iOS 7 now powers 3 out of 4 Apple devices

11 weeks after iOS 7 launch, uptake has slowed

Nearly three months after the launch of iOS 7, three-quarters of all mobile devices from Apple are running the newest operating system, Apple and others have agreed.

iOS 7 uptake chart
Almost three out of four devices that accessed the App Store for the week ending Dec. 1 ran iOS 7, Apple said on its developer website. (Image: Apple.)

Apple started serving iOS 7 on Sept. 18, and shipped the operating system on its fall wave of new products, including the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C -- which went on sale later that month -- and the iPad Air and Retina-equipped iPad Mini that reached retail last month.

According to Apple's iOS developer support site, 74% of the devices tapping the App Store for seven days prior to Dec. 1 ran iOS 7, more than three times the next-most-popular edition, last year's iOS 6.

Apple's number closely matched those of third-party firms that have also measured iOS version traffic.

On Tuesday, for instance, mobile advertising company Chitika, of Westborough, Mass., pegged iOS 7 iPhone traffic through its network at 74%. iPad owners have upgraded at a slower pace, with 64% of the tablets running iOS 7. Chitika's tally was generated between Oct. 25 and Nov. 18.

Mixpanel, a San Francisco-based mobile app analytics vendor, has also tracked iOS 7 uptake. As of Friday, the new operating system accounted for 79% of the Apple devices accessing Mixpanel clients' apps or websites. That was up from 61% in late September, and a slight increase from the 76% of one month ago.

iOS 7 uptake has slowed dramatically since first few days and weeks of the upgrade's availability -- Chitika measured iOS 7's penetration at 52% just a week after release -- but it remains above levels set by its predecessor.

"[It is] very likely that iOS 7 will continue to substantially outpace iOS 6 adoption, which reached 83% close to six months following its release in September 2012," Chitika said on its blog earlier this week.

A rapid uptake tempo is worth more than bragging rights by Apple partisans, as the faster an operating system is adopted, the more willing developers are to take advantage of its features and refresh their apps. That has special significance with iOS 7, since it was the first design overhaul since the OS's 2007 debut and boasts a radically different look and feel.

iOS 7 can be installed as an upgrade on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5; the iPad 2, the third- and fourth-generation iPads with Retina screens, and 2012's first-generation iPad Mini; and the fifth-generation iPod Touch that debuted, with different storage sizes, in October 2012 and May 2013.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at  @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

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