iOS 9 Adoption Reaches 20%, But Problems Abound

iPhone and iPad owners are upgrading to iOS 9 swiftly, but the process hasn't been smooth for everyone.
iOS 9: 10 Tips And Tricks
iOS 9: 10 Tips And Tricks
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Apple fans are taking the time to install iOS 9, the latest operating system from Apple, at about the same pace as they did with last year's iOS 8. The platform made significant progress in the first 24 hours of availability. Yet the rollout has been marred by a growing number of customers complaining about crashed devices.

Apple released iOS 9 at 1 p.m. on Sept. 16. At the same time on Sept. 17, 12.33% of iPhones, iPads, and iPods Touch had been updated to the new platform, according to Mixpanel, an analytics company. Mixpanel is offering an hour-by-hour view of iOS 9's adoption rate on its website. The rate is climbing steadily, and iOS 8's presence is dropping correspondingly.

On Friday, Sept. 18, more than 20% of iOS devices were running iOS 9 as of 8 a.m., giving iOS 9 a significant presence on Apple's i-branded hardware. iOS 8's presence has dropped from a high of about 87% earlier this week to 71.67%. Clearly, users upgrading to iOS 9 are doing so from iOS 8.

To give these numbers a bit of scale, Android 5.0 Lollipop just recently reached a 21% adoption rate -- 10 months after the platform's initial release. While Google has been good about keeping its Nexus-branded handsets up-to-date, the bulk of phonemakers and their carrier partners have been much slower to push the newest version of Android to their hardware. The majority of Android handsets are still running on Android 4.x, even though Android 6.0 Marshmallow is nearly ready.

The platform adoption rates highlight a major difference in the strategies employed by Apple and Google. Apple maintains strict control over its operating system, while Google cedes such control to its partners, who often have their own motives and needs to meet when it comes to updating customer handsets.

The Apple faithful may be quick to install the latest operating system, but it sometimes comes at a cost.

[Read about the pros and cons of the new iPad Pro.]

Customers all over the Web are reporting significant crashes during and after the iOS 9 installation process. One need only scan Twitter and Facebook to find people complaining in droves.

One series of problems surfaces during the installation process itself. Some report their phone will spend several minutes working on the install only to crash and generate a "System Update Failed" error message. People experiencing this problem were sometimes able to properly install the OS on subsequent attempts. Others faced more dire circumstances.

Sydney-based iPhone owner Zorry Coates told Reuters she spent three hours in an Apple Store only to be told she had to reset her device, and thus lose all her non-backed-up data, or wait for Apple to release a fix.

"They said they were aware of the problem and their engineers were working on it 24/7, but they couldn't tell me when -- or how -- I would get a solution," said Zorry. "I'm very annoyed because it's wasted half my day. They pride themselves on being a company that's flawless."

Apple was smart to delay the launch of watchOS 2 after discovering a software bug.