iOS 8 growth slows to an embarrassing crawl

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How much is your smartphone spying on you? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
How much is your smartphone spying on you? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple loves to tout how quickly people update to its newest software, but with iOS 8, many are choosing to hold back. The company’s own numbers show that only 1% of the iOS user base has upgraded to iOS 8 in the last two weeks.

Only 47% of users are on iOS 8 vs. 46% the week of September 21st. Adoption rates usually slow down as time wears on, but these unusually low numbers indicate that many are choosing to not upgrade to iOS 8. Unfortunately, Apple has given a few reasons why that’s the case.

Apple's data based on App Store traffic.
Apple’s data based on App Store traffic.

Apple has had its fair share of software bugs in the couple of weeks that iOS 8 has been out. The initial release went relatively smoothly, although iOS 8 requires at least 5GB of empty device storage, which has been the main hurdle for many would-be iOS 8 upgraders to overcome. Many max out their device storage with media and apps, making it a pain to clear space to update.

HealthKit apps weren’t made available at first, but then Apple pushed out iOS 8.0.1, which was a disaster. It bricked thousands of phones by disabling cellular and Touch ID. Apple quickly released a fix in the form of 8.0.2, but the widely reported snafu that was 8.0.1 likely made the public wary of updating.

When you take into account those factors, the other performance complaints out there, broken Bluetooth connectivity in cars, and the iCloud Drive bug that could delete all data, it’s easy to see why iOS 8 hasn’t been gaining traction. With Apple selling a record number of new iPhones all running iOS 8, 47% isn’t very impressive.

To put the percentage into even more perspective, Tim Cook said that iOS 7 adoption was at 64% during Apple’s October iPad event on October 22nd, 2013. With a 1% increase every two weeks, iOS 8 has a long way to go to catch up.