updated 11:26 pm EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Figure based on visits to the App Store, growing at one percent a month
Ahead of the forthcoming iOS 8 update, expected in the fall, Apple has told developers that iOS 7 is now running on 90 percent of iOS devices using the App Store, indicating a growth rate of about one percent per month. The penetration level of iOS 7 is consequently, like most other iOS versions before it, the most quickly-adopted operating system update ever, on any major platform. The result was garnered from visits to the App Store over a seven-day period that ended on July 13.
The company's previous update in April indicated 87 percent adoption, with 11 percent still on iOS 6. The latter figure has now dropped to nine percent with just two percent running an OS version below iOS 6. The ability of Apple to get users to adopt iOS updates in record numbers has strengthened the developer community, which can target future products to be exclusive to the latest OS at the expected time of launch without fear of wide compatibility issues. Ad marketing firm Chitika had previously posted that iPhones had achieved the 90 percent penetration at the end of May, but the average overall was brought down to 88 percent by the slightly-lower adoption rate of iPad users.
Most users update within the first few weeks of availability -- in December, iOS 7 had achieved 78 percent adoption within its first three months. The next update, iOS 8, will not only improve on existing features in iOS 7 (and share compatibility with most devices, except the iPhone 4), but add new features such as Handoff to OS X 10.10 Yosemite, smart home appliance support, the new Health app, better app integration with system services and much more.
Apple is expected to launch iOS 8 alongside the next generation of iPhone, presumably called the iPhone 6, which is expected to offer at least one model with a larger, 4.7-inch display. Currently, this is expected to happen sometime in September or October. There have been unconfirmed rumors of the company also developing a 5.5-inch model, but to date no solid evidence has been revealed that would indicate such a device is currently in or about to enter mass production.