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5by5 | The Critical Path #55: Gravity Well

Horace and Moisés discuss the early consumer response to iOS 6 (Maps in particular), and how people appear to greatly prefer native apps to their web app counterparts. They also dig into just how large an opportunity cost Apple is capable of absorbing in the interest of protecting their platform. In doing so, they examine the native app vs. HTML5 debate.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #55: Gravity Well.

  • http://twitter.com/kgbraund Kyle Braund

    How DOES one explain all these leaks?

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      Pre-production prototypes number in the thousands and are in circulation for months. It’s hard to secure them all.

      • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

        Leaks are released by Apple on purpose for free marketing during the events and conferences in the weeks and months that precede the official Apple event.

  • http://jmmxtech.wordpress.com/ jmmx

    Horace – regarding the maps issue, I think that one thing that is overlooked by many is re reason why Apple HAD to do its own maps. I think this provides an insightful analyisis:

    http://beta.fool.com/jaans/2012/08/20/understanding-apple-vs-google-maps-deep-analysis-e/9606

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    No glitches in updates? It’s called CDN, if Apple pays for bandwidth the CDN provides as much bandwidth as needed. Most active iPhones have not yet even updated to iOS5 yet.

    Google Maps is awesome not just because of some user generated fault reporting. Google sent thousands of cars around on every single street all over the world. You think street view cars are just for street view pictures? It’s for improving maps accuracy, it’s for improving localization performance (snooping all wifi hotspots). Google has trillions of signals sent from users over nearly 10 years that make up the accuracy of Google Maps.

    Google should not release the maps app on iOS, and if Apple doesn’t instantly give up all lawsuits against Android companies, Google should block Gmail, Google Search and any other connection to iPhone and iPad.

    Apple fanboys can just have fun on tomtom, bing and ping mail, bye.

    • jawbroken

      “Most active iPhones have not yet even updated to iOS5 yet.”

      Find one piece of data that supports this assertion.

      • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

        you think nobody does actual real polling of smartphone users? Apple won’t tell you, but the iOS ecosystem is way more fragmented than Android, especially with ALL iOS apps now shown with terrible black letterbox on iphone 5 and future iOS apps possibly not even backwards compatible because Apple doesn’t care. Also ipad apps are going to look terrible and barely work on the ipad mini.

      • jawbroken

        Apparently you’re the one that thinks nobody does real polling of smartphone users, because you can’t link a single poll to support your assertions.

      • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

        Apple doesn’t release iOS version distribution, which is one proof that it totally sucks big time. A large part of iPhone users use it mainly just as a phone that makes them look trendy towards the hipster mentality. Those people barely even use the web browser and never play games on the phone. Those people have not yet updated to iOS5. Of course, you could also go to the thousand techmeme-influenced blogs that link to bogus stats from bogus iOS apps that of course does not count users who do not care about their app much less do not care about apps in general as those people just want to buy a $2000 iphone to show off.

      • jawbroken

        Your assertion is that most people haven’t updated to iOS 5. Apple not releasing statistics isn’t anywhere close to proof or even slight evidence that most people haven’t updated. All the other evidence seems to disagree with you. Therefore I can’t accept anything you are saying as plausible and I don’t know why you believe it to be true.

      • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

        You like links, then you spend your time providing links on true iOS version distribution, the fact is you get nothing other than bogus apps which mean nothing of representativity of the users of iPhone.

      • jawbroken

        I didn’t make any claim, so what assertion do I need to back with links?

      • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

        You made these claims ”
        Apple not releasing statistics isn’t anywhere close to proof or even slight evidence that most people haven’t updated. All the other evidence seems to disagree with you.” so you provide the links if you want to claim you are right.

      • jawbroken

        I never claimed I was “right” because I never made a claim, please read carefully. I only said I have no reason to believe you since you haven’t presented a shred of evidence.

      • Sillmacka

        Here is a link to an appdev: http://david-smith.org/iosversionstats/
        version : 6.x = 45.1% and 5.x = 47.9 % ( september 24)

      • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

        Apple today announced … more than 100 million iOS devices have been updated with iOS 6. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120924005467/en/iPhone-5-Weekend-Sales-Top-Million

      • cellojoe

        Does the 5 million sold include preorders?

      • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

        Only those that were delivered by end of weekend. Apple cannot claim sold until they are in the hands of the buyer. The press release suggested “a majority” made the cut so you can assume maybe 40% did not.

      • cellojoe

        So, we would be warranted in adding another half million to 1 million to the initial weekend sales to estimate devices in transit?

      • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

        Apple annouces what arranges them. iOS5 got auto-update. That’s still not 50% of active iphones. Unless you claim there are less than 150 million iPhones (leave some other iOS to other types) active in the world. Apple is not going to ever give you actual iOS version distribution numbers 2 or 3 months from now because those are shameful for them. They keep spreading propaganda about Android fragmentation when on iOS it’s much much worse. All iOS apps are now letterboxed on iphone5, no guarantee iphon5 apps are going to be backwards compatible and ipad apps ae doomed for ipad mini.

      • cellojoe

        This confuses me, my devices never auto updated. Of course, I have an iPad. Not a phone, but I don’t think that would make a difference… And automatic updating of a mobile device would be inordinately inconvenient since the device stops functioning for several minutes during the update process.

      • cellojoe

        Also, you’ve suggested that the operating system is fragmented. Fragmentation is not as trivial as version number. Fragmentation implies that there are features available on some devices that Arenot available on others solely due to incompatible software.

        Most apps are current through several OS versions so I don’t understand how large percentage of users running the prior OS could lead to fragmentation

      • Kizedek

        “They keep spreading propaganda about Android fragmentation when on iOS it’s much much worse. All iOS apps are now letterboxed on iphone5, no guarantee iphon5 apps are going to be backwards compatible and ipad apps ae doomed for ipad mini.”

        Well, there are a couple of ways in which “fragmentation” can be acceptable, inevitable, bad or worse.

        You are kind of conflating a couple of these trajectories, making an arbitrary judgement about what is or isn’t bad about “fragmentation”, and assuming that the way Apple has handled any issues must necessarily be the “worst” way.

        First, we have the OS version. I don’t know, you must be assuming that since iOS is on 6 and Android is on 4.1 that “fragmentation” among iOS devices MUST be “worse” — after all, there are more versions in play, right? Nice. Further, you seem to have no perception about how either OS is upgraded (or even if it can be on a given device), nor whether the average user does initiate an upgrade — and how easily or how soon after availability. Try removing your blinkers.

        Every single one of those 5 million iPhone 5’s just sold, and every single one that ever will be sold, PLUS every single iPhone 4, 4S and 3GS sold since last week, will, get this, have iOS 6 installed on it! How can that be any better?

        Furthermore, since the number of sales of each succeeding version of iPhone eclipses the previous one, and since the 3GS is over three years old and yet is still “supported”, the number of actively used iPhones for which it could conceivably be said that there is a “fragmentation” issue is a small small percentage of all active iOS devices. Looking at ANY chart of Android devices, the situation for Android is precisely the REVERSE.

        The main contention about Android OS versions, of course, is that NEW devices are shipping with OLD OS versions. But, somehow, this is not “much much worse”. Nice.

        Secondly, you seem to be overly thrilled that Android defaults to a system whereby UI and screen assets *conveniently* resize themselves to various screen dimensions and aspect ratios. Kind of like these new Responsive website templates that slide the content around depending on the device you are browsing with. Wow. And you condemn “letterboxing” as an example of Apple’s failure to deal with some obvious “fragmentation” that is “much much worse” than anything on Android. Oh?

        How about we tell it like it is? Since fragmentation on Android is such as issue, developers use the basic out of the box lowest common denominator approach and hope for the best. They have no hope of tailoring their apps to all Android devices and they hardly know where to begin to hit their target market, let alone have any confidence about which features their customers may or may not enjoy, because their customers may as likely buy a new phone installed with Android 2.4 as 4.1, and have no hope of upgrading, or as likely to have a 2.5in screen as a 4.5in screen (more likely, rather, since most Android sales are of non-smart devices).

        Let’s contrast this with the iOS developer, who can know exactly what his app will or will not look like on 6 versions of the iPhone and 3 versions of the iPad. He can choose to list his app as compatible with the 3GS forward, or just the 4 or 4S and forward. He can decide to target older iPhones with less features, or he can decide to concentrate on only newer phones.

        The iOS developer can decide to include images and assets for the 3GS screen, the 4/4S retina screen, and the taller iPhone 5 screen… or NOT. Same with the iPad screens and making an iPad specific UI included in the same app… or NOT. There is no uncertainty of wondering how the OS is going to screw up the app when it is displayed on various configurations — because the developer has decided exactly how it will display on all of 9 devices!

        Now, those developers who built their iPhone app for iPhone 4 or 4S have a simple upgrade to make to get it to display perfectly on the iPhone 5. They have suspected this for months, and they have had the beta of iOS 6 for months. It is a *simple* matter to prepare a couple more background assets. In the meantime, Apple has chosen to display their app letterboxed rather than to presume how the developer may like to make use of the added space. (Now who is spreading “propaganda” and FUD?).

        Indeed, an iOS developer is far more likely to make the effort and do this simple upgrade — because 1) it is worth the effort since iOS users appreciate his work and buy his app, and 2) he only has to put in a finite amount of known effort to cover EVERY iOS device ever made — adding a little vertical screen real estate.

    • RobDK

      The Google Cars were also used to illegally steal wifi data from private citizens. Pretty typical for Google.

      • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

        There is no data stealing. Google writes down the names and ID of WiFi hotspots around the world. Google does that with smartphones too. Apple does it too, that is how anyone can spy on Apple phones location history until Apple supposedly closed that with an update but millions of iPhones are still vulnerable simply because people do not update their phones, the iphone software updates are huge downloads that large chunks of iphone users do not download, many never even connect to itunes.

  • cellojoe

    I would suggest that at this moment Apple might have a narrative problem on their hands. I have checked the new maps as best I could over the weekend. I used up skewer points of American and Eastern European geography and found them just as good as Google maps. What’s more, at being a permanent link to Google maps to your home screen takes less than a minute. Assuming, that this issue Did affect sales and it wasn’t simply a supply constraint (Something which I might be inclined to believe simply because if it was a supply constraint that would imply no supply-chain improvement over last year which even factoring in new component needs seems very
    strange) It seems that any flaw in the devices can now easily be inserted into the “this is no longer Steve Jobs company” narrative.

    I don’t know how the company overcomes this narrative with products alone, they might need a new prophet. I don’t know where you find one.