OTA Causes iOS 5.1 Adoption to Throttle

Users are more inclined to update over-the-air, rather than tethered

  iOS 5.1 OTA
David Smith, an independent iOS and Mac developer based in Herndon, VA, has some intriguing findings to share regarding the adoption pace of Apple’s newest iOS version.

David Smith, an independent iOS and Mac developer based in Herndon, VA, has some intriguing findings to share regarding the adoption pace of Apple’s newest iOS version.

Smith dedicated a blog entry to his study (highlighted by Apple pundit John Gruber), noting that Apple released iOS 5.0.1 in November last year, marking the first time Over-the-Air (OTA) was used to update iOS.

He recalls that “On March 7, Apple released their second OTA, iOS 5.1,” adding that “OTA updates are significant for developers because they dramatically increase the pace at which users update their devices.”

“This allows us to more quickly drop support for old versions and more rapidly embrace the new features provided by the latest OS,” Smith asserts.

Between then and now, Smith looked at how quickly users were updating to iOS 5.1. The data he used was taken from the user base of his universal Audiobooks app for both iPhone and iPad which gets around 100k weekly downloads, and therefore “provides a statistically meaningful data set.”

After the launch of the iPad 3 on March 16, Smith was expecting “a huge swell in 5.1 adoption.” And he was right to do so.

“The current adoption rate hits a significant milestone,” he writes. “It took iOS just 15 days to get the same percentage of users on the latest OS version as are currently on any single version of Android,” explains Smith.

“Looking just at the OTA eligible users we again see a promising future for iOS developers. Nearly 80% of users are on the latest version within 15 days,” adds the developer.

Smith believes that if Apple can keep this pace going, “we should see a near total adoption of 5.1 for OTA update eligible users sometime in the first week or two of April.”

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