Nearly all iPhones run iOS 16 but only half of iPads have updated

Nearly all iPhones run iOS 16 but only half of iPads have updated


Apple makes a multitude of changes with iOS 16.
iPhone users have adopted iOS 16 in large numbers.
Photo: Apple

According to official data from Apple, 81% of all iPhones released in the past four years are running some version of iOS 16. That’s a vastly higher percentage than Android users have installed the latest OS update from Google.

But iPad users upgrade at a far lower rate than iPhone users. Only 53% of Apple tablets released in the last four years have iPadOS 16.

81% of recent iPhones have iOS 16

iOS and iPadOS updates are how Apple distributes new versions of of bundled applications, like Safari and Mail. But that’s just the start — they’re also how security vulnerabilities get patched.

The fact that 81% of recent iPhones have iOS 16 means a large majority of these handsets don’t have glaring security problems. That figure comes straight from Apple, and includes “devices that transacted on the App Store on February 14, 2023.”

When all iPhones are counted, not just recent ones, the iOS 16 adoption percentage drops a bit to 72%. Partially, this is the result of older handsets still in use. iPhones continue to be useful for many years, but Apple stops releasing iOS updates after devices have been out for about five years.

Even that lower percentage is enormously greater than the number of Samsung, Google, etc. handsets that have Android 13. That was a mere 5.2% as of January, a full six months after the debut of the OS version.

It’s time to update your iPad

If you own an iPad, apparently there’s 50/50 chance that it is still running iPadOS 15 or before, according to Apple. Even when counting only tablets released in the past four years, the iPadOS 16 adoption rate rises to a mere 53%.

This is surprising when one considers that iPadOS updates are free and easily to install — just like iOS updates.

This means that about half of tablet users are missing out on the new features of iPadOS 16 and they also don’t have the latest security patches.

iPhone and iPad users can install the new iOS and iPadOS versions directly by by opening the Settings app and going to General > Software Update. Alternatively, the update can also be accomplished by connecting the device to a Mac, or to a PC running iTunes.


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