ios 6.1

Apple’s recent update to iOS 6.1 may be important more for what it says about users and the never-ending competition with Android than what new features were added to the software running iPhones, iPods and and iPads. Released earlier this week, iOS 6.1 could become the most-quickly adopted version of Apple’s mobile software. Nearly 22 percent of iOS users have installed the update in less than 48 hours, one developer claims.

Apple’s iPhone users were the fastest to adopt iOS 6.1 with nearly 24 percent installing the updated software in less than one day. Tablet users were only a bit slower with one-fifth of iPad owners installing 6.1 by the 20-hour mark. By comparison, it took a week for 44 percent of users to update to iOS 6…

According to TechCrunch, “iOS 6.1 is growing at a faster rate, and looks to be on track to top that should its momentum continue.”

The adoption figures come from the developer of OnSwipe, a service which presents traditional websites in a format better suited to touchscreen devices.

After polling its more than 13 million iOS users, Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste told Darrell Etherington Wednesday that the record-setting adoption pace could be due to over-the-air updates, an iOS technology less than a year old.

iOS 6.1 adoption (TechCrunch, OnSwipe)

By eliminating the need to plug your iOS device into a wall, OTA makes updating to the newest version of Apple’s OS as simple as touching the screen. In the iOS versus Android wars, the prize for faster OS adoption is more developers. More developers, of course, means more apps, increased buzz and in the end more customers.

The news that iOS 6.1 has already spread to nearly a quarter of Apple’s iOS users means developers working on the latest app don’t have to wonder about users still operating with iOS 6 or even earlier.

Etherington explains:

They can create experiences that will be the same for a larger number of customers at once, without having to take into account different software versions with idiosyncratic quirks.

Where is Android in adoption rates?

According to Google’s own numbers, just ten percent of Android users have adopted Jelly Bean software, released in July 2012. Meanwhile, 300 million Apple devices out of the 500 million in the wild have upgraded to iOS 6 or above in just five months, enough for a 60 percent adoption rate.

Openness doesn’t always win…