Chitika's look at Apple OS adoption on the eve of a product launch

It's very likely that along with the announcement of some new products tomorrow, we'll get a better idea of when Apple's newest operating systems -- iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks -- will actually ship. iOS 7 is widely expected to ship with the new iPhone(s) that should be announced tomorrow, while OS X Mavericks may be slated for an October release. Online advertising firm Chitika looks at millions of ad impressions generated by their network to scout out trends, and its most recent numbers (from August 15 to August 21, 2013) show that a whopping 92 percent of all iPhone users and 82 percent of iPad users are currently running iOS 6.

Why are fewer iPad users on the most recent version of iOS? Chitika noted analyst Chetan Sharma as pointing out that 90 percent of tablet users use WiFi only (even if they are WiFi + cellular devices). iOS 6 has some mobile-focused features like turn-by-turn GPS and FaceTime over mobile networks that made the upgrade to iOS 6 more attractive to iPhone users than those who own iPads. Chitika believes that "based on past adoption rates of new iOS versions, it's likely that users of both device categories will adopt iOS 7 at high rates."

So what about Apple's desktop / laptop operating system, OS X? Chitika's numbers show that 34 percent of all Mac owners in North America currently use OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), while 23 percent are still using Lion (10.7). What's quite surprising is the number of users who are somewhat stuck in the past with OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) and Leopard (10.5), a surprising 32 and 10 percent, respectively.

For those who are running newer hardware capable meeting the requirements for the upcoming release of OS X Mavericks (10.9), the upgrade to the new version should be a no-brainer. Older Macs, however, will most likely continue to run the older operating systems until such time as the hardware is beyond repair.