Apple iOS 9 quickly hits 61 percent adoption rate, bugs and all

Total ownership of the hardware and software for iOS devices continues to be a strength for Apple; even though it introduces bugs through updates, it can quickly push out fixes.
Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributor
You have to hand it to Apple: Its control of both the hardware and software, as well as code updates, make for quick adoption of new iOS releases.

Based on data from the Apple App Store measured on October 19, Apple says 61 percent of devices hitting the store are running iOS 9. The speed of the uptake is faster than iOS 8, although that's not terribly surprising as last year, some iOS device owners simply didn't have enough room to install the software. Apple has since addressed that issue with iOS 9 by slimming the upgrade down.

Obviously, the same uptake can't be said for the largest mobile platform on the planet. Back in March, Android 5.0 adoption was at a meager 3 percent and it's currently at 23.5 percent based on data from Google's Android Developer Dashboard. On the plus side, Google realized a few years back and started rolling out Google Play Service updates every six weeks for all through the Google Play Store.

Here's a secret, though: The adoption speed difference between the two platforms isn't likely to ever change unless Google heavily modifies its approach and wrests update control from carriers and hardware partners. Here's another tip: It's too late for that and I'd be willing to bet a paycheck that won't happen.

That's why I've limited my Android phone purchases to Nexus devices (which are the first to get Android updates) and occasionally from Motorola; the company's generally stock approach to Android helps it get software updates out sooner than its peers.

Say what you will about iOS vs Android but credit to Apple: It has set itself up to ensure that major software updates are available to all of its customers as soon as possible.

Sure, that approach may bring some unwanted bugs but even here the strategy typically pays off: As soon as Apple squashes those annoyances, it has the ability to get the fixes out to hundreds of millions of devices without waiting on a third-party.

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