Weeks before the official public debut of iOS 13, Apple says that 88% of users are currently running iOS 12.
Those figures are impressive in their own right. They get even more impressive when considering only devices released in the past four years — of which 90% are upgraded to iOS 12.
Apple’s latest developer figures break down the percentages a bit further. 7% of iOS devices are running iOS 11, while only 5% are using earlier iOS versions.
To get some idea of how impressive it is that Apple has got close to 9 out of 10 devices running its latest OS, you need to compare iOS to Android. Google’s developer figures shows how fragmented Android is when it comes to user upgrades.
The most widely used Android version, Marshmallow, was released in 2015. It is only used by 16.9% of Android customers.
Putting Android to shame
The most direct comparison with iOS 12 is Android Pie, which was released in August 2018. It is currently found on just 10.4% of Android devices.
The reason for the disparity is the complicated upgrade system Google employs for Android. With reskinned versions of the OS, and hundreds of different companies and phone models, it’s virtually impossible to get everyone running the same software.
That’s a challenge for developers, users, and everyone else. Meanwhile, Apple is able to bank on the fact that the majority of users are running the latest iOS. This makes for a more consistent and stable experience.
iOS 12 is the last version of iOS that is available for both iPhone and iPad. From this September, compatible iPhones will run iOS 13, while iPads will run the modified iPadOS.