By one measure, Apple's new iOS 8 is now installed on nearly half of iOS devices.
Refreshing its App Store Distribution page on Monday, Apple showed iOS 8 with a 46 percent share, iOS 7 with 49 percent, and older versions collectively with 5 percent. But the numbers measure only devices that visited the App Store on Sunday, Sept. 21. As such, a certain percentage of iOS devices are not going to be included in the mix.
How best to judge the stats? Here are some things to take into consideration.
Users who upgrade to iOS 8 don't necessarily need to visit the App Store to use the new version. However, many developers have updated their apps to take advantage of new features in iOS 8. So users would need to visit the App Store to download those updated apps. Consumers who scored a new iPhone over the weekend may also have been eager to scour the App Store for new apps to download.
Apple releasedlast Wednesday with several new features and refinements, including Apple Pay, a new predictive-typing keyboard, a "Hey Siri" voice activation feature, better Spotlight searches, new camera and photo-editing capabilities, and a new Health app. But adoption of the new version lagged that of iOS 7 over the same initial period last year, according to released late last week.
On Thursday, mobile ad platform Tapjoy found that iOS 8 hit only 6 percent after 18 hours, while iOS 7 had reached a 12 percent adoption rate over the same length of time. Analytics firm Chitika said that after the initial 24 hours, iOS 7 had hit an 18.2 adoption rate in North America, while iOS 8 had reached just 7.3 percent.
Of course, iOS 8 has become more widespread following the weekend launch of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As of early Tuesday, analytics firm Mixpanel showed iOS 8 with a 32 percent adoption rate, up from 14 percent last Thursday.
The stats from both Apple and the analytics firms show only a certain cross-section of iOS 8 adopters, so none of the data should be taken as the gospel truth. Still, it's only a matter of time before iOS 8 gains enough traction to eventually overtake its predecessor as the dominant version among iOS users.
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