UPDATE: iOS Version Distribution Study - 2012 through 2013

UPDATE: iOS Version Distribution Study - 2012 through 2013

  • 3 December 2013

UPDATE (12/12/13): To provide a longer-term view of iOS version distribution over time, Chitika Insights examined a full year of iOS version distribution. The most notable feature which is pervasive across the graph, is that users of the two most recent versions of iOS have generated roughly 90% of total North American iOS traffic at any one time. Comparatively, Google's stats point to users of the two most recent Android versions, Kit Kat and Jelly Bean, accounting for just over 55% of its user base as of December 2.

ORIGINAL POST (12/3/13): One week following its release on September 18, 2013, iOS 7 users were generating more than 51% of all iOS-based Web traffic within North America. Growth has continued through the following two months, with iOS 7 usage rates surpassing the 70% mark within the continent. This makes it very likely that iOS 7 will continue to substantially outpace iOS 6 adoption, which reached 83% close to six months following its release in September 2012.

Breaking down iOS 7 adoption by users of Apple’s two marquee devices, the iPhone and iPad, a similar picture emerges. To quantify iOS version distribution by Apple device, Chitika Insights examined tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian iOS-based online ad impressions within the Chitika network generated between October 25 and November 18, 2013.

As seen in our last report on iOS version distribution, iPhone users are slightly more likely to have updated to the latest OS version as compared to iPad users. The greatest difference being that iOS 5- equipped iPad users still generate close to 9% of total North American iPad Web traffic. The slightly lower adoption rate of iOS 7 is likely least partially due to features like AirDrop not coming to the iPad 2 or 3, minimizing the incentive for users of those devices to upgrade.

The latest analysis again underscores that iPhone users, and iPad users to a lesser extent, update at extremely high rates, acting as a distinctive selling point when it comes to attracting application and mobile Web developers to the platform. While still-active legacy devices make it unlikely for iOS 7 adoption to substantially surpass the nearly 90% adoption rate of iOS 6, the latest operating system will likely reach that point in a much quicker timeframe than its forerunner.