iPhone 6S / 6S Plus Show Lower Adoption Rates Than 2014 Models

Prior to Apple’s announcement on September 9th about the launch of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, as well as iOS 9, our data showed that the iPhone 6 was the dominant iPhone model in the market, holding a 30% market share.

Now, one week into the launch of Apple’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and two weeks into the launch of iOS 9, we looked at the data again to understand the current market share and user adoption rates.


iPhone 6S/6S Plus Showing Lower Adoption Than Previous Models

While Apple is reporting record sales for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus (13 million sold in 3 days), our research shows that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are experiencing lower adoption rates in the first week of their availability versus the same timeframe for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last year.

One week after launch, the 6S and 6S Plus account for 1.9% of all iPhones. Whereas last year after one week of sales, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus accounted for 2.7% of all iPhones.




This data is not necessarily shocking, considering many may view Apple’s iPhone S version launches as “softer” launches with only minor improvements and features.

By comparison, the adoption rates of the 5S and 5C versus the 5 support this view. In 2013, only 1.2% of all iPhone users had adopted the new 5S or 5C models within the first week of their availability. Whereas, in 2012 the iPhone 5 accounted for 3.1% of all devices after the first week of sales.




For some people, it would also seem the reduced price of the 6 and 6 Plus is more compelling than the feature enhancements of the 6S and 6S Plus, as the adoption of last year’s models has also increased. One month ago the iPhone 6 accounted for 30% of all devices. Whereas today, even with the new 2015 models available as an option, it represents 33.2% of all devices.




iOS 9 Upgrades are Stronger than iOS 8, Slower than iOS 7

Looking across OS upgrades for the last three Apple iOS versions over the first two weeks of their availability, our data shows that iOS 9 has stronger early adoption across eligible devices* than that of iOS 8, but that both still pale in comparison to the early days of iOS 7.




This is likely due to the fact that iOS 7 offered many visual and easy to grasp changes that resulted in fast adoption. The visual changes that came with iOS 7 were likely more significant to the average user, compared to (for example) iOS 8’s silent push or iOS 9’s app switching feature, which may be more appealing to tech fans or developers. As iOS 7 was more appealing to a broader audience, the adoption rates of iOS 8 and iOS 9 are more typical of what we expect to see in adoption rates over the first two weeks.


iOS 9 Is Most Popular on Newer Devices

On average, 46.6% of all eligible Apple devices have upgraded to iOS 9. Unsurprisingly, newer devices tend to upgrade faster, with the iPhone 6 Plus and 6 adoption at 59% and 55% respectively. The iPhone 4S, which is the oldest phone that is still eligible to upgrade to iOS 9, has the slowest adoption rate to date with only 30%.




Localytics is the leading lifecycle engagement platform across more than 2.7 billion devices and 37,000 mobile and web apps. Localytics processes 120 billion data points monthly. For this study, we examined over 50 million iOS devices. For the iPhone adoption data, we examined the relative percentage of iPhones in the subsequent week after each device's release. The iOS report was created by analyzing all devices eligible for an OS upgrade, excluding iPhones that automatically included the new OS version on the device.