iOS 8 adoption rate hits the doldrums

The number of people jumping to the latest version of Apple's mobile OS has slowed down dramatically, according to Apple's latest stats.

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
2 min read

iOS 8 adoption has slown down this month. Apple

The uptake of iOS 8 appears to have stalled.

Updating its App Store Distribution page on Tuesday, Apple pegged iOS 8's share at 69 percent, just one point higher than the 68 percent recorded around two weeks ago on January 6. The number doesn't reveal the full scope of iOS 8 adoption but rather shows the iOS devices that visited the App Store on Monday, January 19.

Mobile analytics firm Mixpanel showed a slightly higher market share of 71 percent for iOS 8 as of Monday. Fellow analytics firm Fiksu displayed a 68 percent share as of Monday.

The latest figure from Apple does indicate a more leisurely continuation of the shift to iOS 8. Prior to January, adoption of the new OS had been proceeding at a slow but steady pace, from 47 percent on October 5 to 56 percent on November 12 and 64 percent on December 22. Such a slowdown presents a challenge for Apple, which requires iOS 8 for certain apps and services that it's trying to push, including Apple Pay, the new Health App and HealthKit and the HomeKit home automation platform.

Apple's iOS figures include devices that have upgraded to iOS 8 from a previous version as well as new iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches that automatically come with the new version. So the slowdown in adoption may simply be a result of fewer people buying iOS devices following the holiday season.


But iOS 8 has seen its share of troubles and multiple versions since its release last September, so some iOS 7 users may still be jittery about updating.

The initial version of 8.0 sprouted a few bugs that Apple had to fix with iOS 8.0.1 a week later. However, the fix created even more trouble, preventing people from connecting to cell networks or use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Apple quickly pulled iOS 8.0.1 and launched 8.0.2. The company continued to follow up with iOS iOS 8.1 on October 20 and iOS 8.1.2 on December 19.

Developers are currently testing the fourth beta of iOS 8.2, a version that will introduce WatchKit, a framework for developing apps for the Apple Watch. Apple is also reportedly prepping a minor 8.1.3 update with some under-the-cover bug fixes, according to MacRumors and other sources.

At some point, iOS 8.x needs to settle into a stable and trusted version that iOS users will want to embrace to get all the latest features. Until then, adoption of the latest OS may continue at a snail's pace.