Why iPhone owners are so wary of iOS 15 | Cult of Mac

Why iPhone owners are so wary of iOS 15

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Why iPhone owners are so wary of iOS 15: 35% of iPhone users haven’t installed iOS 15, even though they could have months ago.
35% of iPhone users haven’t installed iOS 15, even though they could have months ago.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Three months after launch, a lower percentage of iPhone users have adopted iOS 15 than they did its predecessors in previous years. Cult of Mac asked readers to explain their hesitancy.

Turns out there’s not one single reason.

iOS 15 adoption is sluggish because …

Since iOS 15 debuted in September, 65% of iPhone users have installed it. That’s well behind iOS 14’s adoption rate. In the same amount of time after its launch, it wound up on 80% of iPhones.

We took to Twitter to ask why. We posted a simple poll, with one possible response for weak iOS 15 adoption being a lack of compelling features. In 2020, iOS 14 brought Home screen widgets, picture-in-picture support and more. Fast forward a year, and iOS 15 includes some nice improvements but few stand-out features. And its signature addition, SharePlay, didn’t appear until iOS 15.1 in October.

The other possible poll response was wariness that iOS updates had become too buggy. As the iPhone’s operating system has increased in sophistication over the years, with an ever-growing list of features, the days when users could count on new versions being problem-free are long gone. Apple now regularly rushes out bug-fix updates.

And the poll result was essentially a tie. Very nearly the same number of people said they didn’t install iOS because it wasn’t compelling as avoided it because of bugginess.

Which shows Apple has two problems, not one.

Problems not a crisis

While weak iOS 15 adoption is a sign of a problem, let’s not ignore the other result of Cult of Mac’s poll: that 91% of the people taking it already installed the new version. These respondents aren’t average users, but the result shows there’s still strong support for new iPhone operating systems from Apple’s biggest fans.

Only if that trust starts to crumble will the company find itself in real trouble. But if iOS 16 launches with exciting new features and a bare smattering of bugs, most people will forget about the difficulties of the past.

Not because iOS 15 is unavailable

Most Android users can only dream of passing on an operating system upgrade. These are offered for so few Android devices that adoption of Google’s operating system released last year remains at only about 25%.

That’s not a problem for iPhone users. iOS 15 is available for every iPhone model going back to the iPhone 6s that debuted 2015 — seven years ago.