Apple released iOS 11 on Sept. 19 and within a week the latest version of iOS was already powering 30.21% iDevices. That’s still left it far behind the 63.47% running iOS 10.
But what a difference three weeks makes.
Apple’s latest mobile OS update maintained its fast adoption curve and as of now – one month out – it has not only surpassed iOS 10, but left it in the dust.[ Further reading: The 50+ best features in iOS 11 ]
According to business analytics service Mixpanel’s data, adoption of iOS 11 surpassed iOS 10 last Tuesday, Oct. 10. As of now, iOS 11 is in use on 53.83% of iPhones and iPads, compared to the 39.37% still on iOS 10.
While that may seem like a steep trajectory, it’s relatively slow compared to 2015’s iOS 9 uptake rate; the iOS 9 adoption curve remains the fastest in the history of Apple, according to the company.
Launched on launched Sept. 16, 2015, it took just eight days for iOS 9 to surpass iOS 8; in 10 days, it garnered 50% of the install base. And a month after its release, iOS 9 was on 62% of the install base compared to iOS 8, which plummeted to just 29.65%.
“iOS 9 is also off to an amazing start, on pace to be downloaded by more users than any other software release in Apple’s history,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said in a statement at the time.
According to Mixpanel, iOS 9 had been installed on nearly 37% of devices just five days after its launch, even before the iPhone 6 and 6S officially arrived.
One thing that could be slowing iOS adoption this year: Apple introduced two different iPhones this year – the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which were available late in September, and the upcoming iPhone X. It doesn’t arrive until Nov. 3, meaning would-be buyers may have skipped an iOS 11 upgrade for now, since they’ll get it on the iPhone X.
In 2014, iOS 8 saw just 16% uptake during the same period, while iOS 7 was on about 20% of devices running the platform five days after launch in 2013.
A different story for Android 8 ‘Oreo’
In contrast, Google released the next iteration of Android ( Android 8.0 “Oreo”) on Aug. 21, and it has been installed on a mere 0.49% – less than half of 1% – of devices in the nearly two months since its release. Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and Android 7.0 (Nougat) have been deployed on 25.82% and 22.62% of devices, respectively.
Those numbers point to the more fragmented nature of the Android OS ecosystem, a point of continual debate by users of the rival systems.
According to Google’s own statistics, Oreo had only seen 0.2% uptake as of Oct. 2, the most recent data released.[ Further reading: iPhone to Android: The ultimate switching guide ]
Jack E. Gold, principal analyst for J. Gold Associates, said low Android uptake is typical because of device fragmentation – or the plethora of hardware versions available in the market.
“New versions of Android are generally not forced on users and devices like a new version of iOS [is],” Gold said. “In fact, many older Android devices stay in play for years and are not even able to be upgraded to the latest version. Generally, no matter which version, it is usually only 10%-20% of devices that have the new version in the first six-12 months, with many older versions still in users’ hands.”
Because Google can’t force mobile carriers to deploy new versions of Android, slow uptake rates aren’t unusual. That sluggish adoption curve has raised concerns about security, but most device makers say the added time allows them to offer the most adaptable strategy to hit all device price points from low to high end. That’s something Apple doesn’t really do as much, according to Gold.
While Android OS and Apple iOS make up nearly 94% of smartphone operating systems, Android is by far the dominant one for smartphones, capturing 73% of the smartphone market. More than 1.8 billion smartphone owners used Android phones in 2016, according to Forrester Research.
Android is expected to maintain that lead, with more than 74% market share through 2017, followed by Apple (21%) and Windows Phone (4%).