Just a few years ago, iPhones were always updated to the latest software very quickly by their users. After Apple introduced the new iOS it was usually installed very soon by iPhone or iPad users – many installed it that very evening. Then, by the end of the year, the old iOS system would have practically disappeared from Apple devices.
However, this has now changed according to statistics from
Mixpanel market researchers and
Apple’s own figures.
Currently, 72 percent of iPhone users have updated to iOS 15. In terms of iPadOS, 63 percent of iPad users have updated. That doesn’t look like a bad result at first glance. However, in previous years adoption was not only significantly higher, it was also significantly faster, as shown by our graphic comparing the adoption rates of iOS 10, iOS 14 and iOS 15.
For example, on the 31 October 2016, following the introduction of iOS 10, 80 percent of all iPhone and iPad users had switched to iOS 10 while 20 percent of users still had iOS 9 on their device. Apple has rightly been proud of the fast update rate, as it much better than that seen for Android and Windows.
The rate of adoption has fallen since then. With iOS 15 by the 31 October 2020, only 35 percent of users had updated to iOS 15, meaning 60 percent of users were still on iOS 14.
Clearly the willingness to update quickly has decreased significantly in recent years. There are a number of reasons for this: One will be due to the age of the devices, with owners of older devices concerned that updating will slow their device down. It should be noted that this isn’t our finding – our own research has shown that a new iOS hardly slows down old devices, even old devices such as the iPhone 6S or iPhone SE are still supported. Read:
Will iOS 15 slow down your iPhone?
Why this is a problem for Apple
For Apple, this is a problem for many reasons: A quick update is a positive signal for high customer satisfaction – which is very important for Apple. It shows that customers are interested in the new system, like it and trust in its reliability. Updating to the new system should also improve security for users.
If the update roles out slowly developers may place less importance on new apps and the further development of existing apps that take advantage of new functions in the new iOS.
Why the hesitation to update to iOS 15?
There are probably many reasons: One reason may be that iOS 15 was not a really exciting update. But this could also be said of previous updates that were still installed quickly.
More likely, users have become a little more hesitant about updates in recent years. In recent years, there have too often been problems with operating system updates. Unsurprisingly iOS 15 was not without errors: After updating to iOS 15, users complained about battery problems and problems with memory management, for example.
Also a new feature in iOS 15 could have irritated some users: Apple’s new parental control functions included a function for scanning iCloud photos for child pornography. Some deemed this was an invasion of privacy.
However, probably the most important reason for the delayed update was probably an innovation that Apple had introduced with iOS 15: For the first time, iOS users were able to choose not to install the iOS 15 update and instead only have security updates for iOS 14 installed.
However, this is no longer the case. Apple is no longer allowing users who could update to iOS 15 to stay on iOS 14 and receive security updates. Apple initially released iOS 14.8.1 for devices not running iOS 15 back in 26 October 2021, but 9to5Mac
spotted that the update was removed around 14 January 2022.
This means that that devices running iOS 14.8 or earlier can no longer be updated to iOS 14.8.1 instead of iOS 15. Now the Software Update menu only shows the latest version of iOS 15 as an option to update.
confirmed to ArsTecnica in January 2022 that it was a temporary measure. Apple told Ars that the iOS 14 security update option was always intended to be temporary, adding that it was designed to give people a short grace period while the company ironed out the new operating system’s early bugs. This is no longer the case.
If Apple wishes to ensure faster acceptance of new iOS versions in the future it must provide better quality control and more attractive new system functions to users.
Based on a