When will there be one billion iOS devices in use?

iOS unit sales crossed over 700 million units last month. That is a significant milestone but the total number of units in use is likely to be lower. My estimate based on device replacement assumptions is that about 500 million are still in use.

The estimated break-down of units sold and in use by device type is shown below:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 11-25-2.59.59 PM

When I looked at the penetration of iPhones in the US (as a part of smartphones in total) the surprising pattern was that it followed a logistic curve (while other platforms didn’t.) If this is indicative of a particular learning process to be observed in the market, then can we extend the logistic growth pattern to iOS overall?

I tried it with the assumption that at 500 million, iOS is at the half-way point in its growth. This assumption comes from growth being near an inflection point. It could be that iOS might accelerate further in which case peak penetration could be higher than 1 billion, but might take longer to reach.

The 500 million as 50% penetration point assumption fits the model as shown below.


Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 11-25-3.23.10 PM


The fit is pretty good for the period after the iPhone 3G launched. This assumption would therefore imply (nearly) one billion iOS devices in use by the end of 2018.

Note that this does not mean one billion iOS users. The attach rate for iOS devices per user could well reach 2 by then placing total user base at 500 million. Note that this size of audience is very nearly the existing total Apple audience already (counting iTunes/iCloud accounts).

This means that we already have “existence proof” that Apple can reach half-a-billion users. Apple does not need to discover a large new set of non-consumers. The idea of 1 billion iOS devices is simply the projection that each current user could some day use two devices.


94 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Luis Alejandro Masanti,

    “…each current user could some day use two devices.”

    Lots of them (me included) already have more than one: an iPhone and an iPad, or iPod touch. So, the actual number of owners (maybe) is not one-to-one (user-to-device).
    “If” the much-rumored iWatch runs (almost) full iOS we can get 3-to-1.
    On the other hand, “if” TV goes full iOS, we will have a 1.001-to-1.

  2. willo,

    Growth can still be accelerated from this point going forward. I don´t think you are taking into account the expansion of new markets with lower cost models. 5C might have been expensive at this point, but give it another two years and Apple is bound to have an entry-level IOS device at around $300 without a contract.

  3. melci,

    Horace, Flurry reported that they were tracking around 510 million active app-using iOS devices compared to 564 million active app-using Android devices back in April of this year.

    In the following six months, Apple sold another 100 million iOS devices and we would expect to be closing in on another 80 million or so this Christmas quarter so I reckon we’d already be above 600 million active iOS devices at this point.

    • professortom,

      Just to point out the obvious: based on what you’ve said here, there is an implication that iOS will soon have more devices in use than Android despite marketshare.

      • melci,

        It’s not really surprising considering IDC’s data shows that two thirds of Android devices sold are $215 junk phones (as per Appleinsider).

        Last quarter, even though it was the slump in sales before the release of new model iPhones and iPads, Apple was still selling 550,000 iOS devices per day compared to 1.5 million Android device activations. That is over a third of Android’s device activations and equivalent to the number of premium Android devices sold.

        Just wait till this quarter with the Christmas and new model surge which last Christmas saw iOS sales of 815,000 per day.

      • obarthelemy,

        for $215, you can get a good phone, with specs broadly equivalent to an iPhone 4.

      • melci,

        Apart from the fact that the owners of these sorts of phones don’t use them as much, browse the web as much, buy as many apps, view as many ads, engage in as much e-commerce, buy as much media, connect to wifi as much etc. In effect, all the important metrics that raw marketshare is supposed to generate.

        As such, they are far less valuable to the Android ecosystem and platform than premium smartphone and tablet purchasers.

      • obarthelemy,

        Indeed, but that’s true of all markets (cars, houses…). Yet it doe snot diminish usage value: some people don’t need more than a $200 phone. Even a lot of people who spend $700 would be as well served with a $200 one.

      • melci,

        The point is that when they are only used as a glorified feature phone, they become irrelevant in a comparison of platforms.

      • obarthelemy,

        What is a feature phone ? I had Internet, email, games, music, radio, video… on my Nokia years ago.

      • melci,

        And look what happened to Nokia and Symbian. Poor developer revenue, media revenue, ad revenue and ecosystem and your platform rapidly becomes a barren wasteland filled with spam ware (30% in the case of apps on the Google Play Store according to AppBrain).

      • charly,

        Except a better (read bigger) screen

      • melci,

        Note that on 13th of February Google announced they had activated 750 million Android devices and then on 3rd of September they hit 1 billion. That is 250 million Android activations.

        In the same timeframe, Apple sold 116 million iOS devices, or 46% the number of Android activations. That is almost half of all Android activations.

        Even more interesting is the fact that Apple sold 75 million iPhones over that same period which works out at 30% the number of ALL Android device activations (that is smartphones, phablets and tablets).

        30% of the 81% share that IDC believes Android had of the smartphone market equates to 24.4% marketshare for the iPhone (and that is against all Android devices, not just phones).

        However, considering IDC believes that there were the same number of Android tablets sold last quarter as the iPhone, the iPhone comes in with an even higher marketshare.

        These figures are a heck of a lot higher than the 12.9% marketshare IDC reckons the iPhone captured last quarter – and this is the slump before the new model iPhones and iPads hit the market for the bumper Christmas season. Can’t wait to see the figures this quarter!

      • JohnDoey,

        But you have to take into account that it requires multiple Android devices to get just ONE user through 2–3 years, while it takes only one iPhone to do that.

        In other words, it is not advantageous to Android in terms of market share that my roommate bought 3 Android phones over the past 3 years while I bought one iPhone during that time, and I still accounted for more usage time and money invested in the platform.

      • melci,

        I agree. Add to that the fact that only a third of Android sales are iOS-class devices and the Flurry data I mentioned below which shows Android has a far lower number of active app-using devices still in operation and you realise why the iOS platform continues to show vastly higher usage share, developer revenue, ad ROI, e-commerce revenue etc.

      • obarthelemy,

        Any actual hard data on Android customers upgrading/churning more than iOS users ?

      • obarthelemy,

        Activations are only for the Google version of Android. There’s also the other ones (Amazon, chinese…)

      • melci,

        For sure, but they might as well be different operating systems when they don’t use any Google apps or Services, the Play Store or ecosystem.

        Instead as every Android user will be happy to tell you, the Chinese ones in particular are a hotbed of malware, piracy, cheap plastic and tin and contribute very little to the Android platform as a whole.

      • obarthelemy,

        They do contribute a fair bit:
        – nurture some competent OEMs: Cubot, MIUI, Tinno… even Lenovo are warming up with China-only devices
        – get users on the bandwagon: I’m sure very few go back from smartphone to dumbphone, and a fair share will trade up eventually, as will their usage patterns
        – Devs that are not specifically using any Google services/APIs can have one code run on all versions of Android, be it Amazon’s, Google’s, or any other. That’s most of them, and adaptations if you *are* using Goggle services are minimal.

        As revenue-generators, they only matter to OEMs, not to devs nor Google. As market creators, they matter a whole lot to the whole smartphone economy.

      • melci,

        Trouble is they have no “stickiness” – I jumped ship from my $79 Huawei X1 Android “smartphone” with zero friction as it was a glorified feature phone and nothing else.

        They don’t create a market – the usage and revenue figures demonstrate they just fill in the space left behind by pure dumbphones.

      • JohnDoey,

        We can see that trend from usage data. Android users are buying exponentially more replacement devices. No surprise.

      • That is what Horace is implying speaking about the learning process data make observable in the market.
        Users are learning what device is best suited for their needs, that requires some replacements and than they land on iOS paying the price of quality quite happily.

  4. It seems that Apple has at least four more year to be a valuable company just upgrading their existing products as they have always done.
    If they can also find a hit new product category in the same period their value would skyrocket.
    Buy when a company is undervalues sell when it is overvalues, the common sense rule says.
    And yet when I look at current Apple valuation by wall street I can help but have a sense of disbelief, how can they think Apple’s value is gonna to disappear given the dimension of their value chain?
    Even if they start to behave as a bunch of idiots, like Microsoft has done in recent years, they have got so much big to be hard to fall.

    • charly,

      Microsoft has legacy like all those word documents, programs etc. Apple not so much.

      • Kizedek,

        Other apps can open Word Documents. The question is whether companies find it better to maintain the investment they have put into whatever macros or parts of their documents are proprietary to MS, or move at least parts of their systems on in terms of productivity and future tech that is more convenient and plays better with other systems.

        As new generations of workers come along who are used to more modern convenience and mobile platforms, and as MS both obfuscates their software with bloat and changes the UIs dramatically and beyond all recognition with features like the ribbon, then companies have to think about their investment in training and workflow anyway.

        I think that question is being answered.

      • obarthelemy,

        2 issues with export/import filters, on top of macros:

        1- it’s never perfect. I’ve got to re-do layout or semi-advanced stuff (indexes, ToCs…) on most documents.
        2- missing features stay missing. I can’t do long documents w/o styles, indexes, footnotes/headers, spreadsheet/chart embedding… Many apps, especially mobile ones, don’t have that

        As an aside, it seems Apple are screwing with the features and interface of their Office apps rather more than MS are messing with theirs ?

      • I was more thinking about their positioning.
        They are a windows company or a software company?
        A windows company develops only for windows and pushes only windows, a software company was the same a few years ago but now is a company that develops software solutions to solve use cases in all the o.s. that matters to their users.
        Silverlight is going that way, xbox is going that way, office is not only for now but will be.
        The idiocy in my opinion has been waiting so long to become irrelevant.

  5. JohnDoey,

    You are also assuming no new device categories.

  6. normm,

    I don’t understand the obsession that Apple is doomed without giant new product categories. Isn’t a billion devices in use a large ongoing business that requires only incremental improvements to maintain with a loyal customer base? The logistic growth implies Apple will maintain the billion device penetration indefinitely.

    It seems ironic to me that Apple’s penetration of the overall cellphone market in the US is growing as fast as any technology ever has in history, and yet somehow that’s not good enough.

    • obarthelemy,

      Because the US is not the whole market, iOS was down to 12% share wwide last quarter, and Android devs are now making as much money/month as iOS devs, with a lot of potential upside.

      • melci,

        On the contrary, that IDC figure is IDC’s smartphone only guesstimate and we are talking OS platforms.

        In those terms iOS has 700 million versus 1 billion Android, but up to two thirds of those Android devices are used as glorified feature phones.

        In terms of actual active app-using devices the numbers are just about even at 510 million iOS and 564 million Android back in April according to Flurry.

        iOS developers still rake in more than double that of Android according to Distimo as of July 2013 and Nanigans reports iOS ROI to be 1,790% greater than Android.

      • charly,

        You do understand that telecom companies can see what kind of phone you are using so those IDC numbers are in the right ballpark.

      • Space Gorilla,

        iOS is more than iPhone, it’s also iPad (and some iPod Touch). Dude, you gotta fire up a calculator once in a while. Do. Some. Math!

      • charly,

        You want to claim that melci’s numbers are anywhere near correct?

        There is much more competition on Android than on IOS.

      • Space Gorilla,

        Total iOS device sales are over 700 million. Actual users is around 500 million today. Total iTunes accounts is over 600 million. These numbers cannot be disputed. You’ve even admitted the truth of these numbers in other discussions.

        So yes, melci’s numbers are correct, as is the larger point, if you want to talk about platforms you don’t get to only include iPhone numbers, you must include all iOS devices, otherwise you’re lying.

        You are correct that there is more competition on Android, since there are multiple manufacturers all competing with each other, with Samsung winning right now. On the iOS side, Apple has no competition at all. If you want an iOS device, you buy it from Apple.

      • charly,

        There is more competition on the software side of Android

      • Kizedek,

        I guess that is one way to put it. Or perhaps there is more copying, cloning, repackaging and reusing lowest common denominator code from webapps, javascript or flash, etc.

      • Space Gorilla,

        Great for Android. There’s also a robust and excellent developer community with tons of great software for iOS. As we’ve seen with the tiny market share of the Mac, you don’t need to have a majority market share in order to have a great developer community.

        With half a billion users (and growing) iOS is here to stay. You might as well get used to it. Of course that doesn’t mean Android is going anywhere, far from it. Both platforms will succeed.

      • charly,

        In the PC/Mac market there was a trust issue that let people very reluctantly install software. For example i don’t think ebay has software for buyers for PC/Mac but they certainly do for IOS/Android. This allowed Mac to exist because almost everything was done through the browser. With the smartphone this is not the case and while they have a super minority in the US they don’t have it in most of the world. This will lead very fast to a situation that ios has a very sup par user experience in most of the world and will be exited

      • Space Gorilla,

        I’ve come to the conclusion that on some level, you’re basically insane. Further discussion is pointless. Goodbye.

  7. obarthelemy,

    Curve-fitting is mostly an ill-advised way to shore up extrapolations with scientific-looking gobbledygook.

    1- Products don’t sell because there’s a mathematical law that says they will sell xxx units, they sell because they’re comparatively good and there’s supply and demand for them. Extrapolations are somewhat useful in stable markets devoid of externalities and internal upheavals (I give as wide a birth as I can to the word “innovation”), which the smartphone market probably is not, yet.

    2- Just looking at the graph, I can think of a couple of curves that would fit about as well, anyway.

    3- Extrapolation implies evolution and causation don’t exist, or are predictable and controlled.

    Wiggly lines are fun, but I’m not a fan, especially at such an early stage.

  8. guestn,

    Few comments:

    1. Based on 2nd and 3rd graphs, at final data point i.e. Q3 13, it appears around 400 million iphones are sold of which 240-250 million are in use. i.e. devices in use are 60% of the sold. But for ipads, devices in use appear to be same as devices sold at around 160-180 million i.e. 100% of the devices are in use. I could not understand following:
    a) Why iphone devices in use are fraction of the sold and what happen to the rest of the sold but not in use (approx. 40%)?
    b) How come similar discrepancy is not seen in ipad numbers?

    2. In the case of icloud accounts and ios devices in use, if approx. 500 million accounts are there and if each account can be tied to more than one ios device, then number of “active” accounts/users seem to be less than 500 million and if we assume an attach rate of 1.5 approx, then may be 300 million accounts are active and the rest of approx. 200 million are inactive/dormant/repetitive…etc. In short, conclusion is, approx. 300 million users using 480-500 million devices.

    If that is true, for 1 billion devices in use by 2018 and if attach rate is 2 devices per user, it requires 500 million users i.e. Apple need 200 million users without any attrition. So “Apple does not need to discover a large new set of non-consumers” does not match to the given data.

    3. Data sources are not mentioned for any of the graphs. Having them may be helpful for cross reference.

    Your clarifications are much welcome.

    • iPhones are assumed to have shorter lives than iPads. We don’t know the retirement rate (or rate at which phones are discarded or disused or passed to others) but I assume that iPhones last about 2 to 3 years while iPads last 3 to 4 years. iPads are going to receive a lot less damage since they’re less portable. For the second part you’re multiplying assumptions. I only use approximations as sanity checks on the bounds of the model. We don’t know the exact number of unique users but the growth and absolute number of iTunes accounts gives an idea of user count.

    • Kizedek,

      What Horace said. And iPhones started in 2007, while iPads started in 2010. I still have an iPad 1 in use. But iPhones 1, 3g and 3gs are mostly kaput, or in a drawer (unless the kids use them as an iPod Touch with old apps).

      In other words, not only should iPads last longer than iPhones as Horace said, but the oldest iPad that anyone could possibly have is three years newer than the oldest iPhones. A lot of phones were retired before the iPad even came along. So, check back in a couple of years.

      And as Apple sells more and more of each product with every launch of every new model, so the really old generations will become smaller and smaller percentages of the overall units sold (although some, like the iPhone 4/4S were sold for multiple years).

      I would imagine that the 4 and 4S will last longer (both in lifespan per unit, and in terms of being the oldest model in active use) than the 1/3G/3GS, as well as being a larger proportion of all iPhones ever sold than the three earlier models.

      Therefore, I think the figure 40% of iPhones sold being inactive/retired will fluctuate, but likely go down when all iPhones 1/3G/3GS go completely out of service. Actually, I am sure virtually every 1 and 3G is out of service already, so it is the 3GS we are waiting for — but my daughter is still happy with hers.

      • melci,

        Just remember that only 17 million iPhones were sold in the first two years (iPhone 1 & 3G) – much lower than the136 million iPhones sold in 2012 and way below the 205.8 million iOS devices as a whole sold last year.

  9. Les_S,

    If they release an iOS variant for the Internet if things they might reach more than a billion. Something akin to what H.264 did for Internet video. Open and available for manufacturers to integrate into their products. Just spitballing here.

    • Sartux,

      Apple could even use that approach as a way to keep making and selling its old hardware. Most, if not all, appliances (or even going as broad as “things”) would be better if they had an iPhone, or most of its components, embedded.

      After an iPhone generation is no longer sold to consumers it would still be useful as an embedded interface in innumerable things. This could lead to a point where most high end electronic equipment, from refrigerators to industrial machinery, would have iOS and Apple hardware inside. For a device that sells for thousands of dollars $100 or more to Apple could be absorbed easily and means they can have a UI that’s better than anything they could cook up themselves. As premium customers get used to the iPhone’s ease of use they get more frustrated with the vastly inferior experience of other UIs. Adding iOS to your device could end up being simply a hygiene factor for manufacturers of all kinds.

      I think Android might find it difficult to compete in this market as device manufacturers would be more willing to pay up for the best (iOS) since they could more easily hide that cost compared to an ultra low margin smartphone manufacturer whose only viable option ends up being Android because of cost.

      • obarthelemy,

        It’s just very uncertain that iOS would be “better”:
        1- I’m not sure it’d bring any added features compared to Android or even bare Linux
        2- on the contrary, it would bring lock-in and proprietary protocols, languages….
        3- and support for much fewer hardware configurations (SoCs)
        4- It’d make manufacturers dependent on a fickle supplier that has a bad record serving businesses
        5- and yes, it would probably cost more to develop and license

      • Sartux,

        I am very certain it would be better (for the customer). Apple could even be an asshole and have iOS devices not work perfectly with Android in ovens etc, forcing equipment manufacturers hands when their customers ask for iOS by name. Then it simply becomes cost of doing business to pay Apple for their superior UI. Even if Apple decides not to hardball, the difference between interfacing with your home security system through pure iOS and a mixed solution should be enough to have this happen.

      • obarthelemy,

        Apple’s UI is inferior, not superior (no OS-wide back nor menu buttons, no widgets, limited notifications and settings shades, no visual nor functional customization, etc etc…); not that the UI for an oven would be anything like that of a smartphone/tablet.

      • Kizedek,

        This stuff, again?

        Notifications is fine: three kinds of notifications (four if you count badges on the app icon), or off, set on an app by app basis.

        The universal “back button”in iOS is a double-click on the home button — and it always does the same thing (in other words, it’s truly universal). The “universal” back button on Android seems inconsistent, and can give a different than expected result depending on context or starting point; seems that app developers can co-opt it, too. So much for “universal”.

      • charly,

        IOS is a) a minority and b) with a $3000 fridge you already get a free tablet. And it only has to work good enough, which a web page would do.

      • Sartux,

        In the market I’m thinking of (expensive appliances, industrial equipment, basically high end things) iOS isn’t a minority. People with money to buy $3000 fridges buy iPhones and iPads. Apple redefined good enough for these customers; now it HAS to be as good as iOS. If the smart appliance Android solution isn’t as good (and IT CANT be, because users have iPhones and iPads which will always work better in an all iOS ecosystem) users will reject it, forcing even Samsung’s hand when it comes to appliances. Also, manufacturers besides Samsung wouldn’t really mind; if the licensing cost is fair it could be a great deal for them.

        A user with an iPad who gets a free tablet with a fridge will probably give it to their dog. And I guess you’re right about webpages being good enough, since, as you know, native apps haven’t made a cent for developers and web apps just keep dominating.

      • charly,

        Industrial equipement? IOS is definitely a minority. Windows tablet pre-8 is big there as will Android be.

        Is there a large market for home fridges that cost $3000? But what you forget is that most brands do trickle down and ios is just to expensive for a cheap fridge.

      • Sartux,

        I meant users of industrial equipment. If they’re making enough money they’ll have iPhones.
        How do you know how much Apple would charge?

      • charly,

        Because it is Apple, They never tried to not gauch.

      • Sartux,

        It could easily slash development costs for manufacturers since Apple does all the work. This could offset licensing costs.

      • charly,

        The software that integrates your device with ios needs to be written. Apple wont do that and that is the development cost on Android also

      • Sartux,

        Most of these devices aren’t very complicated. How many things does an oven actually do? Turn on/off heating element, light, or fan. Apple could also standardize the process and give tools to developers. At times I’m looking at this is kinda Balmeresquely, with Apple really pushing this on manufacturers as a way to cement iOS dominance… forever.

      • charly,

        You forget the camera, infrared camera, grill, thermostats and open/closed door and for a smart oven you also need pressure, humidity and a build in scale. And that is only for a simple smart oven. For a really smart oven you can add an internal water temperature measurer. and differential temperature zones.

      • Sartux,

        All good ideas that couldn’t really succeed commercially until Apple releases iOS Everywhere.

      • charly,

        What has IOS to do with it. You can do the same with win8, Android or bb10 and its ancient QNX.

      • Sartux,

        Apple is the one who has shown time and time again that they can take technology mainstream by making it good enough. Those others haven’t.

      • charly,

        But they are never first. See personal computers, printers, music players, smartphones and tablets.

        Problem with this market is that i don’t see anybody trying

      • Kizedek,

        Another possibility is that there are basic, standardized protocols and elements to smart devices generally that can allow for embedded parts and systems to be generic in some way — much like cars, stereos and TVS now.

        Then, your iOS device interacts with it through a dock. So, much like in a car, you just dock your phone with the fridge (all the best fridges will begin to come with docks of course), and, voila, all the items you are low on are added to your shopping list. Or, boom, you get a recipe based on the ingredients you have in your fridge. Or, you get an idea of what kind of items to look out for in order to better meet the health plan you were trying to stick to. Or you get diagnostics about the performance of your fridge… any number of apps could be created around fridge and the food in it.

        In other words, the personal element that actually makes some improvement in the way you do things is provided by iOS.

      • Sartux,

        For some or most equipment it’d be more practical for the user to simply be able to walk up to it and start using it without having to worry about pairing or even docking. The experience if you also happened to be carrying an iPhone would be significantly better and could be a way for Apple to push their own old hardware into millions of devices per year.
        Once customers see what this modified iPhone hardware and software running, for example, an oven is capable of, they won’t buy a dumb appliance ever again. And if the Apple experience is much better than whatever Android is doing I could see most if not all “dumb” equipment manufacturers pay Apple so they can have a “hygienic” UI. If you’re spending $3000 on a fridge you probably already own an iPhone and embedded Android runs the risk of annoying you; putting iOS on your device would be the least risky thing to do (no one would get fired for it) and could even be a good deal for them to basically outsource all their UI work.

      • obarthelemy,

        Generally speaking though, I hate when my appliances try to be smart. I wish my microwave only had a “1-10″ and a “duration” knobs. or it’d need to be very smart and not let whatever I put in it boil over / dry up. Since the second doesn’t seem to be here, I’d rather have the first than an unholy mess full of buttons that actually require a user manual. for an oven.

      • Sartux,

        A lot of appliances could use a simple knob interface while still having full iOS hardware inside that delivers on the promises smart appliances haven’t fulfilled. An oven with a knob could have a camera inside for checking your food on your phone while being able to control it remotely. You’re showing your Android bias, iOS users need no manuals.

      • Space Gorilla,

        Yes, can’t remember the last time I had to use a manual or read instructions to use an Apple product. If Apple does anything with appliances it is safe to assume the user experience will be the same as all their other products, which is easy, no manual needed.

        I remember phones being a mess full of buttons that required a manual, until Apple entered the market.

      • charly,

        A manual speeds up discovery and is essential for anything sufficiently complicated, what a smartphone is.

      • Sartux,

        They could even start without a screen, just a regular physical interface (hopefully an Apple approved one!) and enough iOS innards to run the device and communicate with other devices. Most advanced functionalities might only be accessed through an app on your iPhone or iPad. That might be a good starting point for people who think really just want simple appliances and maybe sometimes use the app for some advanced functionality.

      • Space Gorilla,

        That’s a good idea, kind of like the NEST thermostat thingamajig, control various things in your home with your iPhone.

      • Sartux,

        I’ve been giving this some thought since I feel appliance manufactures have been way too slow to integrate mobile devices in their designs. I was hoping for the high end to hop on years ago and maybe today ubiquity even in mid range appliances. But no. Nothing! If Apple partnered (loosely) with somebody and showed what was possible it could really put the pressure on other manufacturers once customers realize what’s possible.

      • charly,

        Samsung & LG don’t have to partner up.

        What was missing was mobile connection for the user, Also design life cycles are long with white goods

      • Sartux,

        I’m sure Apple wouldn’t “need” to partner up, that’s just the way they would do it. If they wanted to design an oven in-house chances are it would be better than most. It’s simply a way to manage the brand.
        Long design cycles favor hardware whose software is update-able. Standarization on iOS could even lead to being able to upgrade the iOS hardware on your devices when you feel it’s worth it.

      • charly,

        Fridges are complicated appliances without much communality with computers. I don’t see how they could enter that market without partnering up. Ovens are simpler, at least their non-smart versions but they have extremely good durability and as they are almost always build in very unlikely to be updated without a kitchen remodeling.

        Problem is an oven can live easily for 40 years, will the computer inside do the same and will it be updated for such a long time

      • charly,

        Typical Apple, Using a virtual knob interface.

        Ovens get dirty so you need to clean the camera. I bet that will never happen because you will only watch the camera ones

        Sometimes you need manuals. It is the easiest way to discovery.

      • Sartux,

        I meant an actual physical knob, not a virtual one.

        Hadn’t thought about having to clean the camera. I thought people wouldn’t have an issue with wiping a tiny piece of glass after they wipe the oven door window. That would never happen. There’s also no way it could be made to clean itself. Imagine if we could make ovens clean themselves! It’d be amazing; maybe they’d have something like a “cleaning cycle”.

        There’s also no way the camera example was just that, an example. There’s no way equipment manufacturers will come up with novel ways of using a connected miniaturized computer with sensors inside their appliances. I bet that they will never think of putting an infrared camera that detects temperatures and actually knows when your food is done how you like it. Have a little imagination and an open mind.

        P.S. I think you meant “Sometimes I need manuals.”

      • charly,

        One of the biggest white goods maker is Samsung. I could really see them using ios. Another big one is LG. I also think those two could come closest to half decent of any white goods maker but i think obarthelemy is right that dumb is better than almost smart.

        ps. I think your bias is showing with your assumption that Apple’s interface is much better than Android

      • Sartux,

        I wasn’t assuming, I was asserting that iOS has a better interface than Android.
        If Apple plays its cards right Samsung wouldn’t have a choice! It’s either pay up or sales or fridges etc plummet. I agree that today dumb appliances are better than so called smart ones, but Apple entering the space should change that.

      • charly,

        Your assertion is not based on reality but even if we falsely assume that ios is better then we are still left with the question is it so much better that people will spend extra dosh for it. If i look at the dos era when mac os something competed with dos i would say no. This even assumes people want integrated smart devices which i doubt.

      • Sartux,

        People wouldn’t have to pay extra, manufacturers would, and the licensing payment could be offset by lower in-house UI design costs. On a high ticket item the licensing is easily absorbed. The integrated smart devices I’m thinking of can still be used as easily as dumb devices today and maybe even more so. Smart devices today aren’t smart; they’re like pre-iPhone smartphones, shit.

      • charly,

        Manufacturers like profit for a strange reason and like uniform products so they can use the same design for their $3000 frigde as for their $500 fridge. For that $500 fridge the licensing costs for ios are a big problem

      • Sartux,

        Once one manufacturer includes it and customers ask for it, the only way to make profits will be to include it. Tough luck. I guess they shouldn’t have decided decades ago that mediocre interfaces were good enough.

        The $3000 fridge would use different hardware and a more expensive license than the $500 one (which might not even be iOS integrated yet). The cheap one could maybe only have enough software and hardware for simple things, like transmitting its temperature and if its door is open.

      • charly,

        A $3000 fridge would use the same exact soc and software as a $500 fridge with maybe some features disabled on a the $500

      • Sartux,

        Maybe the $3000 one uses the newest iPhone innards while the $500 one uses 4 generations ago iPhone innards.

      • charly,

        The $500 would come on the market 4 years later with the exact same soc. It is not the soc that is the problem. It is the software licensing cost.

      • Sartux,

        Which could be simply a percentage of sales price.

      • charly,

        Even that is on $500 a problem.

      • Stephen Young,

        Hmm sounds like the iBeacon- Bluetooth tech is a perfect use to what you are proposing, no hardware (dock) needed other than Bluetooth itself.

  10. “The fit is pretty good for the period after the iPhone 3G launched.”

    I think a Gompertz curve would better fit all the data including the early points.

    Also check out my nearly two-year-old post about this, particularly the several last comments:

    • The implication of the Gompertz model is that saturation happens at about 2.72 times (e or Euler’s number) the adoption level at the inflection point where adoption begins to slow down, rather than at twice that level for the logistic.

      So for a 1 billion level of saturation, the inflection would have happened at the 368 million level of adoption, which according to my model (some differences with Horace’s) would be during the last calendar quarter of 2012, aligning with the peak in iOS unit sales growth and the stock price.

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