iPhone OS 3.0 adoption rates: how many iPhone and iPod Touch users are upgrading?

admob_iphone_os3_adoption_rate1During the WWDC keynote, Apple stated that more then 40 million iPhone OS devices are around, which obviously includes the iPhone and iPod touch.  Of those 40+ million devices, according to Apple’s announcement dated June 22, six million had the new OS installed within the first week after its release. That is about a 15 percent iPhone OS 3.0 adoption rate in one week.

But how many of those are iPhones and how many are iPods Touch?
As always, we miss the official data from Apple… and that alone tells the story.

The same day, AdMob, the mobile advertisement platform, released their own OS 3 adoption rate statistics showing a rather less optimistic big picture of the market. The facts suggest that most iPhone users are installing the OS 3.0 as soon as they find the time to follow the process, while iPod Touch users are upgrading only when they are strictly required in order to continue using their device or their favorite Apps.

AdMob’s results indicated that 44 percent of iPhone ad requests were from devices running iPhone OS 3.0.  That’s actually quite a lot considering the OS was launched only three days prior to those statistics.  The alarming number is that only 1 percent of iPod touch ad requests were from devices running 3.0.

Speaking of other sources, Tapbots (developer of the popular iPhone app Convertbot), has just released their own iPhone OS 3.0 adoption rate statistics based on their users, confirming a vast difference between iPhone and iPod touch iPhone OS 3.0 adoption.  According to their statistics, nearly 80 percent of their iPhone users are already running iPhone OS 3.0.  In comparison, about 50 percent of their iPod touch users are running the new OS.

Statistics reported from the iPhone SDK Developers Google Group vary, some say that between 70% and 90% of their users upgraded to 3.0 which happened within about a week. Others report around 50-60% within the first week, constantly rising.

Clearly, iPod Touch users are feeling like “b-series” users to Apple, having Apple ask them to pay $9.95 is working as an upgrade deterrent for iPod Touch users. A positive note for developers is that users that use many Apps are more likely to download the new OS, especially as more and more will drop iPhone OS 2.2.1 support. Many new apps in the App Store already require iPhone OS 3.0, and as time passes this will only become even more common.  In the end, it may force many iPod touch users to have to upgrade.

I’m a happy owner of an iPod Touch first generation, and I’m keeping 2.2.1 for testing purposes given these figures. With OS 3.1 already in the works, will iPod Touch users choice be to wait?

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