As part of its iOS 6.1 release announcement this morning, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller confirmed that nearly 300 million iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices are now running iOS 6. That number is incredible, especially considering that iOS 6 was just released in late September.
“iOS 6 is the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and with nearly 300 million iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices on iOS 6 in just five months, it may be the most popular new version of an OS in history,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
The reason why so many iOS devices are upgraded to the latest software version in such a timely manner is because Apple has a much better streamlined update process for its mobile platform. Apple has an easier time pushing software updates through carriers because of the significant leverage that it has with those mobile providers.
Android, on the other hand, suffers because of fragmentation across a myriad of manufacturers and carriers. Google has a harder time getting the latest Android software updates available to the vast lineup of devices running that platform, and devices that are still relatively new are often discontinued far before they should be.
For this reason, most Android devices continue to run the outdated Gingerbread version. Most experienced Android users don’t worry too much about this problem, however, as they opt to flash a custom ROM on their device to stay up to date. Or, they simply buy a Nexus device, which always receives the latest updates in a timely manner.
Apple also confirmed that the App Store now has over 800,000 apps available, with 300,000 specifically designed for the iPad. It was previously reported that the App Store has passed the 1,000,000 app milestone, but that marker includes apps that have since been discontinued or pulled from the store.