Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS, has seen a lot of changes throughout time but it always remained a powerful competitor. With Google’s rise in the market and the re-birth of Windows Phone, iOS had a bit to suffer and the latest versions punch quite a whole in usage statics, but nothing that Apple cannot fix.

We’ve gathered a number of iOS usage statistics that are meant to create a general idea about the current market share of iOS, compared with other operating systems like Android, Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry and others. Moreover, we’ve cut down Apple’s own domain, and tuned in to see which iOS version is encountered the most and if iOS 6 has been adopted broadly (especially that now, you can jailbreak it).

iOS Usage Statistics: versions breakdown

apple-ios wallpaper

Apple tends to include various features into newer iOS versions, a trend which has pushed users all around the world to install the latest version, split seconds after it hit their terminals. Usually, when a new iOS version appears, Apple manages to patch a software hole or a bug, destroying all jailbreaking chances.

After a while, jailbreakers discover another whole and the chase begins once more. When this last thing happens, iOS adoption once more increases, because those who scout applications on Cydia can do it on the newest version.

Another factor which influences iOS migration relies on Apple’s own side, because the manufacturer chooses to cut support for some “legacy” devices, like the iPhone 3GS or the original iPad. These are products still used by some who thus, are forced to stick on older versions.
iOS usage statistics
The graph above represents the iOS version adoption, spawned across the last one month and a half. Although results are only approximate, as they represent the usage of the well-known Audiobooks application, we can see that since iOS 6 has introduced, the vast majority of users upgraded their devices. With a percentage around 80, until a newer version appeared, iOS 6 represents the casual behavior of an Apple owner.

iOS 6 iOS 5 iOS 4
82% 14.8% 3.2%

When analyzing the trend of the latest iOS 6.1 update, we see that users have immediately begun to upgrade their firmware and until a couple of days ago, this version managed to conquer over a half of the current Apple market. This happened in around one week and a half, showing once more, that defragmentation is only an Android issue.
ios 6 chitika

Another graph, this time made by Chitika, the well-known online advertising company, shows that how iOS 6 has evolved in USA and Canada, since launch and what kind of event managed to push boundaries in the market even more. As you can see from the illustration below, the arrival of certain products that came with iOS 6 pre-installed usually set a heavy weight on the balance. Also, the fix of certain glitches, like the Maps App, can make a difference.

ios per deviceWhen it comes to per-device distribution, the latest numbers date since October and show that, the iPhone is the most used Apple gadget out there. Measured by the same ad company like above, and only for iOS 6, you can see that the shiny smartphone leads by miles, followed by the iPad in second place and by any iPod version on the third, and last place:

iOS current market share

Apple’s little creation fares pretty well against other competitors, such as Android, Symbian, BlackBerry and others.

In a graphic compiled by NET, a company which analyzes browser data from over 40,000 of websites, we found that iOS has consumed a great deal of the market, measuring last month at around 60%.

  • iPad – 37.06%
  • iPhone – 22.44%
  • Java ME – 9.32%
  • Android 2.3 – 8.83%
  • Android 4.0 -8.19%
  • Android 4.1 – 3.94%
  • Symbian – 1.78%
  • BlackBerry – 1.64%
  • Android 2.2 – 1.43%
  • Windows Phone – 1.14%

In comparison, Android can be found at around at 24%, when Symbian still remains on the 3rd place with 1.78% and BlackBerry right beside it, at 1.64%.

A vast segment of the data, around 10%, could not be assigned to any mobile OS as the Java component used in browsing may be found on several of them.

Those wishing a front-to-front confrontation between the first two places, may want to know that iOS is the true king, with a 63% market share in January this year, besting Android that has only 37%. The interesting thing in this comparison is that in the last period, Apple has dropped around 2% in growth, which were gladly stolen by Android.

android vs ios

What the future holds

Taking a step back and looking at the date, from outside the box, shows that Apple’s crown is a tough thing to snatch. There are some sources which claim that in matter of pure growth, iOS is dipping as we speak and that Android gets bigger every day, but it remains to be seen if this will truly happen. Although a slow process, we personally believe that Android will get bigger each day, but it will pass years until it will reach a threatening level. As for newcomers, nothing interesting until the moment.

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Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.