back to article A whopping one in four Apple fanbois uses OBSOLETE TECH

More than three quarters of all iPhone-toting fanbois have downloaded the latest version of iOS 7, it has been claimed. According to research by advertising company Chitika, iOS 7 is now being used on about 75 percent of iPhones and about 65 percent of iPads. The firm worked out this figure by measuring tens of millions of ad …


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  1. Mikel

    Android fragmentation

    Somebody is going to bring this up. 75% of Android devices are on version 4+.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Android fragmentation

      That's hardly surprising, since 4.0 is over two years old, and most Android devices are replaced within that time frame. It isn't because people are updating in large numbers - if they even have the choice to do so at all.

      This is like Microsoft's inevitable press release crowing about fast adoption of <insert new Windows version here> which ignores that it isn't happening because people are upgrading, but because they're replacing old PCs and take whatever Windows version it comes with.

      1. The Real SteveP

        Re: Android fragmentation

        So are you claiming that iPhone users don't upgrade their hardware every 18 months to 2 years, just like Android and W-Phone users? And that a proportion of i-PC users don't follow the fashion upgrades on hardware just like a similar proportion of the other 95% of the PC market?

        1. Captain Queeg

          Re: Android fragmentation

          Erm I think the salient point here was that IOS7 hasn't been around for 2 years unlike Android 4.x.

          So, the replacement cycle of devices isn't really relevant in the case of IOS7.

        2. DougS Silver badge

          @The Real SteveP

          Yes, Apple users upgrade as well. The thing is, a two year old iPhone is worth a couple hundred bucks resale value, while few if any two year old Androids are worth anything. The iPhones are sold to Gazelle and friends, refurbished, and resold. Two year old Android devices are far more likely to end up in a drawer or the trash.

          1. The Real SteveP

            Re: @DougS

            Actually my last S2 was sold back to my provider for £170 - that's about US$300 - in the UK resale on most high end phones is strong and all of our service providers buy back at normally good prices, refurb and resell. Most androids are repairable too. My wife is currently using a 3 year old S2 running 4.4 and is very happy with it. And it doesn't drop calls if it's not held in the designer grip! ;)

            Are you saying that none of Apple's claimed is installs are new phones?

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: @DougS

              Of course some 7.0 users are new installs, but Apple has sold perhaps 35 million phones since 7.0 came out, so around 90% of the 7.0 users must be upgrades.

              Samsung Galaxy is one of the few Android phones that has enough resale value to make it worth selling, though I'm surprised you anywhere near that much for it. I just priced out for a AT&T GS3 in "good" condition and it was $110.

              If the UK prices are that much higher I see an opportunity to buy up thousands of GS3s here for $150 and sell them in the UK for $300 :)

              1. chr0m4t1c

                Re: @DougS

                >Of course some 7.0 users are new installs, but Apple has sold perhaps 35 million phones since 7.0 came >out, so around 90% of the 7.0 users must be upgrades.

                600 million iOS devices in use worldwide by June of this year according to CNet, those 35 million phones account for about 6% of that base, probably more like 5% now as I expect the base has grown in the last 6 months.

                So, no, 90% of those 7.0 users are most definitely not upgrades, at best upgrades are likely to account for 10%.

                According to IDC, Android's install base is about 2.5x that of iOS, which would make around 1.5 billion (in American units) installed devices and it's growing faster.

                Relax, Android already won. Make up your own reasons for this if you feel the need to belittle someone who bought something else, naturally.

                1. DougS Silver badge

                  Re: @DougS

                  When I said "upgrades" I was talking about the users who purchased a device originally running iOS 6.x or earlier, and UPGRADED it to iOS 7. I wasn't trying to suggest that 90% of the iPhones out there had been purchased in the past few months, that would be quite ridiculous!

                  If there are 600 million iOS devices in use, and 75% are running iOS 7.x, that's 450 million devices running iOS 7. If Apple has sold in the ballpark of 35 million iPhones since iOS 7 came out (therefore sold already running iOS 7) plus 10 or 20 million iPads, that means the remaining roughly 400 million devices running iOS 7 were UPGRADED to iOS 7.

                  How many devices running Android never get an upgrade offered to them, or only get one? Yes, I know you can root and upgrade, but only a tiny fraction of Android owners do that. That's the difference between iOS and Android. Whether it matters all that much is another matter, you get some new features with upgrades, others that depend on hardware you can't get (i.e no fingerprint scanner on an iOS 7 upgrade, just as you don't get BLE on an upgrade to Android 4.3 unless the device has the hardware) For security issues, it can be a big deal however.

                  You talk about the much larger number of Android devices out there, but that makes the problem worse for Android, because not only are there fewer iOS devices in the first place, there are MANY fewer running an outdated version of the OS. That leaves a big opening when security issues are found in older versions of Android, because the owners of those devices are for the most part entirely screwed, because once the phone is sold the vendor no longer cares about you so you aren't getting upgrades 4 years later as Apple was doing for 3gs owners.

                2. armster

                  Re: @DougS

                  Why don't you learn how to calculate before posting. If only35 million devices came with iOS7 and 75% of 600 million = 450 million are using iOS7 then 415 million users must have upgraded.

                  The only reason Android looks halfway up to date is because its surge in market share. More new devices around. Few people upgrade android devices more than once or twice in their life, mostly since device manufacturers and telcos don't roll out new versions quickly. So if you want anything recent it is cyanogen or iOS, or buy a new phone every 6 months.

    2. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: Android fragmentation

      All right Mikel. I volunteer to be the down-vote sacrifice: Link

      ...This data reflects devices running the latest Google Play Store app, which is compatible with Android 2.2 and higher. Each snapshot of data represents all the devices that visited the Google Play Store in the prior 7 days


      Data collected during a 7-day period ending on December 2, 2013.

      Any versions with less than 0.1% distribution are not shown.

      Note: Because this data is gathered from the new Google Play Store app, which supports Android 2.2 and above, devices running older versions are not included. However, in August, 2013, versions older than Android 2.2 accounted for about 1% of devices that checked in to Google servers (not those that actually visited Google Play Store).

      The quoted numbers do indeed show ~74% have version 4+, over half of which are still on Jelly Bean 4.1x.

      In total for the 2.2+ - 4.x group only 1.1% are on KitKat, the latest version.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or to put it another way

    A whopping three out of four Apple fanbois use UPTODATE TECH

    1. cyke1

      Re: Or to put it another way

      depends on what you call "up to date" just cause its the newest OS doesn't mean its up to date tech cause in older versions of phones apple disabled features to try to force users to updating. Yea they make bs claim the older hardware can't do the work but in the end that is nothing more then isheep BS.

      1. Philippe

        Re: Or to put it another way

        "Yea they make bs claim the older hardware can't do the work but in the end that is nothing more then isheep BS."

        Please Genius, explain to me how not being able to use facetime on my iPhone3GS is not related to hardware.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Or to put it another way

          I prefer the look and feel of the older iOS. Now if they put in controls to choose retro or 7 look...

    2. NightFox

      Re: Or to put it another way

      Helped of course by Apple's storage hostage-taking tactics - the installer for iOS7 was helpfully automatically downloaded to most iOS6 devices taking up anywhere up to 1GB of storage. Of course it was still up to the user whether they chose to install the update (and thus the installer was deleted and you got your 1GB back), but with no way to otherwise delete the installer the price of staying with iOS6 was you lost 1GB of storage from your device.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Warn Admen?

    WTF? Why is this quoted as a warning?

    As for Obsolete Tech? Another WTF? Since when did the previous version suddenly become obsolete so soon after the release of the next one? Oh silly me it is AD MEN talking through the crack in their backside.

    The level of adoption of IOS7 would make the head honchos at Microsoft have nice wet dreams. They are still trying to get people of their 'It works so why change it Windows XP'.

    I have an old iPod Touch. It runs IOS4 (I think). It works and the battery lasts and lasts. I won't be changing it until it breaks and at the moment that isn't likely. In these financially tight times more and more people will say 'It works and I can't afford to change it'. I'm in the same boat with my car. It is a 2004 model and there is no way I can afford to buy a new one.

    Perhaps the so called AD men might like to come and experience the real world for a change? Nah though not.

    AD men are just the same as the other experts whoose name begins with an 'A', Analysists. Perhaps we should collectively call them ASSHOLES, after all it still begins with an 'A'.

    Anon because I get enought unwarranted advertising as it is.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Warn Admen?

      El Reg is an important tech site that helps us keep track of what is "useable" and what is not.

      Anything that has been released from Github, less than 1 day ago can be considered as "useable"... albeit not quite bleeding edge.

      Bleeding edge would require access to the source files, the compiler and the compile button.....

      Everything else is Obsolete Tech...

      Anything Apple is by default obsolete unless you have direct access to Steve Jobs expired brain waves ...( the next S version or C version is never far away). Apparently Apple have patented Steves brain waves and are currently preparing to store them in a special vault within the new anus loop building.

      Even an El Reg article of less then 10 minutes old should be considered as Obsolete News...

    2. hitmouse

      Re: Warn Admen?

      Whereas most current Windows apps would still run on Windows XP, there is no going back with iOS. "Why change it" can be a virtue. Upgrading a free OS is hardly something Microsoft would envy.

      Since iOS apps update frequently, and often put an OS version floor in, then you have a choice of staying with the old version of having to upgrade the entire machine. Many of those who do upgrade regret it, and unlike with Windows have no way of reverting.

    3. NogginTheNog

      Re. AD men

      Who are these 'AD men' you speak of? Active Directory specialists?? Or do you mean advertising industry people, commonly called 'admen'?

  4. AMB-York Silver badge

    Would be lower

    if only it were possible to go back to iOS6.

  5. G.Y.

    I have seen iOS4 cause an iPhone 3G to become slow as molasses; it was decent on iOS3. No downgrade path...

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      +1. I fell foul of the same trick. Apple upgraded me to the point where their device is more or less unusable.

      It did work ok, now it doesn't and I can't roll back. Roll-back capability might have won me back. Now I lump them in with facebook in the "has some cool tech but is an abomination" bucket.

      I might have had warm fuzzy feelings for them, but using updates to make older hardware unusable so you'll buy a newer phone isn't ethical in my book. That isn't a company I want to deal with. Lack of version control in the stores is also a problem. Apps used to work with my OS version, now they don't and there's no way to get a new copy of the older software.

      Ah for the old days... a basic bootstrap rom with a tftp client, all in a few kb. So simple, so effective, so sadly missed.

      Perhaps that's why I'm so fond of FLOSS - the upgrades are free, the old versions continue to work - there is never a feeling that someone is trying to leverage things you've bought to get more money out of you.

      1. SuccessCase

        You can back up all your apps to iTunes and restore any app version from there. With iOS 7 Apple have also given developers the capability to keep previous versions of apps available in the AppStore to match older OS's.

        You almost always can roll back, they just say you can't because there is so much scope for problems because you will have also upgraded your apps in the meantime and expect to be able to keep the data. Also be sure to save your SHSH blob first before upgrading, to re-verify the OS after downgrade.

        The main problem with downgrades being that at the point of upgrade you are seeking to downgrade from was made, apps often transform their data to a new schema, so you will end up with local data in a state that is inconsistent with a previous versions of the apps that ran on the older OS. To be sure there are no problems downgrade needs to be be to a fresh install and all the apps restored, or you need to downgrade to a fresh install (no apps and data) before restoring an older iTunes back-up taken when on the same version of the OS. It is easier for Apple to say you can't roll-back so all the responsibility rests on your shoulders, than have to support all the possible combinations of self inflicted embuggerance. The problem goes away if you just say you can't downgrade and you leave the decision to do so on he shoulders of the user.

        If they wrote their system to support full downgrade with previous version app and data deltas, they would be storing one hell of a lot of near duplicate data that would never be used by probably more than 95% of users. The backup capability is built in to iOS at no charge and they don't force adds on their users to pay for it, so they aren't going to do that.

        Lesson: If you can't upgrade people will complain. If you can upgrade, people will complain.

        1. Adam 1 Silver badge

          Your point would be much stronger if there was a way to even do a factory reset style downgrade.

          During the betas it was possible but someone stopped signing those executables so now it won't install. That feels to me more like a policy decision than a technical feasibility problem.

          1. SuccessCase

            It doesn't look like you read my post. I wrote:

            "Also be sure to save your SHSH blob first before upgrading, to re-verify the OS after downgrade."

            You can take a copy of the SHSH blob with TinyUmbrella.


            Admittedly this is not the easiest user experience, but then as said, Apple are avoiding supporting downgrade scenarios (but they aren't apparently actively blocking them). When you really get into the logic of downgrades (as I have had to do for my work), you quickly realise what are initially seemingly innocuous decisions commit you to having to support n-state conditions and there will always be customers who are made very angry by the corner the software has let them paint themselves in. If the capability is simply not offered, you occasionally have customers who want to downgrade who can't. They will tend to be mildly unhappy. But they will tend not to be spitting blood like the customers you allowed to paint themselves into the corner.

          2. Seanie Ryan

            "Your point would be much stronger if there was a way to even do a factory reset style downgrade.

            During the betas it was possible but someone stopped signing those executables so now it won't install. That feels to me more like a policy decision than a technical feasibility problem."

            From what I read, part of his point was regarding the fact that Apple probably DONT want to support the older versions, and thus , yes, it is a policy decision. I have no problem with that.

            They run the company, they make the decisions, anyone who doesn't agree, start your own company doing it your own way, or write a big enough cheque to own Apple and then set policy what ever way you want.

            Other than that, if you upgraded without checking out the OS first, then its your problem. Its well known for a long time now that you can't downgrade, so why moan about it? Do your homework first, no-one has a gun to your head to upgrade at minute 1 of release.

            Man, the comments section seems to be full of whiny bitches lately.

    2. hitmouse

      +1 There are plenty of iPhone 4 (pre-Siri) models running, and going to iOS7 makes the hardware near unfunctional. You're just left with a lot of apps now looking totally mismatched with iOS6

      1. Shane Sturrock

        Sorry, but I have an iPhone 4 as does my wife and both are on iOS7 just fine. The upgrade brought almost everything that iOS7 had to offer to this old handset and it performs decently. Some of the effects aren't there (parallax, blur on the notifications drop down) but otherwise it works. I like the new controls for shutting down apps and the control panel that comes up is a bonus for turning bits and bobs on and off. I've had this phone over two years and will definitely run it for another year and then consider my situation once iOS8 drops as that will definitely drop support for the iPhone 4. Then again, the hardware is still pristine and it still does everything I've asked of it. The few times it does get slow there's some app running in the background but shutting down that fixes it. I've found iOS7 improves my phone so I'm happy with the upgrade.

        I've still got an iPod Touch 4 which is running iOS 6 and going back to that, or to my first gen iPad on iOS 5 feels like a step back for sure. Then agin, both those devices still work and are useful to me so they'll stick around as I tend to run my Apple gear for as long as possible which is why I feel it is good value. My Apple laptops typically do at least 5 years service which with the sort of travelling I do and the constant banging about they get is about five times what I ever got out of other brands unless you're talking ThinkPads (the real IBM variety) which were every bit as expensive and not as nice to use.

        Label me a fanboi if you like but I've been using Apple gear for a decade now and I have always liked the hardware. Sometimes the software has been a bit twitchy but they generally fix it pretty quickly and their customer service is second to none.

        My next phone won't be an iPhone 5S, it might not even be an iPhone 6 but it will be an iPhone.

  6. SVV Silver badge

    A distinctive selling point for iOS?

    "The firm worked out this figure by measuring tens of millions of ad impressions"

    Count me as not majorly sold on your stuff, cool Apple dude,

  7. deadlockvictim Silver badge


    Well, I, for one, am proud of my obsolete tech. Civ I runs like the bees knees on my IIfx.

    It runs well, does what it has to do and I see no reason to give up its obsolete status.

    All I need now is 1600x1200 on my LCD monitor and I'm sorted.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. J__M__M


    I thought you meant purple imacs or something... obsolete. I'm good now.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Congratulations El Reg...

    ...for nearly successfully passing off an advertorial as news. No doubt Chitika (stupid f**king name) will be pleased; I, on the other hand, am off to make sure these parasites have a suitable mention in my ad blocker.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Congratulations El Reg...

      "Chitika" - wasn't that a Top 10 hit for ABBA?

  10. john devoy

    I wonder if this adoption rate is assisted by apple devices constantly asking you to update by flagging the little app update icon; people doing it just to get rid of it so they can see when they do actually have apps that need updated.

    1. William Gallafent

      “I wonder if this adoption rate is assisted by apple devices constantly asking you to update by flagging the little app update icon” … no, the app store one is for updating apps. When there's a system update the red circle nagger appears on System Preferences.

  11. Julian Bond

    Sadly my iOldDevice won't run iOs6 or iOs7. And all Google's recent app upgrades require >= 6 So while my top of the range iOldDevice was very expensive and state of the art at the time, it's now a handy paperweight and Winamp remote. Except that the very hard to replace battery is now dead so it's not even portable any more. And it complains about non-Apple USB chargers as well. So I guess it's a good thing the (deceased) company paid for it and it didn't cost me anything.

    Upgrade? Pah!

    Just checking my iPod Classic is still in my coat. I'd hate to lose that. Now Apple, about the 1TB Classic I was hoping for. Next year, m'kay?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      so a phone that is over 3 and half years old is not supported by the latest ios versions, thats a big surprise, of course you could get an android based device and be no longer supported with latest os updates after 6 months for most manufacturers. however as an IT person, this should not bother you just go get a mod and put that on your new android device.

  12. Kevin Johnston

    I am helping skew the results

    While I do use a couple of websites, I am reasonable sure from also using them with a real screen (attached to a proper PC) that these are ad-free websites I use to check on train times and suchlike.

    I do wonder how many assumptions were made regarding similarity of use between people who have updgraded to iOS7 and those happy with the old one as it is not broken. My assumption would be that people who have upgraded the OS are more likely to be heavy web users and will have much higher Advert hits than those that just want a phone. Maybe the number of iOS7 users should be halved? Who knows? To claim they can be more accurate about actual device numbers would need them to track activity per phone, are they willing to hitch themselves to that bandwagon?

  13. DrXym Silver badge

    From a support and maintenance perspective...

    It's probably good from Apple's perspective to entice / cajole / force people onto the new OS because it lessens the effort required to support their devices if they're running more or less the same software.

    Google doesn't have the same headaches because it farms out the support responsibilities onto the handset makers, some of which make the effort and some don't. All Google needs worry about is that the Play services behind the handset are kept up to date. The rest of the phone can bitrot as far as they care because chances are it will be replaced by a new device in a few years anyway.

    So "fragmentation" on Android is largely limited and self correcting. Biggest problem I have with developing on Android has nothing to do with API versions. It has to do with all the different screen resolutions. It's a pain in the arse to produce layouts which look good on different resolution and sized screens, not just in portrait mode but landscape too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From a support and maintenance perspective...

      But we have always been told that is because you are a crap programmer. Apparently you just need to be a better developer, and there is no such thing as fragmentation. (Fragmentation is not just about OS, although people like to conveniently suggest it is, it is about support of devices, the advantage to android is you can buy any device you want, the disadvantage is there are hundreds of types of device with varying abilities). Also I though the answer to your point was that you simply create it for your standard and restrict it via google play, if you want you can have multiple versions of your app presumably? (But thats not fragmentation either).

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternatively, maybe those 25% are the smart ones.

    Considering the 'improvements' Apple has made to, e.g., the book management (taken out of iTunes and into iBooks), the rather large security holes that needed patching, the fact we're already at 7.04, the fact that 7 has become even more of a walled system than 6.x was, may I respectfully suggest the 25% that held off 'updating' to 7 may indeed be the more savvy users ?

  15. Amorous Cowherder

    "Statistics, a hospice for the argumentatively impaired."


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More interesting would be what percentage would prefer to have stayed on iOS6 or, given the choice, go back to it...

    iOS7 was the last straw for me, dragged my iPad2 down to a crawl at times and they ruined the look of many things. Jumped to a Note 10.1 2014 to accompany my Note II phone and loving it...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As ever, I'm going strait to the jacket.

    So 75% got that non removable strait jacket.

    What's it to be next time, a strait 50/50 ?

    Once bitten twice shy, eh?

  18. Confuciousmobil

    It will be higher

    Once the JB is released I'm sure the uptake will be a lot higher. My iP5 is on iOS7 as there is no JB for it, my iPad is JB on iOS 6.1 and will remain there until I can keep my JB on iOS7

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