Some Speculation on iOS 12’s Faster Adoption

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Apple is tooting its horn today about iOS 12 adoption. Specifically, 53% of iOS devices sold in the last four years are running iOS 12. That’s faster than in the past and, from my informal research, at least part of the reason for that uptick is that people are no longer as afraid of iOS updates. For several years after iOS 7, I bumped into lots of people who actively avoided iOS updates. Many users felt iOS 7 made their phones and iPads run worse so they wanted to avoid that pain for a second time.

There is a line to be walked by Apple. They want to add new features every year. Indeed, if they are to remain competitive they need to add new features every year. Nevertheless, if they fly too close to the sun, as they did with iOS 7 and, arguably, iOS 8, they end up shipping a buggy operating system. Users hate that and it will affect their future behavior with iOS updates.

I think what we are seeing here is a return to trust. This is the first year since iOS 7 that I haven’t had at least one person write to ask me if it’s “safe” to install iOS 12. Of course Apple could blow this in the future but, for now, I think users are generally trusting of the iOS and macOS updates again.