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iOS 8 adoption rate inches up to 52 percent

The new figure shows steady but slow growth from the 46 percent reported by Apple more than a month ago.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
3 min read

Apple released iOS 8.1 last week to resolve several issues with iOS 8, 8.0.1 and 8.0.2.. Screenshot by Nate Ralph/CNET

iOS 8 adoption continues to creep up, though it's not setting any speed records.

Updating the stats on its App Store Distribution page on Tuesday, Apple revealed that iOS 8 adoption is up to 52 percent, with iOS 7 at 42 percent and older versions collectively at 5 percent. The numbers show adoption rates as of Monday.

What kind of gains do the new figures reveal for Apple's latest mobile OS? On September 22, Apple showed iOS 8 with a 46 percent share, iOS 7 with 49 percent and older versions with 5 percent. So the growth in iOS 8 adoption continues but at a leisurely pace.

The percentages on the App Store Distribution page specifically reveal the number of devices that visit the App Store on a given date. So they don't provide a full picture of iOS 8 adoption but at least offer the measurement officially recorded by Apple.

Apple's latest stats also jibe with those from mobile analytics firm Mixpanel. As of early Wednesday, Mixpanel's numbers showed iOS 8 with nearly 54 percent adoption rate, iOS 7 with almost 43 percent and the rest of the pack with more than 3 percent. Mixpanel's data is based on its analysis of mobile app usage, specifically the number of devices using the thousands of apps that it monitors.

Data from fellow mobile analytics firm Fiksu showed a slightly lower adoption rate for iOS 8. As of Monday, Fiksu's figures cited iOS 8 with a 48.5 percent share and iOS 7 with 43 percent.

The numbers reported by Apple and the mobile analytics firms don't distinguish between people who upgrade their existing devices to iOS 8 and those who buy new iPhones and iPads already equipped with the new version. So it's difficult to gauge how many users are running iOS 8 because they want to and how many are running it because it's already on their new device.


Whatever its exact adoption rate, iOS 8 has been slower to pick up steam compared with iOS 7 last year. And the reason may partly be that the new version got off to a buggy start.

Released on September 17, iOS 8 was beset with a number of technical bugs that prompted Apple to launch iOS 8.0.1 a week later. But 8.0.1 was saddled with other problems as users quickly started complaining that they could no longer connect to cellular networks or use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

In response, Apple pulled the new update and rushed out iOS 8.0.2. That version seemed to address most of the issues, though some users still cited specific issues, such as Bluetooth connectivity failures.

Apple finally released iOS 8.1 on October 20. The latest version fixed glitches concerning Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi performance, videos in Safari, and screen rotation. Some users continue to report problems with the new version, according to blog site Gizmodo, specifically battery drain, Wi-Fi slowdowns, and Safari performance. But overall, iOS 8.1 seems to have corrected most of the bugs that hampered the earlier versions.

iOS 8.1 also introduced new features, including support for Apple Pay , the company's new mobile payment service. iPhone users can also now send and receive text messages from their iPads and Macs. And Apple even brought back the "beloved camera roll," as Apple software head Craig Federighi described it.

Based on the initial glitches with iOS 8, iPhone and iPad users may still be reluctant to upgrade from iOS 7. But with the more stable and feature-filled iOS 8.1 now out, the adoption rate could start to pick up more steam.