For Apple’s iOS Owners, It’s Christmas In September

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 iOS 6 will go live. For tech devotees, this is old news. But for the vast majority of iOS (iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad) users, iOS 6 will deliver about 200 gifts – some big and some small – to make their i-devices a bit more fun, a bit more useful, a bit more valuable.

If adoption goes as it did with iOS 5, we can expect to see iOS 6 on 60% or more of all iOS devices – including the now three year old iPhone 3GS – within a month or so. Due mostly to hardware constraints, not every device will support all the additions but all the devices will support the vast majority of the additions.

Compare that to Android. As of this date here are the adoption percentages for Android’s three most recent operating system updates:

— 01.2% Jelly Bean
— 20.9% Ice Cream Sandwich
— 77.0% Gingerbread or older

What good does it do Android to add great new features to their operating system if they can’t deliver those features to their users? It’s like buying Christmas presents and never letting anyone open them.

Operating System adoption is one of iOS’s greatest strengths and one of Android’s greatest weaknesses. When it comes to operating system updates, Apple is a bit of a Santa Claus…and Google is a bit of a Scrooge.

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John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?

4 thoughts on “For Apple’s iOS Owners, It’s Christmas In September”

  1. Great point and well put. Apple definitely has an advantage in new version adoption. However because of this, Android does have an advantage over Apple – i.e. having new features first.

    Android buyers are so proud of their features that when a new iPhone comes out, they are quick to point out that their phones have had those features already – nothing to see here, move on. The reason that features come to Android phones first is that there is a steady stream of new Android models produced throughout the year. And the iPhone is upgraded only once a year. So it is easier to have the newest features first if you are constantly updating your phone models. However, on the other side of the sword, Android will continue to have dismal new version adoption.

    IMHO, having better version adoption will always be a better choice for the consumer.

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