How Accurate is Apple’s Claim of 50% iOS 9 Adoption?
Yesterday Apple claimed that iOS 9 has the fastest adoption rate ever, “with more than 50 percent of devices already using iOS 9.” The release indicates this measurement was done by the App Store on September 19, 2015. However, this conflicts with our data as well as two other data sources. Both Crittercism and Fiksu measured 23% on September 19th, and MixPanel measured 29%. All of our measurements were based on samples across tens of thousands of apps encompassing billions of app loads. So why the huge difference in adoption measurements?
Here are three different theories:
Apple is doing segmentation of their data, whether by device or geography, in order to report a higher adoption rate. One approach would be to report the percentage of eligible users that have upgraded, since iOS 9 is unavailable to iPhones older than the 4S and the original iPad. We believe device segmentation is not likely since well over 90% of iOS users have devices that are eligible to receive the upgrade. In fact, after checking our data and filtering out old devices that don’t support iOS 9, our adoption rate of 23% only increased to about 25%. We also checked if the US adoption rate differed against the rest of the world, and the numbers remained the same.
The literal interpretation of the press release could refer to users who accessed the app store over a certain time interval. In other words, it’s possible Apple took a cohort of users that accessed the app store in the last week, compared that data to users who accessed the app store on the 19th, and that number amounted to 50%. This would imply that users who access the app store more frequently are more likely to upgrade to iOS 9, a fair assumption.
There is a fairly large percentage of users that only use their iPhones for calls, SMS, e-mail, and Facebook. Our anonymous data depends on usage of apps in the ecosystem, except for Facebook. Although Facebook usage is quite high (recent surveys say 13% of total “minutes” spent on mobile takes place on Facebook ) there is plenty of cross pollination with other social media companies represented in the data sets. Daily usage of other social sites, games and mobile commerce apps are also backed up by survey data, especially among millennials, so we do not think it’s likely that Facebook is skewing the data.
Overall, iOS 9 adoption is certainly much faster than iOS 8. In addition, iOS 9 is proving to be a much more stable release. Five days after the iOS 8 release, the crash rate stood at 3.3%, compared to 2.2% for iOS 9.