​iOS 8 now on 81 percent of all Apple devices

iOS 8 has breached the 80 percent mark as Apple continues to push out record numbers of new handsets running its latest OS.

iOS 8 is now powering 81 percent of all Apple smartphones, its share continuing to climb steadily since its release eight months ago.

The latest iOS version distribution figures come from Apple's developer page, which gives a snapshot based on the iPhone and iPad devices that connected to the App Store on April 27. According to the stats, iOS 7 runs 17 percent of iOS devices, while the remaining two percent are on older versions of the operating system.

Apple's stats show a slight rise for iOS 8 compared to the previous month, when the newest version of iOS accounted for 79 percent of all iOS devices connecting to the App Store. The increase is likely to have been nudged up by the 61.2 million iPhones Apple sold in the previous quarter. In January, when Apple sold a record 74 million iPhone in a single quarter, iOS 8 accounted for 68 percent.

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Apple's figures are echoed by other research: according to analytics firm Mixpanel, iOS 8 adoption has been rising steadily over the past month to 82 percent.

Numbers from mobile marketing Fisku show that iOS 8 adoption remains slightly slower than previous versions. At 229 days after release, iOS 8 makes up 79 percent of all iOS devices, whereas iOS 6 had already reached 90 percent by that point. However, Fisku's stats only include users from the US and Europe but not core markets like China, where Apple on Monday reported a 71 percent increase in sales due to the popularity of its larger screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple is now the second largest supplier of smartphones in China behind Xiaomi but well ahead of Samsung. The analyst firm expects Apple to take the lead in China this year despite Samsung reclaiming the top spot globally.

While Google has been addressing Android version fragmentation through Google Play Services, its distribution figures for the week leading to April 6 show a wildly different picture to Apple's orderly transition.

Last month, the latest version of Android, Lollipop, climbed to just over five percent, despite being released six months ago. The two dominant versions of Android now are Lollipop's predecessor KitKat and the two-generations-old Jelly Bean.

Apple released iOS 8.3 last month, which fixed a number of bugs in the operating system after bringing support for the Apple Watch with 8.2. The company is now working on iOS 8.4, which is currently in beta, and is expected to bring a revamped Music app with a new Mini-Player feature, according to 9to5Mac.

The next key date for Apple is will be its annual WWDC conference for developers, which will take place in June, and where it's expected to announce a new Music app and its integration Beats streaming.

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