Chitika: iOS 6 Spike Likely Due To iPhone In China, Not Google Maps, As U.S. Growth Remains Flat

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While a study this week from MoPub suggested that iOS 6 adoption indeed did see a spike coinciding with the introduction of Google Maps, Chitika has a new, longer-term look at adoption in the U.S. that suggests a different explanation for MoPub’s results. Culling data from millions of impressions across its mobile ad network, Chitika found that over a six-day period beginning December 11 through December 17, iOS 6 impressions remained flat, just as in their initial study.

So how to reconcile the two? Well, Chitika suggests that the difference may come down to coverage areas: MoPub draws its results from a global network, which includes countries where the iPhone 5 was first introduced last week. That includes, but isn’t limited to, China, where 2 million iPhones were sold during opening weekend, all of them sporting iOS 6. New hardware shipping with iOS 6 came online in a variety of new markets last week, in fact: 33 countries in addition to China.

Chitika’s study covers only devices active in the U.S. and Canada, and what the network found here at home was that adoption remained constant at around 71.5 percent from December 11 through December 17, including the day of Google Maps’ release. To reinforce the validity of this data, the network looked back at adoption beginning with iOS 6′s release, showing the rapid early adoption and then gradual inclination that has led to the current plateau, which, while relatively static, still includes a very large number of iOS devices.

The extended look throws some water on the theory that users were waiting to see what kind of reviews Google Maps for iOS 6 receives. The fact is that while a picture of throngs of users just waiting for Google Maps to arrive in order to upgrade sounds like a good story, numbers in a controlled environment not seeing the addition of any other factors (like releases in new markets) still supports the original hypothesis that adoption didn’t take a huge skyward turn based solely on Google software release.