobile ad network and stats analyst Chitika, 52 percent of eligible iOS device owners in the US and Canada have installed iOS 7 on their devices. Mixpanel, which draws from a more global sampling, reports adoption of iOS 7 at around 60 percent (the figure fluctuates as usage patterns change, meaning the exact percentage goes up and down on a an upward slope over the course of the day).
Some factors behind the faster adoption may include the time at which the iOS 7 upgrade first appeared (around midnight in most time zones, meaning many in the US didn't upgrade until later the first day), server buckling from the intense demand, the cumulative effect of global sales of the latest iPhones compared to just the US and Canada, and other possibilities. Chitika noted that its figures jumped 20 percent from its previous report, which was issued two days after the iOS 7 release but before the new iPhone models went on sale.
Apple has reported that nine million new iPhones, all of which are running iOS 7, were sold in first three days of general availability -- also boosting later adoption of iOS 7 following its release last Wednesday. Chikita reported that iOS 7 reached nearly 20 percent of the North American base within the first 24 hours, and climbed a further 12 percent on Thursday, the last day before the new iPhones debuted at retail.
By comparison, iOS 6 took three days to hit 30 percent. By the time iOS 7 was released, iOS 6 was on a staggering 93 percent of iOS devices -- with another four percent on iOS 5 and three percent on miscellaneous earlier versions (most likely to be still-active but older early-generation iOS devices that are "stuck" on a given OS version and can't upgrade beyond that). Mixpanel reports the iOS 5 and earlier percentage of users has now dropped to a steady average of just over three percent of active users.
The new iOS 7 works with most iPads (except the original one), the three most current iPhones prior to Friday's debut (the iPhone 4, 4S and 5) and the fifth-generation iPod touch. While there have been some reports of teething troubles with the redesigned OS, overall problem reports have been minimal by comparison with earlier releases. The iOS 7 release appears to be well on its way to fulfilling Apple CEO Tim Cook's prediction that it would soon be the "single most popular mobile operating system in the world," thanks in large part to Android fragmentation -- no current or single version of Android has a larger user base than the given current version of iOS.