Apple on Wednesday will release new software versions for its iOS devices and the Apple Watch, with the former being highly anticipated by many current iPhone and iPad owners. According to Apple, there’s tremendous potential for the iOS 9 update, but a mobile app intelligence firm says the upgrade might trail iOS 8 adoption in the first week, as some people still have a bad taste in their mouths from last year.

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The iPhone maker revealed on its developer website that 87% of the iOS devices that used the App Store on September 14th were running iOS 8 or later, with an additional 11% of users running a version of iOS 7. That means there’s huge upgrade potential for Apple, as all devices running iOS 8 right now are eligible for the iOS 9 update. Furthermore, iPhone 4s and iPad 2 units still on iOS 7 could also make the jump to iOS 9.

ios-8-adoptionImage Source: Apple Inc.

For Apple, the ability to update a large number of iOS devices to the latest available software has been an important weapon against Google’s Android. The iPhone maker reminds developers every chance it gets that the most recent iOS version can be installed on hundreds of millions of devices as soon as it’s released, which is something Google can’t match when it comes to Android updates.

However, last fall, a slew of issues hindered the iOS 8 upgrade. Storage problems preventing over-the-air updates, while performance issues on older hardware and Wi-Fi inconsistencies across devices curbed the enthusiasm of many iOS fans looking to get on Apple’s latest iOS release.

Apple fixed some of these issues in subsequent updates, making stability and performance improvements pillars of iOS 9. The new software needs just a third of the free storage required by iOS 8, and should run even better on old devices.

However, last year’s initial performance of iOS 8 might be still fresh on the minds of certain users. Crittercism says that iOS 9 adoption will hit 31% after seven days, compared to 35% for iOS 8. In the long run, iOS 9 should reach 50% by day 25, three days faster than iOS 9 (see graph below).

ios-9-adoption-forecast-crittercismImage Source: Crittercism

Crittercism expects the iOS 9 update to be smoother than iOS 8, with the mobile app intelligence firm saying that iOS 9’s current crash rate is of 2.77% compared to 3.48% for iOS 8 during the same period.

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