Apple released iOS 9 to the general public on Sept. 16. If we're to believe Apple, iPhone and iPad owners are updating their smartphones and tablets to the new operating system at a record pace ahead of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus release this Friday.
"iOS 9 is also off to an amazing start, on pace to be downloaded by more users than any other software release in Apple's history," Philip Schille, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, wrote in a Sept. 21 statement. Apple says "more than 50%" of devices are already using iOS 9. Apple took its measurements, via the App Store, on Sept. 19.
Apple's numbers don't match with third-party analytics provided Mixpanel at all. Mixpanel's data shows iOS 9 adoption at about 29% at 8 p.m. on Sept. 19. On Monday morning, Mixpanel puts iOS 9 adoption at about 36%. That's a pretty big gap in the numbers.
Neither Apple nor Mixpanel commented on the disparity.
iOS 9 adds several features to the iPhone, such as new-and-improved Siri, better battery life, transit directions to Maps, a News application, multitasking on the iPad, and more efficient code.
The revised operating system arrived just days ahead of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which go on sale Sept. 25. Apple provided more details about iPhone Launch Day so consumers can be prepared.
Apple Stores will open at 8 a.m. local time for those looking to buy the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Apple said its stores will have stock on hand for walk-ins, but Apple is encouraging walk-ins to arrive early. Customers in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and the US are able to make reservations for launch day. Not every model is available for reservation, since launch day stock has been spoken for quickly by those pre-ordering the phone.
"Customer response to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus has been incredibly positive, we can't wait to get our most advanced iPhones ever into customers' hands starting this Friday," continued Schiller. Apple said it expects first weekend sales to match or exceed the 10 million iPhones it sold during the initial launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 2014.
[InformationWeek compares the iPhone 6s to the Galaxy S6.]
The signature feature of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is what Apple calls 3D Touch. It uses micro-sensors to detect extremely subtle differences in pressure on the screen, such as a soft touch or a more firm press. The new iPhones can then call up different menus, actions, and tasks based on how users press the screen. The iPhones have what Apple calls a Taptic Engine to deliver feedback to owners so they know just how hard they've pressed the screen.
Other improvements include a 12-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel user-facing camera with a flash, an A9 processor with an M9 co-processor, an improved fingerprint reader, and a stronger 7000 series aluminum chassis.
Pricing for the iPhone starts at $649 for the 16 GB 6s, and ranges up to $949 for the 128 GB 6s Plus. Apple will also sell the devices starting at $27 per month for 24 months, or lease them starting at $32 per month for 12 months.
The iPhone will first launch in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, and the US.