iOS 10's one-month adoption rate hits 68%

But Apple puts the new edition's share at 54%

iOS 10 adoption continued to climb a month after its release, with some sources pegging the upgrade on more than two-thirds of iPhones.

At the one-month mark, iOS 10 accounted for 68.2% of all iOS editions detected by Mixpanel, whose analytics platform is used by mobile app developers to track usage and user engagement.

That was slightly higher than the 62.8% accumulated by iOS 9 last year at the same post-release point, and far above iOS 8's 48.9% in September 2014.

The modern record for iOS uptake remained with iOS 7 -- a major UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) overhaul -- which captured a 72.7% share in its first month.

Last Friday, Oct. 7, Apple put iOS 10 at 54%, about 10 percentage points under Mixpanel's 64.2% for the same day. Apple's number comes from the devices that access the App Store and presumably encompasses iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches around the world.

Mixpanel's data, on the other hand, is collected only from those devices whose owners open an app that has the firm's analytics code included. Mixpanel claimed that the past month's data came from approximately 136 billion "records," which represent not the number of devices but the number of instances of users opening an analytics-encoded app.

Historically, the latest iOS edition has jumped to a majority within a few weeks of release, significantly faster than Google's Android, whose uptake has been slowed by carriers' lethargy -- or reluctance -- to issue updates. Android 6.x, for example, aka "Marshmallow," had an 18.7% share as of Sept. 5; Marshmallow debuted in October 2015.

The newer Android 7.x, aka Nougat, which launched in late August, did not have enough share to warrant inclusion on Google's latest list.

Before iOS began to steal the spotlight, iOS 9 topped out at 88% in Apple's tally, according to cached versions of the page where the Cupertino, Calif. company keeps tabs on the numbers.

Last year, Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, pointed out that for iOS 6 through iOS 8, each succeeding version topped out at a lower level: 2012's iOS 6, for example, reached 94% by Apple's count, while iOS 7 and 8 peaked at 92% and 87%, respectively. The adoption rate slump, Dawson posited, could be due to reasons such as user apathy, older devices falling off the list, and device owners deliberately choosing to stick with the tried-and-true rather than risk problems.

The slight uptick for iOS 9 -- 88% versus iOS 8's peak of 87% -- may signal the bottoming of the slide or could be an aberration.

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Gregg Keizer

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