Apple finally published the numbers of people who upgraded to iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. While the percentages show the vast majority of users upgraded their devices, there are more people than with previous years who didn’t. It’s probably Apple’s fault.
With iOS 15, Apple is no longer forcing users to adopt the latest release to get the latest security updates. A user running iOS 14.7 can stay there as long as he can apply the security patches made available for that version. It’s an entirely new approach for Apple. I wonder why Apple made that change. I think I found one big reason.
If you compare Apple’s ecosystem to Android, Apple has a clear advantage here by being able to move the needle much faster for releases adoption, until now. In a single year, Apple can transform its ecosystem of users by adding features that are quickly making their way into people’s devices. By allowing users to stay on previous releases, Apple is shooting itself in the foot. Now they seem to change their mind, though. Apple could be changing his mind. As reported by MacRumors:
iOS 15 used to be listed as an optional update on devices running iOS 14, but now it is front and center on devices that still have iOS 14, and it is the only available update option as Apple has now stopped making security updates available for devices running iOS 14. Those who want the latest security fixes need to upgrade to iOS 15, as all devices capable of running iOS 14 also support iOS 15.
I think it’s the right move for Apple, since they tend to support old devices longer than other manufacturers. Apple could tweak iOS to be less aggressive is upgrading to the latest release by introducing delays in a random manner. Users eager to upgrade can do so manually, others would randomly get a notification suggesting the availability of the newer release. As time passes, those notifications would increase in frequency. This new behaviour will probably never come to like and not be enough. Here is why.
There might be another reason behind this change of mind on Apple’s part. Look at antitrust regulations looming on the horizon all around the world. Apple is probably making sure that all users adopt the latest release faster to comply with possible new regulations imposed by lawmakers, which would need to trigger changes to the operating system.