Here’s what has been happening with Apple and its family of iOS devices, along with my witty commentary.
Apple US smartphone marketshare
The latest comScore numbers show Apple’s share of US mobile subscriber has grown 1.1 to claim 7.9%. This keeps Apple at fifth place, but within 0.5% of RIM which has 8.4%.
My Take: Remarkable for a company that sells one device.
iOS 4.3.3 ships
Apple has released iOS 4.3.3 for iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch which contains the fix for the “LocationGate” problem that has caused Apple to testify in front of Congress. However, there have been reports of 4.3.3 affecting wifi reception on all devices. Apple has not commented.
My Take: Its notable how fast Apple can put out a release when they really have to. Google could not distribute an Android patch this quickly because it is up to each manufacturer and carrier to release a patch. This usually takes weeks or months.
I haven’t experienced the reported wifi problem on my iPad 3G or iPhone 3GS butyou may want to hold off on updating until this is resolved.
iOS 5 OTA Updates?
Rumor has it that iOS 5 updates will be sent over the air as opposed to having to download on a PC and upload via iTunes.
My Take. Android has been doing this for quite a while, so the Android fans will snicker at this. This would be great, but iOS updates are usually on the order of 600MB, so I’d imagine the updates only happen when using a wifi connection. Android can get away with 3G updates because not every Android device is updated at once. If all iPhones are updated, that would be a huge amount of devices to update OTA at one time.
Apple’s app store revenue
Even though Android Marketplace is projected to have more apps that Apple’s App Store this summer, it’s the App Store where the money goes. In 2011, Apple is predicted take $2.91B in app sales. Over the same period Google is predicted to take in $425M. That’s a huge difference. For the entire app market, iOS takes in 60% of revenues. See MobileBurn.
My Take: Android fans will gloat about numbers of apps, but Apple and iPhone developers are making money.
Apple’s Rules put eBook company goes out of business
BeamItDown, creator of the iOS eBook reader iFlowReader, is going out of business. They claim that by Apple requiring a 30% cut of each book sold would make them to take a loss on each book sold. Since they cannot take a loss per book they are forced to shut down the business. Naturally, they are not too happy about it and blast Apple for changing the rules after they have built and deployed their app. See Gizmodo.
My Take: I can understand why their business model is not compatible with how Apple runs their platform, but I don’t understand why they had to go out of business instead of moving to Android.
This also raises the question to what is going to happen to Amazon and B&N? That should be interesting!
Patent on In-App Purchases?
A company called Lodsys has sent threatening letters to several developers of small iOS applications using in-app purchasing to pay them or cease and desist. Lodsys owns a patent from the 1990’s that can be interpretted to cover in-app purchases. The speculation is that Lodsys are going after the small guys instead of Apple because small companies won’t be able to affort the lawsuit and will likely just pay off Lodsys. One receiver of the letter noticed that Apple or its technology is not specifically named, so it is likely that Lodsys will also go after Android apps that use similar technology. See Gizmodo and Tidbits.
My Take: I hope Apple and Google aer paying attention and help protect their developers. They should not only cover any legal costs but provide the legal talent to fight this. That or throw enough money to Lodsys to make them go away.
iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup
This week BGR is reporting that an analyst has reported some specifics about the next iPhone. Specifically:
- It will be called iPhone 4S
- It will have minor cosmetic changes
- It will be compatible with T-Mobile and Sprint
- It will be HSPA+ compatible
- It will not have LTE
My Take: I hate even bringing these things up, but there were a couple of interesting new things mentioned here. Compatibility with T-Mobile and Sprint is interesting. Getting iPhone on all four major US carriers will be a win for Apple.
Second, this is the first I’ve heard of HSPA+ support (although I believe I predicted that a while ago). HSPA+ is significantly faster than Verizon 3G and could help AT&T and T-Mobile get or keep iPhone customers. It will be marked as a 4G iPhone.
As always, we’ll only know for sure whenever Apple makes their announcement.