iOS 17 adoption grows strongly, passes 60%


Downgrading iPhone from iOS 17 beta to iOS 16
Most iPhone users are now running iOS 17.
Image: Rajesh Pandey/Cult of Mac

The number of iPhones running some version of iOS 17 passed a milestone. The total recently topped 60%, according to an analytics firm.

Users were initially slow to make the jump past iOS 16, but a solid majority have now done so.

iOS 17 adoption is taking off

Immediate, broad availability of operating system upgrades is a significant advantage that iPhone has over Android. Apple releases new iOS versions for every recent model, while Samsung and other companies take time to modify the OS updates Google introduces. Many Android devices get few or no updates.

But the initial version of iOS 17 launched September 18 and it’s taken over two months to reach the 60% mark for adoption, according to the latest data from mixpanel.

Growth was initially very slow. iOS 16.6.1 was still the most-installed version a month after the debut of iOS 17. Even a week after the release of iOS 17.1 in late October, iOS 16.6.1 was the most popular option by a narrow margin.

But two months after the launch of iOS 17, its various iterations were finally ahead of iOS 16.6.1, if not the total of all iOS 16 versions. And just a week later, iOS 17 adoption shot up over 50%. It seems quite a few iPhones got upgraded over the Thanksgiving holidays.

And the total has now passed 60%, while iOS 16.6.1 is under 8%. Mixpanel’s data also shows that the very latest version, iOS 17.1.2, is on 41% of iPhones.

Blame the bugs

It’s not hard to guess why many iPhone users were initially hesitant to give up iOS 16: bugs. The original iOS 17 release in September was buggy enough that Apple had to rush out three patches. There’ve now been six in total, only one of which included significant new features.

But iPhone users haven’t suddenly become suspicious of major system software updates — the reluctance has been building for years. On this date in 2022, the various iOS 16 versions were on 66% of iPhones. Jump back to December 5, 2019, and iOS 13 was installed on 73% of iPhones, according to mixpanel data.

Get on the iOS 17 bandwagon

iPhone users can install the new iOS versions directly by opening the Settings app and going to General > Software Update. Alternatively, update devices by connecting them to a Mac (or to a PC running iTunes).


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