One in five iPads running out-of-date software

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Apple is unveiling the iPad 2 at any moment, in on fell swoop making the millions of iPads consumers have already purchased obsolete and yesterday’s news. But a significant number of those users probably don’t care. According to a new report from analytics firm Localytics some 20 percent of existing iPads are running out of date software. And the news is only going to get worse as Apple is almost certain to start showing off iOS 4.3 along with its newest iPad.

Localytics looked at the release of iOS 4.2 back in November 2010 and found that within six weeks of its release, some 70 percent of iPads had been updated to run the new software. However, over the next seven weeks only an additional 10 percent of the iPad-using population jumped on board, and as of the 13th week after release (that would be in mid-February) nearly 20 percent of all iPads were still running outdated software—and that’s even with a large number of new iPad owners getting their devices over the holidays with iOS 4.2 pre-installed.

The numbers represent a conundrum for developers who would like to leverage new features and capabilities in Apple’s latest devices and software, but run the risk of alienating a significant number of existing iPad users. Localytics concludes that folks running outdated versions of iOS on their iPads still represents too large a population of users: “developers should not anticipate dropping support for them anytime soon.”