Apple just released new statistics on the adoption rate of its newest mobile software, iOS 7, revealing that almost every active iPhone or iPad is now running on the latest version of its operating system.
Specifically, iOS 7 adoption is at 87 per cent, which is a great deal higher than the share of Android devices running on Google’s newest mobile OS update — Android 4.4 KitKat.
Here’s the chart from Apple:
That number refers to data obtained from Apple’s App Store after a seven-day period ending on April 6.
The most recent statistics from Google’s developer dashboard for Android show that only 5.3 per cent of mobile devices are running on KitKat. Google found these numbers by measuring Google Play store activity during a seven day period ending on April 1.
Google unveiled its newest treat-themed software at the end of October alongside the Nexus 5, which is a little more than a month after iOS debuted on Sept. 18.
The majority of Android smartphones are still running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which was initially announced at Google I/O in 2012. Apple users have almost completely phased out iOS 6, which claims a meager 11 per cent of today’s iOS devices.
Android adoption traditionally lags so far behind Apple’s for a couple of major reasons. First and foremost, Apple makes its new iPhone and iPad software available for every user at once — regardless of carrier or iPhone model. This means every iPhone and iPad owner can install the update as soon as it’s released.
Android, conversely, is much more fragmented. The newest version of Android is always made available for Google’s lineup of Nexus smartphones and tablets and Google Play edition phones before making their way to other phones.
Even if Google wanted to release its software updates to every single Android phone at once — it couldn’t. Once smartphone manufacturers are finished adding their own modifications to a version of Android, the update needs to be approved by each individual carrier.
This means that depending on which phone you own, it could take ages to receive the latest software update. Newer flagship phones from popular vendors like Samsung or HTC usually get priority, but if your Android smartphone is already a year old, chances are you may have to wait some time before updating.
This fragmented model particularly hurts Android because it accounts for such a large share of the U.S. smartphone market. The latest data from comScore shows that Android was responsible for 52.1 per cent of the U.S. smartphone market as of February 2014, with iOS trailing not too far behind with 41.3 per cent. Since more people in the U.S. are using Android smartphones, this also means Google, individual smartphone vendors and carriers need to prepare the update for more phones.
Both Apple and Google are holding their annual developer conferences in June, where we’re expecting to hear more about iOS 8 and the next generation of Android.