iOS 8 Is Apple's Least Successful Update in Years

By Chris Mills on at

One of Apple's favourite sticks to poke Android with has always been the sluggish upgrade rate of new versions of Google's OS. While Apple's still got the 'droid handily beat in that respect, it looks like Apple might have a growing problem on its hands with iOS 8 adoption.

As measured by Apple's own metrics, fewer than half of its users are running iOS 8, nearly three weeks after launch. Although that might not sound like much — hell, not even a quarter of Android users are running the months-old latest version, KitKat — but compared to previous rollouts of new versions of iOS, it's a trainwreck.

iOS 8 Is Apple's Least Successful Update in Years

At the same point last year, iOS 7 had hit nearly 70 per cent adoption by some metrics. Even worse for Apple, it seems that after the initial glut of users upgrading to iOS 8 (or just flat-out buying iPhone 6 or 6 Plus devices), there's been virtually no more conversion of users to iOS 8: it was at 46 per cent on September 21st, and it's at 47 per cent as of yesterday.

Although the exact causes are difficult to determine, there's a few obvious candidates for the slow adoption: iOS 8 needs nearly 6GB of free space to install, which for most people (including me and my 32GB 5S) meant nuking photos or a music collection to be able to upgrade. Then, there's the fact that 8.0.1 nuked cell reception for a iPhone 6 owners. Add that to a seemingly above-average number of buggy apps on iOS 8, and it looks like most people are putting the update off.

A loss of faith in its software, and any resulting fragmentation, is about the last thing Apple needs right now. It's already made life slightly harder for developers, now that there's four distinct screen sizes that need supporting just within the iPhone range; having users split on which version of iOS they're running is just going to cause even more headaches. [App Store via 9to5Mac]