Figures released by Apple during a 7‑day period ending May 18, 2014, indicate that 88 percent of the entire iDevice ecosystem is rocking iOS 7, whereas the remaining 12 percent are on iOS 6 or lower.
Going by this breakdown, it’s pretty easy to draw a line and see how much of the install base will be getting iOS 8 and how many customers won’t. With a 10 percent share, most of the iOS 6 user base is there because of device limitations (i.e. iPhone 3GS, iPod touch fourth-generation).
Granted, there are also a handful of users who prefer that version of the software and have deliberately postponed their upgrade. That being said, there’s still that 2 percent running an even older version of the OS. Based on this fact, we can safely deduce that at least 10 percent of the existing iOS ecosystem will not be eligible for the next-generation iOS 8.
But that's just half the story. The iDevice install base is still comprised of a lot of iPad 2 and iPhone 4 devices. These will most certainly not be compatible with iOS 8. That means a far greater percentage of users will not be able to download iOS 8 (because of the higher system requirements) and will therefore be forced to upgrade.
Based on this measurement, we estimate that around one third of existing iPhone/iPad customers will not receive the iOS 8 download prompt. And that's a conservative estimate.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Apple has made a push to offer attractive trade-in deals enabling users to upgrade their hardware for less money. If you’re in that camp, see how Apple can help with its reuse and recycling programs.
iOS 8 will make its debut tomorrow at WWDC14, while the public launch isn’t expected until later around fall.
In the press releasing announcing this year’s conference, Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, confirmed the company’s plans to release all-new OSes, both for desktop and for mobile users.
“We have the most amazing developer community in the world and have a great week planned for them,” said Schiller. “Every year the WWDC audience becomes more diverse, with developers from almost every discipline you can imagine and coming from every corner of the globe. We look forward to sharing with them our latest advances in iOS and OS X so they can create the next generation of great apps.”