Pre-Product Launch Roundup: OS X, iOS Version Distribution

Pre-Product Launch Roundup: OS X, iOS Version Distribution

  • 9 September 2013

This past summer, Chitika Insights observed North American iOS 6 users generating more than 92% of iOS traffic on iPhones and more than 82% of iOS traffic on iPads. With the expected launch of one or more iPhones at Apple’s scheduled event on September 10th, iOS 7 and its revamped interface is set to get a great deal of attention. With this in mind, Chitika revisited overall iOS distribution through an analysis of tens of millions of iOS-based online ad impressions generated within the Chitika Ad Network from August 15th through August 21st, 2013.


As seen in the above graphs, iOS 6 adoption is pervasive across the iDevice ecosystem prior to the expected full-fledged release of iOS 7, although iPhone usage is more weighted towards iOS 6 as compared to iPads. As stated in Chitika Insights’ prior report on iOS version distribution, a possible reason for this difference may be that many of the most noteworthy features in iOS 6 are geared more towards mobile usage (e.g. Facetime over mobile networks, turn-by-turn GPS). Earlier analyst estimates point to most tablets being solely WiFi-enabled, making some mobile-focused features useless on iPads.

In terms of iOS 7, while users of the OS beta version generate 1% of traffic on iPhones, iPad users of the software contribute to less than 1% of all North American iPad traffic. Overall, this is a minor disparity due to the limited adoption potential of any beta OS, and based on past adoption rates of new iOS versions, it’s likely that users of both device categories will adopt iOS 7 at high rates. However, as with iOS 6, exact penetration rates for both iPhone and iPad users are likely to differ.

While new Apple desktop and laptops are not expected to be unveiled at the September 10th event, it’s worth noting the differences between the Apple mobile and desktop ecosystems in terms of version distribution. In the case of North America, Mac OS X distribution is much more widely distributed than its mobile counterpart. The data for the graphs below were drawn from a sample of tens of millions of Mac desktop- and laptop-based online ad impressions observed within the Chitika Advertising Network from August 15th through August 28th, 2013.


These graphs showcase an ecosystem where users of different OS versions generate sizable percentages of overall Web traffic from the OS as a whole. However, this is to be expected due to Mac desktops and laptops having been on the market for some time. Apple was able to achieve sizable adoption rates of OS X 10.8 through means including pricing and a simple download option, making it likely that OS X 10.9 will see similar success following its full release later this year.