OnSwipe (iOS 6.1 adoption rate after 4 days)

Apple acknowledged in a press release Monday that there are now more than 300 million devices on iOS 6.0 and above, concluding it “may be the most popular new version of an OS in history”. Logs and various other data points support Apple’s data. OnSwipe, a service which presents traditional web sites in a format better suited to touch screen devices, found iOS 6.1 installed on nearly 21 percent of iPad and iPhone devices in less than 24 hours following its release.

By comparison, it took a week for 44 percent of users to update to iOS 6. The firm on Friday re-analyzed their logs comprised of thirteen million monthly active users, reporting that iOS 6.1 adoption has now passed the 25 percent mark in the first four days of availability…

Specifically, over 26 percent of users (via MacRumors) have iOS 6.1 on their devices just four days after its debut. Contrast this to Android where only ten percent of devices in the wild run Jelly Bean, the latest and greatest version of Android released last summer.

Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste attributed the rapid rate of adoption for iOS 6.1 to the convenience of Apple’s over-the-air updates, introduced with iOS 5 in October 2011.

Another reason for Android’s high OS fragmentation relative to Apple: carriers are mostly responsible for not only delivering, but also testing these firmwares.

And due to the complexities involved in ensuring the user experience on a wide array of device form factors, carriers often don’t update lower-priced devices in the hope that users will simply buy a new handset when their contract expires.

Android versions adoption rate 20130130

That’s actually a huge liability for Android as wireless giants like Verizon can flex their muscle and purposefully delay updates in order to increase sales of newer devices.

Just imagine, if you will, an alternative universe where Steve Jobs doesn’t tell carriers that firmware updates and UI are a big no-no. Apple releases iOS 6.1, for example, and then you wait for a carrier-delivered update for months.

And should you happen to own an iPhone 4, your carrier might just as well inform you it’s not interested in supporting your hardware.

Crazy, huh?

Good thing Apple had Steve Jobs who famously hated carriers with passion.