Apple released iOS 7 to the general public just over a week ago, and a number of sources say that, in the intervening 8 days, it has been installed on more than 50% of all Apple devices.
Several mobile advertising companies and software developers track the operating systems of the tablets and smartphones that their ads/apps are displayed on. Three of these say that the iOS 7 adoption rate is over 50%.
Chitika says 52% of iOS devices accessing its network are on the latest version of Apple’s system software, Fiksu pegs the number at 58%, while Mixpanel says the rate is at 61%.
The percantage of devices that run a new operating system is important to developers — while Apple generally includes new APIs and other features for developers, coders don’t want to release software that requires these new features before the OS has been very broadly adopted.
iOS 6 vs. iOS 7
Both Chitika and Fiksu say that users have adopted iOS 7 at a higher rate than they did iOS 6 in the same number of days.
This might be because the latest version of Apple’s OS includes a significant re-design, while the previous one was not nearly so major a change, although it included a some new features and enhancements.
The Vertical Company Advantage
Because Apple is both the developer of iOS and the sole maker of devices running this operating system, the company has an easy job of rolling out upgrades to large numbers of users and a wide array of devices — every iPad but the original one can be upgraded to iOS 7, and so can the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5.
Google, by contrast, has to send generic versions of each new Android OS edition to the companies that make tablets and smartphones running it, who then have to turn around and modify it for their devices. This slows down the upgrade process, and reduces the number of models that get new versions.
Of course, Google’s strategy of licensing Android has advantages: with multiple companies making devices running this operating system, there are far more options available. But it does slow down system software upgrades.