The Android 4.4 "KitKat" update has been out since 31 October, 2013 and, as of the beginning of this month, it was running on 2.5 percent of Android devices. On the other hand, Apple released iOS 7.1 on Monday, and after only three days it has already been installed on 21 percent of iOS devices.
The data, which is based on metrics released by analytics firm Mixpanel:
This data aligns with data provided by Apple that claimed that 83 percent of iOS devices were running iOS 7 before iOS 7.1 was released.
The second most popular version of iOS is iOS 7.0.6, which is running over 36 percent of iOS devices. This version was released February 21, and patched a serious security vulnerability affecting SSL verification.
The speed and ferocity with which iOS users upgrade to the latest version shows they are clearly interested in new versions of mobile operating systems. Android users may be interested in versions and updates as well, but those updates have to go through a long system that puts huge roadblocks in the way of getting those updates to end users.
Whenever Google releases a new version of Android, device OEMs have to customize the release, then add their own tweaks and personalizations. For smartphones and tablets that are hooked to a carrier contract, the carriers have to add their own branding.
The problem is made worse by the fact that neither the OEMs of the carriers feel there's much of a benefit in pushing free software updates to customers, and would rather focus on selling owners a new device.