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Study: half of iPhone users have added unofficial third party apps

post #1 of 41
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An extensive study released Tuesday by Rubicon Consulting reveals that nearly one half of US iPhone users have taken measures to add applications to the handset on their own, while just a bit more than 10 percent say they've unlocked the device from AT&T's wireless network.

More specifically, the survey of 460 randomly-selected iPhone users last month found that nearly 50 percent have at one point added at least one application to the handset. Among those people who did add applications, the average person added 4.3 new programs, but only around 10 percent say they added 6 or more applications.

However, only 13 percent of those US iPhone owners say they've unlocked the device, suggesting that the upcoming release of iPhone software 2.0 and the official iPhone App Store will address the most controversial aspect of the handset facing US consumers since its release late last June.

A followup question on the most desired features appears to support that thesis, with more than 40 percent of respondents saying that want the ability to easily add third party applications. Better compatibility with Microsoft's Exchange e-mail server and a larger touchscreen were the second and third most requested features.

Overall, those responding to the survey were routinely satisfied the iPhone's music functions, touchscreen interface, general usability, performance, and email application. Battery life and wireless speed were not surprisingly the least satisfying aspects of the handset, with the Safari web browsing interface a somewhat distant third least satisfying.



In fact, the study found that the ability to check and read email -- not surf the web -- is the most frequently used non-voice function on the iPhone, which about 72 percent of users surveyed do on their iPhone at least once a day. Still, 55 percent said they strongly agree that the handset has increased their mobile browsing, despite about 40 percent reporting that the mobile version of Safari has trouble displaying some websites they visit, most notably those using Adobe Flash.



"Apple and Adobe are feuding in public over whether and how Flash can be made available on the iPhone. The dispute punishes users and is damaging to both companies," Rubicon analysts wrote in the summary of their survey findings. "Apple needs to continue improving the iPhone browser, and that means settling its dispute with Adobe."



The study also examined whether the iPhone actually causes people to pay more for mobile data, or if the device is just switching heavy users of mobile data to a new device. Respondents to the survey confirmed the former, reporting that their average monthly mobile phone bill was $78 per month before the iPhone purchase, and $97 per month after the iPhone -- an average increase of 24 percent, or $228 per year.



Based on those findings, Rubicon estimates that AT&T is generating about $2 billion in incremental yearly service revenues from the first three million iPhones sold in the US, with that figure set to increase as more iPhones are purchased and activated. A good chunk of that revenue -- or $1.64 billion -- is presumed to come from the 1.41 million (or 47 percent of iPhone owners) who say they switched to AT&T from another carrier in order to use the Apple handset.



In purchasing an iPhone, about 50 percent of users surveyed said they replaced a conventional mobile phone. Another 40 percent said they replaced a smart phone, with the remaining 10 percent saying they replaced nothing -- suggesting either that the iPhone is their first phone, or that they carry it in addition to a second phone.



Almost 24 percent of respondents said their iPhone replaced a Motorola Razr, while 13.9 percent said it replaced a Windows Mobile device, 13 percent a Blackberry device, 6.7 percent a Palm device, 4.1 percent a Sidekick device, and 3.9 percent a Symbian device.



Rubicon also noted anecdotal reports which appear to indicate that some 33 percent of iPhone users also carry a second mobile phone for traditional voice calling, or for other functions the iPhone doesn't perform well. Among those toting another mobile phone, the Blackberry was the most popular, carried by almost one iPhone user in ten.



The study also found that 75 percent of iPhone owners were existing Apple customers, most make more than average salaries, and half of are under age 30. It also showed that students are particularly heavy iPhone users, most consider themselves technologically sophisticated, and that approximately 60 percent feel their iPhone serves to displace some notebook functions.
post #2 of 41
I really have to question, if not the results, then the sample.
I work in IT for a software firm, and know dozens of early adopter iPhone owners, and don't know one who's jailbroken their phone to add software. All are anxious for June, but none are hacking their phones to add apps.
Very dubious survey.
post #3 of 41
I took this survey. My family has 3 iphones, and mine is the only one jailbroken (to be able to use it on our frequent trips to France without paying the bomb!)
post #4 of 41
I wonder too--maybe the wording of the Qs was poor, and non-techie people using plain old web apps thought they should answer "yes"?
post #5 of 41
It would be great if the rest of world was included. My iPhone is hack since 1.1.2 (8 gig) and now my 16 gig is also hacked. I agree that for the most part there are some okay apps and some real dogs. Many of the apps out there need to mature and not be installable simply for the sake of filling up the phone.

I am like many of the other uses that carries another phone to fill the gaps that the iPhone simply can not match. My Nokia N82 smokes the iPhone in terms of functionality, VoIP (Fring, or Gizmo), camera, the ability to send an SMS to more than one person, oh and 7.2 mb/s via HSDPA. I wonder how much money Apple has made on overseas unlocked iPhones.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The study also examined whether the iPhone actually causes people to pay more for mobile data ... Respondents to the survey confirmed ... that their average monthly mobile phone bill was $78 per month before the iPhone purchase, and $97 per month after the iPhone -- an average increase of 24 percent, or $228 per year.

Totally justifying Apple taking a tribute - I mean a slice - of the calls and data.

How much of the increase in expenditure is down to Apple's slice? Did people's calls and data use also rise by 24%?
post #7 of 41
What? More people over 70 then under 18 own an iPhone? I think that is news in it of itself.

And who the hell puts extremely dissatisfied for just about anything besides battery and data speed?
post #8 of 41
I had a BlackJack with AT&T before my iPhone and I pay about $20 a month less for the iPhone. So it is actually a better deal for a smartphone than AT&T's normal.
post #9 of 41
Also, why would you carry both a BlackBerry and an iPhone? Are there really that many people who need the functionality of both? I could only assume the BlackBerry is work related and the iPhone is personal. But maybe not for much longer....
post #10 of 41
WTH, this isn't a friggen notebook people!!! What cell phone has the ease interface and the functionality of Safari? Let me know please, I'll be standing in line to buy it!
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I really have to question, if not the results, then the sample.
I work in IT for a software firm, and know dozens of early adopter iPhone owners, and don't know one who's jailbroken their phone to add software. All are anxious for June, but none are hacking their phones to add apps.
Very dubious survey.

I'm confused by the wording choice. Does "unofficial" app being added mean user jailbroke? If yes, results are impossible, since more users have unofficial app than have broken. But I'm wondering if "unofficial" app simply refers to the web apps and widget creation that are offiically supported, just not coming from Apple? Seems a strange confluence of terminology in the discussion.

But if it's the latter, than all makes sense and users answered acurately.

As a Touch user who has zero interest in at&t, I'm most curious about how new apps will be priced for us. Didn't mind idea of $20 for last set of official apps. But I wonder if iPhone and Touch users will see same or different price structures for all the new 3rd party ones?
post #12 of 41
I wonder how I would be counted.

So, for Christmas 2006, my parents gave me a "coupon" for a smartphone. My Mom was actually in the Verizon store trying to buy one for both me and my Dad, but they wouldn't let her because she was not the primary account holder on either account. So, we get a "go buy it yourself" note under the tree.

Three weeks later, the media frenzy of the century is unleashed. I end up doing nothing until mid-July.

So I replaced a flip phone with the iPhone.
I went from $40 to $60 on my bill.
I went from Verizon to AT&T.

Two out of three would have happened reguardless of whether the iPhone was introduced. In effect, my iPhone replaced a WinMo smartphone.
post #13 of 41
I find it retarded that questioning 400 people gives you results for all iPhone owners. They only missed 3 million people that have a iphone.
post #14 of 41
$80 to $100 per month for a mobile phone would be insane. I'm only paying $35/month with T-mo... the iPhone is now officially off my wish list.

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post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by btitusjr View Post

I find it retarded that questioning 400 people gives you results for all iPhone owners. They only missed 3 million people that have a iphone.

You do know that sampling is a very normal part of surveying, right? You can't possible interview everyone related to the topic, so you take a sample and extrapolate the likely results. And I believe they included their accuracy (e.g. +/- 3%) in the report.

Though I do agree they should have taken a wider sample. Too many things can play a part in skewing the numbers.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

$80 to $100 per month for a mobile phone would be insane. I'm only paying $35/month with T-mo... the iPhone is now officially off my wish list.

I'm curious, did you not know the cost of the plans before now? It's not like this is new information...
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

Also, why would you carry both a BlackBerry and an iPhone? Are there really that many people who need the functionality of both? I could only assume the BlackBerry is work related and the iPhone is personal. But maybe not for much longer....

The very first iPhone I saw in the wild (the week it was released) was with a real estate agent. His boss bought him one to impress his clients. He also carried a BlackBerry which he used while I played with the iPhone. The BlackBerry was a "real phone" (his words). The big issue was the keyboard.
post #18 of 41
macworld is now advertising a 16 gig iphone with video and voice capture and play back for $649
has gsm , edge, bluetooth , same size and shape . Obviously Hon Hal shipped today.

no foolin
go look
3rd generation iphone but no 3g
one was cyberworld at $679
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

$80 to $100 per month for a mobile phone would be insane. I'm only paying $35/month with T-mo... the iPhone is now officially off my wish list.

I only pay $30.00/month on at&t... well I'm on a family plan, but nonetheless its still 30 bucks/month.
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZagMac View Post

I'm confused by the wording choice. Does "unofficial" app being added mean user jailbroke? If yes, results are impossible, since more users have unofficial app than have broken. But I'm wondering if "unofficial" app simply refers to the web apps and widget creation that are offiically supported, just not coming from Apple? Seems a strange confluence of terminology in the discussion.

But if it's the latter, than all makes sense and users answered acurately.

As a Touch user who has zero interest in at&t, I'm most curious about how new apps will be priced for us. Didn't mind idea of $20 for last set of official apps. But I wonder if iPhone and Touch users will see same or different price structures for all the new 3rd party ones?

'jailbreaking' refers to a variety of ways to in install 'unauthorized' software onto your phone. Cat & mouse game where programmers find a security hole, Apple fixes hole, rinse and repeat.
IMHO, somewhat akin to having unprotected sex with a Tenderloin prostitute. Knock yourselves out if that's how you get your kicks. I'll wait patiently for the SDK apps, thank you.

'unlocking' refers to ways of getting your iPhone to work with carriers other than the nationally approved one that works in contract with Apple.

The confusion happens because frequently, jailbroken software is necessary to facilitate unlocking. (Someone feel free to correct me if I've not gotten it straight after a year of this stuff.)

The $20 charge for touch upgrades vs 'free' for the iPhone is simply accounting voodoo. Neither is free. iPhone users pay the charge via their subscription fees, touch users, ala carte.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
$80 to $100 per month for a mobile phone would be insane. I'm only paying $35/month with T-mo... the iPhone is now officially off my wish list.

This isn't new information. As much as you complain I doubt it was ever on your list.

I don't know your situation. But I know someone who had a T-Mobile plan from five years ago. Had 1200 anytime minutes unlimited nights and weekends and payed about $40 a month. The catch was that if she changed anything about her plan she would loose that one and have to sign a new 2 year contract.
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

An extensive study released Tuesday by Rubicon Consulting reveals that nearly one half of US iPhone users have taken measures to add applications to the handset on their own, while just a bit more than 10 percent say they've unlocked the device from AT&T's wireless network.

More specifically, the survey of 460 randomly-selected iPhone users last month found that nearly 50 percent have at one point added at least one application to the handset. Among those people who did add applications, the average person added 4.3 new programs, but only around 10 percent say they added 6 or more applications.

Ah, surveys. Unfortunately, the exact word-for-word question is not mentioned in this article, but if they asked more or less the same thing that AppleInsider posted, then the question was NOT at all about whether users had jailbroken their iPhones, as the headline and first line of the article imply. There are at least a couple big reasons why people might agree that they've added an application to their iPhone when they've never actually jailbroken it. For example, the iTunes Store on the iPhone was an application that came with a firmware update, which virtually all users installed, so some people answering the survey may have felt that installing it constituted adding an application. Also, you can install buttons for Web apps right alongside Apple's application icons, so some people may have considered that "installing an application" on their iPhone.

So basically, if the word "jailbreak" was not in the survey question, then this may not be quite the headliner that it's been made out to be.

It would have been a lot more interesting if the survey had asked "Have you jailbroken your iPhone to install an application?" If the person taking the survey said "Huh?" or "No" then they would apparently not have jailbroken it. I'm certainly not an expert, but I highly doubt that almost half of all iPhone users in the U.S. have actually jailbroken their iPhones to install an application as the survey results and this article seem to imply.
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post #23 of 41
Can I just say I really hate flash on any computer. You can't copy/paste and you can't right click to open in a new tab/window which I find extremely annoying.

All flash-based advertising can go get stuffed as far as I'm concerned. Pop ups and eye blasters only cheapen your brand to me . that the options section when you right click a flash advertisement even allows you the choice to give the advertising companies access to my computer microphone or webcam is just multiple different kinds of creepy.

The only times flash is any good is the occasional artsy website and flash based games, and even then my veil of tolerance is thinly smeared.
post #24 of 41
Survey reporting more people over 70 having iPhones than highschool kids? I say this was a terribly inadequate sampling. I'd love to know their methods of getting survey subjects...

Also, to the article writer: "Rubicon also noted anecdotal reports which appear to indicate that some 33 percent of iPhone users also carry a second mobile phone for traditional voice calling, or for other functions the iPhone doesn't perform well. Among those toting another mobile phone, the Blackberry was the most popular, carried by almost one iPhone user in ten."

Did the ACTUAL SURVEY QUESTION include those reasons for carrying another phone, or did it simply ask if they carry another phone. Assuming it's the latter, Why did you choose to infer that they were carrying a second phone because of seeming inadequacies? I'd imagine that many, if not most of them, are carrying a second phone for work related purposes, including maintaining a business-only phone line, and/or for use with corporate email. The fact that the most popular second phone is a Blackberry model just confirms that thought. You have to remember how many enterprises are currently using the Blackberry email system,
not to mention the fact that iPhone exchange support won't be out until June.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post

Totally justifying Apple taking a tribute - I mean a slice - of the calls and data.

How much of the increase in expenditure is down to Apple's slice? Did people's calls and data use also rise by 24%?

Not so fast. That extra ~$20 probably reflects the use of the data plan, which for most users, they hadn't subscribed to data on their phone before. It's almost exactly the difference between the cost of my Sprint plan and what I'd pay if I had an phone, because it really almost does need a data plan to operate satisfactorily.
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by coremonkey View Post

WTH, this isn't a friggen notebook people!!! What cell phone has the ease interface and the functionality of Safari? Let me know please, I'll be standing in line to buy it!

Maybe being better than everyone else isn't always enough.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by btitusjr View Post

I find it retarded that questioning 400 people gives you results for all iPhone owners. They only missed 3 million people that have a iphone.

As long as the sample is properly randomized, I'd think that sample is probably about right. I personally don't understand the guts of it, but sampling theory doesn't require asking everyone, just a small randomized sampling of the population, and you might get a margin of error of about ±3%. Asking everyone is simply an unrealistic, and completely unnecessary proposition.
post #28 of 41
Although the death(s) of the US economy has been greatly exaggerated, nonetheless let's focus on the big issue here.

Apple has sold maybe about 8 million iPhones *globally* now. At least 50% of those, maybe even 60%, are unlocked for various reasons.
I do not have the evidence with me right now, but I am confident these are the true numbers that will emerge by the end of the year.

Looking at AT&T activations alone, is but staring at one's belly while your hands flail widely, and saying "Ooh, look at mahh belly"...
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Although the death(s) of the US economy has been greatly exaggerated, nonetheless let's focus on the big issue here.

Apple has sold maybe about 8 million iPhones *globally* now. At least 50% of those, maybe even 60%, are unlocked for various reasons.
I do not have the evidence with me right now, but I am confident these are the true numbers that will emerge by the end of the year.

Looking at AT&T activations alone, is but staring at one's belly while your hands flail widely, and saying "Ooh, look at mahh belly"...

8 million???????

Maybe in Canadian numbers but based on Apple's numbers, way lower than that.....
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

8 million???????

Maybe in Canadian numbers but based on Apple's numbers, way lower than that.....

I think it's possible, The Apple last stated numbers are from three months ago.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think it's possible, The Apple last stated numbers are from three months ago.

It is completely not possible that Apple sold 4 million phones through the launch, back to school, and through the Christmas selling season.... and then sold another 4 million phones in the last three months AFTER Christmas.

8 million? jeese.......(* rolls eyes *)
post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

It is completely not possible that Apple sold 4 million phones through the launch, back to school, and through the Christmas selling season.... and then sold another 4 million phones in the last three months AFTER Christmas.

Maybe it's unlikely, but it's possible.
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Maybe it's unlikely, but it's possible.

It is NOT even possible because Apple's manufacturing capacity couldn't support it.
The most wild-eyed pie in the sky estimates that came out this morning, show as many as 4000 and 6000 phones a week going into china and russia. And half that into Africa.
If you assume as crazy as that sounds, that it's DOUBLE that number, you're talking less than a half million hacked phones into those other big countries for the ENTIRE quarter!

If Apple planned on selling a million phones for the quarter, and had ZERO allowance for this activity, their numbers would be off by 50%. (a huge amount)

The idea that you could find someone in the world stock piling another 1.5 MILLION iPhones somewhere OTHER than China, Russia , and Africa without anyone noticing is silly.

Assume Australia couldn't have 100,000 jacked phones in the quarter.
Europe has sales through valid sources.
Canada is a mess.
Africa, China, and Russia could be accounted for with off the wall numbers as high as a half million.

You simply CAN'T come up with a sales number of 8 million by the end of this quarter using any valid estimates. Off the wall numbers reported this morning even if DOUBLED, don't get you near it.

And like I said, Apple hasn't manufactured anything NEAR what would be required so this is just a bad bad bad number.
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

It is NOT even possible because Apple's manufacturing capacity couldn't support it.

How do you know what Apple's capacity is, and that they didn't expand their capacity?

Quote:
Europe has sales through valid sources.

At high prices compared to a hacked phones & tied with expensive plans, and only "valid" sources in four out of 30 countries.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

How do you know what Apple's capacity is, and that they didn't expand their capacity?

I think if you do a little research, you'll see recent third party reports from there suppliers saying Apple had scaled back a little. Not quadroupled. (* rolls eyes again...*)
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

I think if you do a little research, you'll see recent third party reports from there suppliers saying Apple had scaled back a little. Not quadroupled. (* rolls eyes again...*)

Assuming that those reports are factual (they are rumors), and they aren't leaving out adding alternate suppliers. Even then, how does a "little" scale back convert to 1M made?
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Assuming that those reports are factual (they are rumors), and they aren't leaving out adding alternate suppliers. Even then, how does a "little" scale back convert to 1M made?

You need to drop it.

Look, Apple scaled back their production.
It was common knowledge and was reported. (often as rumors but coming from their suppliers)
Apple was called on the issue in their conference call.
Apple went OUT OF THEIR WAY to point out they did NOT cut their production as a result of any belief they wouldn't sell 6 million in 2008. (to reach 10 million)
They went OUT OF THEIR WAY to say they cut their production from the run rate they used leading into inventory levels they would need to support their biggest quarter historically..... Christmas.
So they cut from the run rate they were using to what THEY call (Apple not a rumour) "seasonal adjustments" they do every year to account for a slow down after January settles out. They were asked specific questions on the number of days of inventory and they said (late in January) they were managing to keep that inventory from growing in a normal way seasonally and they didn't see any problem making their numbers for the year. (Also see Cook's press conference, he's at Apple and not a rumour)

This is silly.

You can get this information either from transcripts of press conferences from Apple, or from news reports based on suppliers that are reliable and directly from what Apple said in some cases.... less that 45 days ago.

Unless you think they sold 2 million phones in the month of March, they CAN'T hit 8 million phones by now no matter what. Period. Done. Let's move along... nothing to see here. There is NO 8 million phone rumur. There are no sources at any supplier, at any retail outlet, or anybody even remotely related to Apple let alone the people that stand up in conferences and put it on the line, nobody saying anywhere that they tripled their sales per week starting in of all months, the slow month of Feb.
EDIT:Triple the run rate FOR CHRISTMAS SALES in Feb. (can't happen)


It's a dumb idea, it can't happen, move along.
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

Apple went OUT OF THEIR WAY to point out they did NOT cut their production as a result of any belief they wouldn't sell 6 million in 2008. (to reach 10 million)

They've went out of their way to say that they were going to sell 10 million in 2008.
post #39 of 41
Are there any iPhone threads that don't eventually devolve into an argument over 10 million in 2008 vs. 10 million through 2008?

Can't we just make a sticky where people can run around in circles about this?
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post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

They've went out of their way to say that they were going to sell 10 million in 2008.

So there's no friggin way they could have cut their production below the December quater level, and sell more phones if their inventory was down and under control as they said.
So they cut their production down and this guy wants to see 4 million phones sold this last quarter?

Again, from Apple's information, they CAN'T hit 8 million by March 31st.
Period.
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