Chitika Insights previously found that iOS 7 users generate the vast majority of Web traffic from North American iPhones (89.7%) and iPads (84.8%). After examining iOS Web traffic within the UK and Australia, the results demonstrate the many similarities and few differences in terms of iOS version distribution between these regions and North America.
To quantify this study, Chitika Insights analyzed millions of UK and Australian iOS-based online ad impressions generated within the Chitika Ad Network from May 22 through May 28, 2014, the same time period utilized for a previous study focused on North American iOS users. The results were then divided into iOS version distributions for iPhone and iPad users respectively.
As seen above, the UK user base is on par with North America’s in terms of adoption of iOS 7 on iPhones. In both regions, 89.7% of iPhone Web traffic is generated by devices running iOS 7. In Australia, this figure is slightly lower at 86.3%.
Looking at iOS 6 usage rates, a higher amount of Australian Web traffic (11.2%) is generated from iPhones running some version of iOS 6 as compared to what is observed in North America and the UK. The slightly greater shares for older iOS versions in Australia may be partially due to the much-publicized issues with Apple Maps in the country following the service’s debut in 2012. While Apple has addressed many of these problems in the following months and years, it’s possible that a small percentage of Australian users are still wary to upgrade to newer OS versions for this reason.
When it comes to iOS version distribution for iPad users, the UK adoption rate for iOS 7 (87.0%) is higher than what is exhibited from the North American (84.8%) and Australian (83.3%) user bases. Much like the iPhone figures, iOS 6 drives a higher share of iPad Web traffic in Australia as compared to North America and the UK.
Notably, iOS 5 or older iOS versions are better represented amongst U.S. and Canadian iPad Web traffic (7.3%) as compared to the UK or Australia, where the combined usage shares for those operating systems are 5.2% and 5.8%, respectively. While Apple has never broken out iPad sales by country, the original iPad, which is not compatible with iOS 6 or 7, was released in the U.S. a full month before it reached the UK or Australia. This likely means a greater number of those units were sold in North America, and are still in use by a comparatively larger portion of the user base considering the longer lifespan of tablets as compared to smartphones.
Overall, the high iOS 7 usage rates between all studied geographies and device types point to Apple’s iOS update strategy paying dividends from an adoption standpoint across multiple regions. Additionally, app and mobile Web developers can take some solace in the noticeable similarities in iOS version distribution between North America and the UK – particularly in regards to iPhones. Regarding Australia, its differences from the other two studied regions are slight and may change, but future studies should provide a better indication as to whether these higher rates of older iOS version usage are an ongoing characteristic of the Australian iOS user base.