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iOS 8 adoption stuck in neutral

The percentage of users updating to Apple's latest mobile OS has remained virtually flat since September 21, which was four days after its release.


Apple users don't seem to be in a big rush to install iOS 8, which was released September 17.

As of October 5, Apple's App Store Distribution page showed adoption of iOS 8 at 47 percent. That's a mere one point bump from the 46 percent seen on September 21. That sliver of growth over a two-week period is a clear a sign that iOS 8 isn't exactly wowing the masses.

But Apple's App Store Distribution page doesn't tell the full story. The stats revealed on the page show only the percentage of iOS users who visit the App Store. Those iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users who've upgraded to the latest version, but for whatever reason don't venture to the App Store aren't counted in the mix. Still, the numbers show a virtually flat growth rate for iOS 8 among App Store visitors.

Reports from third-party analytics firms also reveal that iOS 8 adoption has trailed that of its predecessor. Data from mobile analytics firm Mixpanel showed iOS 8 with an adoption rate of 44.5 percent as of Monday -- 20 days post-launch. Data recorded on October 7, 2013, 20 days post-launch of iOS 7 showed an adoption rate of 69.7 percent for that version, according to Mixpanel.

There may be several reasons why iOS 8 isn't pulling its weight among Apple's mobile users. But the most likely explanation is that the new version has gotten a bad enough rap to convince people to stick with iOS 7 for now.

At release, iOS 8 was saddled with a number of technical issues that prompted Apple to release iOS 8.0.1 as a fix a week later on September 24. But version 8.0.1 introduced even more bugs. Specifically, many users quickly started complaining that they were no longer able to connect to cellular networks and that the Touch ID fingerprint sensor had stopped working.

As a result, Apple quickly removed 8.0.1 from distribution while it fixed the problems. On September 25, Apple pushed out iOS 8.0.2, which seems to have resolved most of the issues. However, some users are still reporting specific glitches, such as Bluetooth connectivity failures.

Apple has already seeded the first beta of iOS 8.1 to developers, according to MacRumors. Some users who've installed the new beta say the Bluetooth problem is fixed. So perhaps some of the other reported issues will be resolved in 8.1 as well. But until users become more confident about the stability of the latest iOS version, adoption is likely to continue at a snail's pace.