Data Monday: Faster Mobile OS Adoption Rates

by Luke Wroblewski September 30, 2012

Each new mobile operating system version comes packed with features and fixes that app designers want to take advantage of. Thankfully adoption rates of new mobile operating systems from Apple and Google are picking up so app designers can use these enhancements sooner.

Apple's iOS 6 is seeing significantly faster adoption than previous iOS updates.

  • Apple's iOS 6 adoption rate was 25-35% just 48 hours after being released. Apple's iOS 5 took 21 days to hit a 21% adoption rate. (source)
  • A week after release 59% of iPhone traffic and 41% of iPad traffic was seen coming from iOS 6 devices. OS 5 saw adoption numbers suggesting 38% of iPhones were on iOS 5 four full weeks after its release. (source)

While Google's most recent Android release (4.1 Jelly Bean) is being adopted very slowly, uptake of its latest major release (4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich) is picking up speed.

  • After two months, the latest version of the Android operating system (4.1 Jelly Bean) was installed on 1.2% of Android devices. (source)
  • Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich release increased its share to 15.9% of all Android devices in August 2012. That represented a 50% increase over Android 4.0's 10% penetration level the previous month. (source)
  • Today Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is installed on 20.9% of all Android devices -another significant jump in a short amount of time. (source)
  • As of May 2012, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich had 7.1% of the Android market 7 months after being released. (source)

Though both new operating systems are now rapidly growing their user base, comparing iOS and Android adoption paints a pretty stark picture.

  • 17% of iPhone users updated their phones to iOS 6 within the first 24 hours of availability. (source)
  • 17% of Android users updated to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 within 10 months of its availability. (source)

For more on mobile OS adoption rates, take a look at my overview of Mobile OS Fragmentation from April 2012.