Average iPhone user unlocks device 80 times per day, 89% use Touch ID, Apple says

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2016
While reports covered the broad strokes of Apple's conference call on encryption last Friday, bits of information are still surfacing, including an interesting statistic that reveals an average iPhone user unlocks their device about 80 times a day.




The tidbit was aired Monday by Ben Bajarin, head of primary research at industry analyst Creative Strategies, who in a post to Techpinions said Apple executives revealed the figure during a deep-dive into iOS device security. As previously reported, Apple last week offered a closer look at its advanced consumer safeguards during an expository conference call meant to coincide with a court filing resisting an FBI iPhone access request in New York.

As Bajarin notes, much of what was discussed can be found in Apple's security white paper (PDF link), but executives and senior engineers did provide new details on the inner workings of key features like the Secure Enclave. Company executives, who have not been identified, also peppered in a few choice statistics to bolster the case against weak encryption.

For example, Apple said 89 percent of customers with Touch ID-enabled iPhones and iPads set up and used the fingerprint recognizing feature to unlock their device. This compares to Bajarin's own research, which shows about 85 percent of iOS device owners protect their hardware with Touch ID or a passcode.

The analyst argues Apple's easy-to-use security systems are driving consumer protection to new heights, an important consideration given the amount of sensitive information stored digitally. Whereas consumers just a few years ago left devices unlocked, either due to user apathy or lack of security features, a vast majority of iPhone and iPad owners are now protecting their devices with Touch ID and iOS passcode locks. This theory is borne out by Apple's numbers.

Bajarin said Apple mentioned the phrase "balancing security with ease of use" multiple times throughout the presentation, a statement that speaks to the company's security mantra. Apple has seen great success in an area of tech where many have tried -- and failed -- to innovate. While OEMs roll out security protocols, fingerprint readers and other mechanisms in the name of customer privacy, Apple realizes the only effective system is one easily accessed by the end user.

In the case of modern iPhones and iPads, encryption is embedded at the silicon level with a Secure Enclave coprocessor, itself gated by a consumer-facing technology -- Touch ID -- so seamless as to be almost transparent to the user experience. Apple molded its low friction interface around normal device interactions, meaning iPhone and iPad owners can enjoy maximum security with a minimum investment.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    How did they arrive at the 80 figure? I'm surprised that there is no mention at all about the method they used to get their data. 
    saltyzip
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Related question I'm curious to ask about. Anyone know if Apple has ever thought about employing device / screen wake on motion detect (as is possible with Apple's Watch)? I've used Assistive Touch for a few years now, so as to minimize as much contact as I can with any of the iPhone's physical buttons. As of now, there are only 3 things that I know of that cannot be accomplished with A.T. .. wake (not counting plugging in / unplugging from a power source), immediate sleep (aside from timed) and power off. It seems to me that a device / screen wake on motion detect would be something that should be possible, and that would further reduce dependency and wear or use of any of the the physical buttons. I'm assuming the reason it hasn't been used (yet) is perhaps related to power consumption and / or battery life. Any ideas? :/

    T.I.A.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Mine's probably dropped quite a bit with my Apple Watch: a lot of the small things such as weather get taken care of easy enough just by raising my wrist. 
    cyberzombiebcoolrob
  • Reply 4 of 15
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    jd_in_sb said:
    How did they arrive at the 80 figure? I'm surprised that there is no mention at all about the method they used to get their data. 
    I think there is an option to share debugging/telemetry info with Apple (probably anonymized, they don't need particulars, just averages).
  • Reply 5 of 15
    saltyzipsaltyzip Posts: 193member
    jd_in_sb said:
    How did they arrive at the 80 figure? I'm surprised that there is no mention at all about the method they used to get their data. 
    I was thinking the same thing, Apple must be be doing data collection, they have admitted to this in the past, said it was for diagnostics purposes.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Interesting numbers.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 7 of 15
    As one of those who probably unlocks my phone less than 10 times a day on average I'd have to say that there are an awful lot of people addicted to their phones or the content they deliver. Probably the latter because of Facebook/Twitter/Whatsapp/etc.

    IMHO, these people need medical help to break their addiction.

  • Reply 8 of 15
    jd_in_sb said:
    How did they arrive at the 80 figure? I'm surprised that there is no mention at all about the method they used to get their data. 
    Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Usage
    edited April 2016 SpamSandwichtechlover
  • Reply 9 of 15
    spacekidspacekid Posts: 181member
    As one of those who probably unlocks my phone less than 10 times a day on average I'd have to say that there are an awful lot of people addicted to their phones or the content they deliver. Probably the latter because of Facebook/Twitter/Whatsapp/etc.

    IMHO, these people need medical help to break their addiction.

    Some people actually use their phones like a computer and use it more than once an hour or two doing things like reading/sending emails/texts, playing games, researching things, buying stuff, take and look at photos, listen to music.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,278member
    As one of those who probably unlocks my phone less than 10 times a day on average I'd have to say that there are an awful lot of people addicted to their phones or the content they deliver. Probably the latter because of Facebook/Twitter/Whatsapp/etc.

    IMHO, these people need medical help to break their addiction.

    So you don't use your smart device to its full potential it sounds like. Someone already mentioned it but I use my smart device just like a computer and use it for literally everything. From paying all my bills and controlling my financial information, tons of emails, communication with people through text, IM and other services, reading multiple websites per day such as this, taking photos and sharing them, controlling my work schedule, and on and on and on.

    There's so much you can do with your smart device that's involves more than Facebook, Twitter and such. They are extremely productive devices if you know how to use them properly. 
    SpamSandwichspacekid
  • Reply 11 of 15
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,779member
    Related question I'm curious to ask about. Anyone know if Apple has ever thought about employing device / screen wake on motion detect (as is possible with Apple's Watch)? I've used Assistive Touch for a few years now, so as to minimize as much contact as I can with any of the iPhone's physical buttons. As of now, there are only 3 things that I know of that cannot be accomplished with A.T. .. wake (not counting plugging in / unplugging from a power source), immediate sleep (aside from timed) and power off. It seems to me that a device / screen wake on motion detect would be something that should be possible, and that would further reduce dependency and wear or use of any of the the physical buttons. I'm assuming the reason it hasn't been used (yet) is perhaps related to power consumption and / or battery life. Any ideas? :/

    T.I.A.
    No thanks. I don't need my phone waking up and killing battery because I'm walking with it in my pocket or moving it for other reasons.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    An explanatory conference call is nice, but what will really help Apple is a vast increase in the amount of lobbying the do in Washington. If they are not in front of these politically-driven efforts to undermine their security efforts, to embarrass them in public and shake them down for undeserved penalties, then Apple will only continue to get steamrolled.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    techlovertechlover Posts: 879member
    quark108 said:
    jd_in_sb said:
    How did they arrive at the 80 figure? I'm surprised that there is no mention at all about the method they used to get their data. 
    Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Usage
    Thanks! I never saw that.

    I just looked and it was set to "Automatically Send" and "Share With App Developers" was also turned on.

    It was set that way by default. Would have been nice to have it off by default. I turned it off.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    techlover said:
    quark108 said:
    Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Usage
    Thanks! I never saw that.

    I just looked and it was set to "Automatically Send" and "Share With App Developers" was also turned on.

    It was set that way by default. Would have been nice to have it off by default. I turned it off.

    It is on by default, but when setting up your iPhone or when it was added you would be asked during the setup, if you want to send diagnostics and usage date to apple & then on a separate screen you would be asked if you want to share data with devs.

    High possibility you just hit next next next and ignored it.
    techloverbrucemc
  • Reply 15 of 15
    techlovertechlover Posts: 879member
    joemailey said:
    techlover said:
    Thanks! I never saw that.

    I just looked and it was set to "Automatically Send" and "Share With App Developers" was also turned on.

    It was set that way by default. Would have been nice to have it off by default. I turned it off.

    It is on by default, but when setting up your iPhone or when it was added you would be asked during the setup, if you want to send diagnostics and usage date to apple & then on a separate screen you would be asked if you want to share data with devs.

    High possibility you just hit next next next and ignored it.
    You are probably right, I don't recall.

    I'm using an iPad Air so it's been a while and iOS 9.0 has been super stable after a handful of buggy updates with 8. I haven't gone to 9.3 yet because everything works great.
    joemailey
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