iOS 6 (Phone app teaser 001)

I just stumbled upon a nice post by Doug Hamlin highlighting how Android fragmentation seriously derails Google’s ability to deploy the latest and greatest version of its mobile operating system to as many devices as possible, especially compared to Apple’s iOS software. At the time of this writing, and based on Google’s own numbers, Jelly Bean (both Android version 4.1 and 4.2) powers a total of 10.2 percent of devices in the wild. By contrast, 300 million Apple devices (out of 500 million) upgraded to iOS 6 and above in just five months…

It gets worse, says David, noting how the now outdated Android versions 2.3 and 2.3.2 – collectively known as Gingerbread – to this date remains an undisputed leader with a whopping 47.4 percent share.

That’s (somewhat) understandable because Gingerbread software has been on the market for more than two years now (it was released on December 6, 2010).

Android versions adoption rate 20130130
Chart via Google.

Apple’s vertical integration and low fragmentation gets even more pronounced considering Jelly Bean had a few month lead time over iOS. Specifically, Apple’s software was released for public consumption on September 19, 2012. Google announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at the Google I/O conference on June 27, 2012.

The Nexus 7 tablet, released on July 13, 2012, was the first commercial product to run Jelly Bean.

No wonder programmers to this date develop for iOS first, despite Android’s massive activation numbers. Apple’s platform is so sticky that developers have little to no incentive to bring their apps to mobile platforms other than iOS and Android, even with the likes of Microsoft throwing money at their feet.

Apple with a press release Monday acknowledged that there are now more than 300 million devices on iOS 6.0 and above, adding “it may be the most popular new version of an OS in history”.

And just last week, Apple said there were more than 500 million iOS devices in existence so that’s well over a 50 percent take rate in less than six months.

  • iOS 6 adoption rate is going to get 100% by Sunday 😉

    • May I why? Jail breaking is coming on Sunday ??

    • Nope, not all 100% just 70-90% that’s the maximum percents if the 6.1 contain no bugs or better improvement from 6.0.1. if still has problems people won’t really update much.

  • Toon


    • 笑傲江湖


  • I got to give it to android they have come up a long way with Ice Cream Sandwich.

    • do you mean since ice cream sandwich?

      • Hyr3m

        Both are true…
        ICS was a huge improvement from gingerbread (phones) and honeycomb (talbets).
        JB is almost as big an improvement from ICS as ICS was from said previous versions.

      • Meanwhile, 4.2 was just used to unveil the N4 and N10 and all the features of it are available on any decent 4.1 ROM too, maybe even better (Quick settings)

  • pauleebe

    That 60% statistic of iOS could even be slightly flawed, in the sense that there are probably still quite a few iPhone 3G’s, iPad 1’s and iPod Touch 3’s OR LOWER that can’t even upgrade to iOS 6.

    Obviously that same rule of thumb applies to Android, but I feel like the adoption rate of iOS 6 for the iPhone 3GS’, iPad 2’s and iPod Touch 4’s are going to be close to 100% within the week 😉

    • iOS 6 is still compatible with 3Gs as it was on sale ($0 with AT&T) when iOS 6 was launched.

      • truehybridx

        they meant the iPhone 3G, not the 3GS 😛
        Many manufacturers are to blame for the low adoption rate for jelly bean because it takes them so long to do a build for “older” devices, then you have to wait for the carrier to decide what they want in it and ugh its just a mess really 🙁

      • jilex

        carriers and manufacturers, they’re all shit, if they want people buy a newer device, they just don’t update another one, i think it happens more in the xperia family, that’s why a lot of devices use a custom rom

  • Damien D’Amore

    this is what happens when you let carriers dictate updates.

    • pauleebe

      I think you mean, meddle in smartphone software. Carriers do nothing good to smartphone software but bloat it with crap and delay release dates.

    • Al

      I believe the manufacture plays apart in it as well.. They have to shoulder some of the blame. Manufactures produce phones in less than a year time and it goes to show why there are so many Android devices. Then the manufactures tend to neglect their older devices they created…

  • it’s not that I don’t want to upgrade to Jelly Beans, it’s just that my 6 month old android phone is no longer supported by any one… (this is why I came back to ios)

    • It is likely supported by xda.

      • unless it’s a popular device, otherwise support could mean very little. and sometimes, the custom firmware is not very good either…

  • Dan

    Obviously most phones aren’t on JellyBean, most android phones are ”crap phones” and are stuck on more primitve versions.

  • Haha… It’s a jelly bean not a magic bean, what did they expect? It’s never going to grow overnight.

  • Android = Forever growing Fragmentation.

  • Latrese

    This is the only reason I’m even considering staying with iOS,cause of updates Ik I’m gonna get. My dad’s smartphone came shipped with Gingerbread. GINGERBREAD!:O

    • Get a freakin NEXUS or root your old phone.

      • Latrese

        Or keep my STILL updated 3 year old iPhone 4:/

      • Or update your Nexus One to Jellybean. *cough* iPhone 2&3G

  • I wonder what the adoption rate for jelly bean is for nexus devices. Does anybody know

  • Not discounting the numbers but at least when you get a upgrade with Android you get a full feature set. Whereas when you get a iOS update you may not get all the features (i.e. Siri)

  • dre g


    • How many people like to build their own os compared to those who don’t

    • Oh god, I’m honestly wondering if you made your own, if it would be on par with Apples/Androids security or not… You’re shooting yourself in the foot.

    • Pretty sure he meant that you can compile your own version of the OS, not build.

  • iOS 6 adoption rate is going to get 100% by Sunday 😉

    • Not on my old iPod touch! They should at least let me install it and let pop up a message that there could be compatibility and performance issues and so on… Marketing is no argument, not gonna get an iOS device until heaven and earth change.


    • Hyr3m

      How can we not agree in the light of such well spoken arguments?

  • smtp25

    Apple also makes it easier to upgrade, My Wifes S3 .. no idea what version its on and I don’t want to muck around upgrading it least it explodes on me

    • Hyr3m

      Just because a noob has more courage to actually look into updating on apple than on android doesn’t make it easier except in his mind. I’ve updated my own S3 and several others every time a new version was released and I never had to spend more than a few clicks and a few minutes of waiting… never had to connect it to the pc either… or wonder about what I’m going to lose.

  • AppleFan

    the reason is pretty simple, iOS is always lacking something, where android is mostly not.

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    and yet android absolutely rapes iOS in terms of COMMON featuress…dating back to the froyo days….i like apple but i’ll take android 4.2 over iOS 6 anyday of the week

  • @dongiuj

    Now do ios 6 vs jellybean.

  • trumpet444

    Come on now. This is literally comparing apples to oranges. As a user, owner, and lover, of both OS’s (iPad , iPad mini, and android phone) I should point out that if android were to consist of only 5-8 devices, 90% of them would be on jelly bean. But We all know that’s not the case. There are tens to hundreds of different types of android devices with vastly different technical capabilities from budget lines to phones that are almost capable of being low to mid range desktop replacements. And even with the devices that are fully capable of handling jelly bean, as far as smartphones are concerned, it’s the carriers that are holding them back. I mean, look at the Verizon galaxy Nexus…… It’s a freaking NEXUS and its not up to date. Verizon is holding that phone back but at the same time, Google needs to grow a pair (like Apple) and stop the carriers from furthering (mostly unnecessary) fragmentation

  • fuckyouapple

    You do neglect the fact that Samsung produces products that are low end devices, which customers still purchase this just proves how 2.3.6 is simply a success.