iOS 16 has been out for almost two weeks, and I've seen a few articles floating around with headlines like this one: iOS 16 Proves More Popular Than iOS 15 Was Last Year.

The data being cited is this report from Mixpanel (here's an equivalent date range for iOS 15).

Yes, 'popular' is probably part of it; some of the new iOS 16 features are arguably more buzzy than last year.

But it's also worth remembering how Apple rolls out iOS updates:

  1. First, iOS makes the new version available to users who specifically dig into Settings to find it.
  2. Next, iOS starts showing invitations and a red reminder dot on the Settings app.
  3. Eventually, depending on a bunch of variables not worth going into here, iOS begins triggering auto-installs (for users who haven't turned this off).

Looking at the adoption curve in this data, my guess is Apple might have started notifying a few users (it took iOS 15 almost twice as long to reach the same adoption rate). But they certainly haven't pushed this button for everyone yet.

Alex Bauer

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