What to do with billions of iOS data points? Give them away.
Every year, we share the numbers behind iOS adoption through our live Mixpanel Trends graphs. But now, we’re taking it a step further.
This month, we’re digging through our personal data stores and bringing you actionable insights. After all, some questions aren’t easily Googleable. In the adoption battle, does iOS beat out its competitors? Which iOS version did Apple users adopt fastest? Which state gave last year’s OS the most love? By pulling historical data and live-streaming the numbers, we’re giving you more context around Apple’s big month any other database.
iOS 10 adoption up to 37.52%, as of 10:00 am PST, September 20, 2016
Pretty soon, Apple’s going to unveil its official numbers for iOS 10 adoption. But our iOS data is going to reveal some of the deeper behaviors behind those numbers. Keep checking back here every day for the latest!
iOS 10 after one week
September 20th, 2016
iOS 10 launched a week ago. By now, 37.52% of iOS users have upgraded. While these aren’t small numbers, the adoption rate has been lackluster. By comparison, iOS 9 dinged 43.10% after a week. iOS 10’s trajectory has more in common with iOS 8 adoption, which crawled toward the 50% inflection point.
What changed? The rate dropped after launch, which had been expected, but not to this extent. At the 24-hour mark, the iOS base was adopting at a rate of 4.41% per hour. By one week, it had stooped to 0.87% per hour.
Today, however, we’re going a little deeper than what’s up and what’s down. Digging into location data, we can observe how Apple users worldwide are adopting iOS 10.
iOS 10 Adoption by U.S. City
Consistent with last week’s data, Los Angeles and Houston are still the leading U.S. cities. The other top adopters are the usual suspects: Chicago, New York, Dallas, etc.
What’s more compelling is San Francisco’s entrance into the rankings. Last week, it lagged significantly behind other cities and we were left scratching our heads. Size plays a part, but the aberration seemed greater than that. Were America’s techies afraid of getting bricked? Too loyal to an old iOS? Whatever the holdup was, they’re making for lost time.
iOS 10 Adoption by U.S. State
Adoption by state loosely tracks populousness. None of the numbers here are particularly surprising to us, although they do speak to what many people assume: Apple is as American as…well, apple pie. The usage on their devices gives an approximate picture of the nation.
iOS 10 Adoption by City (Global)
On the international stage, there have been some shakeups. London has leapt and bounded over many of the early adopters and overtaken incumbent Los Angeles. Londoners are sending stickers and handwriting notes more than any other demographic. Jakarta has fallen from fourth place, but remains in the top 12 cities. Perhaps much of Apple’s Indonesian base adopted early, leaving little room to grow a week later.
iOS 10 Adoption by Country (Non-U.S. Global)
The international adoption by country reflects much of our city data. When you take the United States out of the equation, the United Kingdom has a stark lead over the rest of the world. The other notable update since last week is Taiwan’s emergence in the rankings. Although Europe still leads iOS adoption outside of the States, it’s important to note Asia’s growing presence in the data.
This is especially impressive when you consider that many of iOS’s selling points were already offered in one form or another on China’s WeChat and Japan’s Line. As the new operating system becomes the status quo, it’ll be interesting to see how the distribution changes.
The weekend slowdown
September 19th, 2016
By the end of the weekend, iOS 10 had inched past the 33% mark. That means a third of all iPhone and iPad users have downloaded Apple’s newest operating system to their devices. While an impressive feat compared to rival operating systems like Android, this may not be the boost Tim Cook wanted.
Here’s why: Adoption rates actually slowed over the weekend.
Although iOS 7 was far and away the most aggressive of recent launches, iOS 9 had a pretty strong showing last year. At the beginning of last week, it looked as though iOS 10 would at least match iOS 9’s 12-day sprint to 50% adoption. But iOS 10’s adoption is closer to iOS 8’s—that is to say, much slower.
So, what gives? iOS 10’s first 24 hours of adoption outperformed iOS 9’s. Because of that, we speculated that iOS 10 would reach the inflection point in just 11 days. But 10’s climb hasn’t been as steady as 9’s. Despite being the most feature-rich operating system yet, Apple has a ways to go.
Share on social and tell us: How do you explain the slowdown?
After two days, adoption holds pace with iOS 9
September 15th, 2016
48 hours after being released to the world, 21.02% of Apple users have upgraded to iOS 10. The rate of adoption is holding pace with iOS9 which was released September 2015.
Some early adopters experienced issues installing the update in the first few hours, but it doesn’t appear to have had a significant impact on adoption.
Based on the early numbers, Mixpanel is projecting that iOS10 will reach 50% adoption in less than 11 days.
iOS 10 at 24 hours
September 14th, 2016
iOS 10 went live 24 hours ago, and the day has been anything but boring. Despite buggy upgrades early yesterday morning, Apple lovers welcomed the new operating system more eagerly than last year. According to our data, 14.53% of iOS users have already migrated to iOS 10. Compare that with iOS 9’s 24-hour adoption last year: 12.42%.
Adoption is accelerating, too. iOS 10 adoption is increasing at a rate of approximately 4.41% per hour. Even with some predicted post-launch slowing, we’re predicting that iOS 10 will reach the 50% inflection point after 11 days, on Sunday, September 25th. For comparison, iOS 9 took 12 days, while iOS 8 took 31. iOS 10 still probably won’t beat out iOS 7, which crossed the 50% threshold in just 5 days.
Do users engage with iOS 10?
Earlier this week, we found that early adopters of iOS 9 averaged 18 actions on their apps in the first hours of upgrading. Since the iOS 10 launch, we’re seeing just a small uptick at the 24-hour mark: an average number of 19 actions per iOS 10 device. There’s no telling how the operating system’s early bugginess may have affected this number.
Conversely, early Nougat users completed 42 actions in the first hours of adoption. Despite the clamor around the iOS 10 launch, we predict that Android early adopters will continue to engage more than their iOS counterparts.
iOS Adoption by US State
Since launch, California has had the most unique users upgrade. We know from our data that metro giants like California and New York have sheer numbers on their side, but don’t be fooled. There’s a lot of passionate users in middle America, too.
Pulling last year’s data, we found that percentage-wise Iowa adopted iOS 9 fastest in its first 30 days. After 24 hours, it’s a difficult to parse who will win the state race this year, but don’t be surprised if corn country gains some traction.
The Top 12 States:
- New York
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
Adoption by City (Global)
For the most part, the cities that have adopted iOS 10 fastest aren’t shocking. But their rankings might be. Los Angeles devices got on iOS 10 more than any other user base’s. Updates in gridlock traffic?
Curiously, San Francisco did not make the cut, although neighboring San Jose did. Were the tech-savvy folks too wary of getting their phones bricked? Is Android’s marketshare that oppressive? Apple might not be shedding tears for its losses on the homefront, because it’s making waves overseas. Several international cities made our top 12: Jakarta was #3, while London #6, and Moscow landed at #11.
Ranking of the top 12 cities:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Jose
Adoption by Country (Non-US Global)
Apple fandom is commonly thought of as an American phenomenon, but around the world people are adopting iOS 10. So far, the United Kingdom has had the most users upgrade outside of the US. The top three adopting countries are solidly in Apple’s audience, but Indonesia’s inclusion might speak to the company’s growing power in emerging markets.
While none of China’s major metro areas made our city adoption list, the country comes in at #7 here. Apple’s problem with Chinese smartphone share has been well-documented, but what’s notable here is their battle for software dominance. It’s no secret that iOS 10 is attempting to rival the functionality of the immensely popular WeChat. Will Chinese users gravitate toward Apple’s take on something familiar or remain loyal?
It should said that most of the early adopting countries were not in optimal time zones for the 10am PT launch yesterday.
Ranking of the top 12 countries:
- United Kingdom
- Saudi Arabia
Problems for early iOS 10 adopters
September 13th, 2016
This isn’t the start that Apple was hoping for. In the first hours of iOS 10, early adopters took to Twitter to complain about issues encountered after the update.
Whelp. #iOS10 update just forced me into factory-reset of my whole phone. So that’s a thing that’s happening.
— William Wolfe-Wylie (@wolfewylie) September 13, 2016
— Ben Webb (@BenWebbUK) September 13, 2016
And that, boys and girls, is why you have to make sure your phone is backed up to iCloud before you download new software *sigh*
— Shara Tibken (@sharatibken) September 13, 2016
Apple has acknowledged the issue and says the issue has been resolved.
Statement from Apple on iOS 10 update issues: pic.twitter.com/tGjL9hLWL0
— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) September 13, 2016
iOS 10 is live. How long will it take to reach 50% adoption?
September 13th, 2016
It’s live. Now all eyes turn to the adoption rate. Will it race to mass adoption like iOS 7 did in 2013, hitting 50% share in just five days? See the live adoption numbers on Mixpanel Trends.
In the Wild West, iOS and Android go head-to-head for market share
September 12th, 2016
The iOS versus Android rivalry is fierce, but is it inflated? According to our data, iOS still dominates in most regions of the United States, but the market is getting more competitive. The numbers we’ve dug into represent software usage, and they reflect a growing trend we’re seeing in hardware purchases: iPhones remain beloved, but less and less a monopoly. While the eastern seaboard is still solid Apple territory, much of the western United States has become heavily contested between iOS and Android (they’re also duking it out in Georgia).
Perhaps it comes as no surprise that California is the most volatile battleground. Google and Apple vie for users, overtaking one another several times throughout the past 12 months. As the most populous state, a more even distribution might be expected, but both companies also have a significant presence here. In Developerland, Apple’s so-called “reality distortion effect” may be strong, but Android represents a huge share of users and, as you can see, has recently gained the upper hand.
In Texas, Android hasn’t dethroned iOS yet, but every few months it threatens to. Texas is blooming as a tech hub, so it probably follows that Android’s developer-centric operating system is making a play for market share. It’s also probably an effect of the growing popularity of Samsung in one of the U.S.’s biggest markets.
Another interesting case is Android’s ascendancy in Arizona. In a lot of the states we looked at, Android amounts to an also-ran. But in states where Android is more competitive, such as Arizona, we see a particular pattern. iOS jumps ahead erratically, while Android slowly, but steadily climbs. In the first half of 2016, iOS reclaimed its title in Arizona. But Android’s doggedness suggests a tortoise-like victory toward the end of the year.
Overall, iOS is still winning nationwide. The question is, when looking at a state like Arizona, whether Apple’s boom-and-bust cycles could lose out to Android’s growing loyalty.
Going beyond the keynote: Why product leaders aren’t ready for iOS 10—a word from our VP of engineering
September 12th, 2016
Today we’ve got something you’ll want your entire product org to see.
Our Vice President of Engineering, Joe Xavier, shared some of his key product takeaways about our data analysis of iOS 10. Here’s a snippet:
“I’ve built products and led engineering teams for Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft and most recently Mixpanel. I’ve been lucky to have had access to most of the data I needed to make optimal product decisions, but not every product leader has that kind of access.
“Mixpanel Trends data is much more likely to reflect the truth of the world you see as a product manager or engineer… We’ve been tracking every iOS version since 7.1.1. And we go beyond adoption data to bring nuance to the platform picture.”
Who adopted iOS 9 fastest? It wasn’t California or New York
September 8th, 2016
After the iOS 9 launch last year, users across the country began moving off the old operating systems and onto the new one. Which state adopted iOS 9 fastest? Surely, the Apple-worshipping downtown hipsters of New York? The Jobsian fan boys of California?
Actually, it was corn country.
According to our data, 51.3% of Iowans converted to iOS 9 in the first 30 days. That’s a 7-point lead over the national average, 44.3%. Rest assured, people are still using your app in major metro areas. By headcount alone, probably a lot more of them. But the huge adoption in flyover states should be a wake-up call for iOS developers.
Shiva Rajamaran, VP of Product at Spotify, has a rule about building products: “Your country is not the world.” Basically, your user base (and potential user base) exists outside of your geographic location. To ignore that is to squander a massive opportunity.
In this case, we’re talking regions, not nations, but the point remains. People in the middle of the country not only own iPhones—they care enough about the device’s performance to regularly update them. Apps often rely on geo-exclusivity to scale. But designing your product with only a small, predictable user group is fallible. It even goes against the data. Some of the first people using your app on iOS 10 may be knee-deep in corn.
iOS vs Android: Whose users are more engaged?
September 8th, 2016
Last September, iOS 9 launched. According to our data, 4.4 million users had already upgraded to iOS 9 within the 48 hour-window surrounding launch. Compare that with Android’s newest operating system, Nougat, which last month only netted 103,000 upgrades in the same timespan. Nougat, however, beat out iOS 9 in average engagement. iOS 9 users completed an average number of 18 actions in their phones’ applications within the first 48 hours. Conversely, new Nougat users completed 42 actions in that same time frame.
Adoption numbers are important because they inform developers about what operating systems and devices users are on. And our data backs up conventional wisdom that the overall population of iOS users adopt the newest operating system far faster than Android users do. But the engagement data injects nuance to that conventional wisdom. Clearly the most active Android users – the users that are most likely to make up a mobile apps power users – are also the users that adopt the latest Android operating system.
Which means that, while the overall population of Android users might lag versions behind the latest operating system, that might not be true for your Android power users. This contrast speaks to the merits of evaluating your user base to see where it falls on the Android adoption curve. By understanding which versions of Android your users are running your app on, you can best assess the additional value of building the latest features of the new operating system into the next update of your app.
Is your app ready for iOS 10? Does it need to be?
September 7th, 2016
On September 13th, Apple users will begin migrating from their old operating systems to iOS 10. Within 10 days, most of your iOS users will likely be fully upgraded, and expecting your app to meet them on the other side. What do you do? Is it as simple as making sure your product is compatible? Or is there a bigger opportunity here?
Today, we’re starting by mining our own data sets and displaying real-time adoption of iOS 10. Our trend reports shows the rate at which Apple users are converting from older operating systems to iOS 10. At some point in the very near future, the iOS 10 line will take over the iOS 9 line in what we call “the inflection point”. This is the time after which more iOS users are on the new iOS than the previous one.
Some beta users have already begun to convert. Generally, these are developers who have been working since June to prep their games, apps, and websites for the new operating system. But the monumental shift happens when consumers flock en masse to iOS 10.
It looks a little like this:
Last year’s report shows iOS 9 overtaking iOS 8 after just eight days. With all of Apple’s new features, we think users might adopt the new operating system even earlier this year.
Apple shares when this major inflection point happens, but there’s so much more to user behavior than just that. Based on the billions of actions we’ve recorded across both iOS and Android, we can go beyond the major inflection point and reveal the who, what, and why of mobile usage.
Over the course of iOS 10 adoption this month, we’ll be feeding you exclusive data on how users are engaging with operating systems in three key ways:
We’re confident the insights we get will help you optimize your products for the newest operating system.
Tomorrow, we’ll plunge into our data and compare Android and iOS users. After an operating system launch, which group of users is more engaged? Later this week, we’ll analyze which U.S. states adopt the new operating systems fastest. Check back this week for exclusive data and more.
Additional photography courtesy of Apple Inc.