iOS 8 adoption rate slows to a crawl (but still far outpacing Android)

The adoption rate for iOS 8 finally breaks the 50 percent barrier, but it's clear that the upgrade pace for this release is far more sluggish than Apple has seen previously.

(Image: Apple)

Apple has previously enjoyed rapid market penetration with new iOS releases, but iOS 8 adoption is proving to be sluggish, with the release taking 40 days to hit 52 percent.

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The figures released by Apple show that since October 5 the iOS 8 market share – which includes the recently released iOS 8.1 – has grown from 47 percent to 52 percent. Between October 5 and October 13 the usage share grew only one percentage point.

There are a number of obstacles in the way of people upgrading their iOS device. The first is that the OTA – Over The Air – download is many gigabytes, making it problematic for people with a slow internet connection.

Then there's the fact that the update requires a huge amount of free space to install, forcing users to delete apps and data. Depending on your hardware, you'll need between 4.7GB and 6.9GB of free storage space, and that's massive, especially for devices that started out with only 16GB of space in the beginning (minus what iOS takes when installed).

This problem can be overcome by doing the update through iTunes on a PC or Mac, but many users no longer connect their iDevice to a computer.

Then there was the iOS 8.0.1 update that caused havoc for new iPhone 6 Plus owners . This incident, albeit rather limited in scope, dented confidence in Apple being able to deliver problem-free updates.

While 52 percent adoption in 40 days is slow for Apple, put in the context of Android it is excellent penetration. Android 4.4 KitKat debuted at the end of October 2013 is still hovering at around 25 percent a year later.

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