People Have Pretty Much Stopped Updating Their IPhones To IOS 8

Tim cook apple
Apple CEO Tim Cook. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Apple has updated its App Store to show new statistics for iOS 8, its new mobile operating system. It’s not looking good.

9to5Mac reports that iOS 8 adoption has only increased by 1% since the last time Apple published statistics on the operating system. To make things worse, the statistic that Apple published on its developer site excludes a large amount of users who are known to be slow in updating to the latest operating system.

Since Sept. 21, the percentage of mobile devices visiting the App Store running iOS 8 has only changed from 46% to 47%.

Here’s Apple’s old iOS chart. On the right is the new statistic:

App store ios 8 marketshare

The slow adoption of iOS 8 could be due to the broken update that Apple published on Sept. 24. The iOS 8.0.1 update was meant to include improvements and fixes for the iPhone, but instead it stopped users of the new iPhone from making calls, and disabled the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

We’re only a few days into iOS 8 adoption, so there is a long way to go yet. But the way that more than half of Apple’s customers have balked at the new system shows that the broken update was much more serious than perhaps previously believed: A large number of Apple customers are resisting the update because they saw the news that the newer version disabled people’s phones. It’s rare that Apple’s own customers show a mistrust of Apple’s new products.

Having all your customers on the same, most recent platform is crucial for Apple. Microsoft foundered during the mid 2000s when customers grew tired of updating their Windows PC operating system to ever more glitchy versions. And Google’s Android platform is regarded as a second-place format by app developers because of the “fragmentation” of its user base across several older Android versions.

Mac Rumours reports that adoption of iOS 8 has been significantly slower than iOS 7, Apple’s previous mobile operating system. Analysis of iPhone users last year revealed that after 20 days, 69.7% of customers had updated. iOS 8, however, is only at 47% adoption amongst Apple customers.

It’s also important to remember that Apple measures iOS 8 adoption in a slightly misleading way. It only tracks the operating systems of people visiting the App Store from their devices. While that does give an overview, it ignores the vast number of users who never visit the App Store. A 2013 survey revealed that 65.5% of US smartphone owners download absolutely no apps each month. That means they won’t be visiting the App Store either, so won’t show in Apple’s official iOS adoption statistic.