Talk about adoption rates and iOS shares is more than academic, of interest only to developers, and more than just bragging rights about which operating system customers grab quickest.
In a separate post Monday (subscription required), Dawson pointed out that for iOS 6 through iOS 8, each succeeding version topped out at a lower level: 2012's iOS 6, for example, reached 94% by Apple's accounting, while iOS 7 and 8 peaked at 92% and 87%, respectively. The adoption rate slump, Dawson added, could be due to any number of reasons, including user apathy, larger-sized upgrades, older devices falling off the list and device owners deliberately choosing to stick with the tried-and-true rather than risk problems.
OS fragmentation has plagued Android devices for years -- the latest version, November 2014's Lollipop, currently has a 21% share, less than iOS 9 accumulated in days -- a trait Apple has at times used to knocked its mobile rival. But iOS suffers from fragmentation as well, albeit one much less substantial.
Thus far, iOS 9 appears to running counter to the fragmentation trend, as it's leading last year's iOS 8 in the preliminary numbers, Dawson said.
And iOS, even at lower peaks, remains the standard other operating systems, even Apple's also-free OS X, must be measured by. "Anyone can get it, you get prompted to upgrade, and after the first 24 hours, it's usually a smooth process," said Dawson when asked why iOS led other OSes in uptake. "These are devices you use daily," Dawson added, unlike a personal computer, Mac or not. "And you get a new phone, to some extent [with each upgrade]."
iOS 9's early adoption -- as of 10 a.m. PT Tuesday -- was 8 percentage points higher than 2014's iOS 8 at the same point in its release cycle, but remained far behind -- more than 18 points -- 2013's iOS 7, still the benchmark. Click on image to enlarge. Data: Mixpanel
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