Typical iPhone Adoption Rates

While watching yesterday’s announcements I got curious about how quickly a new iPhone gets adopted in the marketplace. This was particularly important for apps of mine like Pedometer++ which rely on specific hardware features. This year it is more about understanding how quickly these new screensizes will become common in use.

So I took a look through my iOS Version data and graphed the adoption of the iPhone 5s/5c. The usual caveats about this being usage based and representative of the audience of my Audiobooks apply but it is likely still pretty useful to see.

Looks like we can expect around 10% adoption of a new iPhone by December and then 20% by late summer next year. The iPhone 6 may go quicker than the 5s since it is such a dramatically different device form-factor (but then of course it could also go slower?). Either way looks like making sure apps run well on these big screens needs to be a pretty quick turnaround for developers.


David Smith

App Store Longevity and Freshness

For a very long time I’ve talked about my concerns about the size and health of the iOS App Store catalog. The App Store currently sits around 1,200,000 apps. For years the depth and diversity of the App Store has been one of the platforms strongest differentiators. However, as it grows the challenge becomes ensuring that it doesn’t begin to strain under its own size.

What has always annoyed me in my discussions about how to improve the App Store was that I didn’t have actual data on the composition of the App Store. Since it wasn’t (to my knowledge) available I started working out ways to get at it myself.

David Smith

A Few Podcast Appearances

It seems that the way I am able to keep Developing Perspective to 15 minutes might be that I guest on other people’s podcasts and ramble on for hours. I was on three podcasts this last week.

  • The Prompt - #52: Koala Consortium • Myke and Federico invited on to talk about the improvements we saw in the App Store at WWDC. Specifically how they addressed or help with the issues I outlined in my Towards a Better App Store series.
  • The CocoaConf Podcast - #2: WWDC 2014 Reflections • I spoke with Daniel Steinberg about how I stay focused and seek out opportunities based on the WWDC announcements. This was recorded before WWDC but the reflections I made apply well to the massive changes announced there.
  • Release Notes - #57 • Charles and Joe asked me to talk through the business aspects of building a diverse product lineup. Rather than focusing on a single product line I have built my business on having a wide and diverse catalog that in aggregate allows me a dependable income.

I should probably also mention that last week’s episode of Developing Perspective outlined the approach I take each summer to dissect the WWDC announcements and work out what I should adopt.

David Smith

» A Fundamental Tension

David Marsh’s guest editorial on Touch Arcade is worth a read:

In a perfect world we would not put ads in any of our games. The unfortunate truth however is that ads are an important part of being able to deliver people the apps they love for free.

I see this tension between providing quality user experiences and building a sustainable business as the biggest challenge our industry currently faces. There aren’t any easy answers.

David Smith

Opportunities, not Obligations

As I sit firmly within the glow of WWDC’s announcements I’m struck by how different this year feels than years gone by. There is a different feeling in the air and a welcome change in the overall morale among the developers I meet.

Apple did so much this year to knock off our longtime wish-lists. Extensions, Photos, Metal, Scene Kit, CloudKit, Document Pickers, Handoff, Analytics, Beta Testing….it is Christmas morning. But it isn’t just the changes that I think have us all walking around with grins on our faces, it is what those changes now allow.

When I left WWDC last year I felt like I had a long todo list of things that I needed to do. Apple had made a lot of changes (most notably to the appearance) of iOS 7 that were a lot of work to adopt but that didn’t fundamentally change my apps. I couldn’t wow my customers with the resulting changelog, it felt like the same app but in a different dress.

This year is the opposite. I don’t have a todo list of things that I need to do, I have a list of things I want to do. This year Apple has taken the lid off and given us everything that we have been asking for. It is now our responsibility to step-up and take advantage of the new opportunities created.

This year I head into a busy summer overwhelmed in the best possible way with amazing opportunities, not with obligations that I need to adapt to.

Bring it on.

David Smith