Apple Loop: iOS 7 Adoption, The $350 iWatch, US Market Share, MacBook Air Predictions, And Jony Ive

Apr 11 2014, 6:14pm CDT | by

Apple Loop: iOS 7 Adoption, The $350 iWatch, US Market Share, MacBook Air Predictions, And Jony Ive
Photo Credit: Forbes Apple

Users flocking to iOS 7, teenagers ready to spend $350 on an iWatch, US market share continues to rise, paperwork from the patent case, product predictions, Lightroom Mobile, Sir Jony Ive’s collection of workers, and Facebook is pushing their Messenger app. null

Almost Nine In Ten iOS Users Running iOS 7

If there’s one thing that Apple is good at, it’s getting users on to the latest version of their operating systems. Recent data from their own Developer Support Site shows 87% of iOS devices are now running a version of iOS 7, and 58% of devices are running the latest point release of iOS 7.1. After seven months on the street, that’s a phenomenal upgrade rate for iOS 7.

Android’s uptake on the latest version (4.4) is a little bit lower (reports ZD Net) with 5.3% of users on the six month old Android v4.4 Kit-Kat, although 61% of users are on a version of Jelly Bean.

Compared to Apple, Android has a larger infrastructure challenge with multiple manufacturers, handset partners, and carrier certification programs to navigate. Nevertheless, Apple’s ability to bring the user-base to new versions of the OS is a strong selling point for developers.

More Teenagers Ready To Buy An iWatch

Good news for the mythical Apple iWatch team. Industry analyst Gene Munster’s recent survey of teenage attitudes to mobile technology reveals strong support for the smart watch space, and for Apple’s presumed entry into the space in the near future (reports Forbes’ Parmy Olsen, and Apple Insider).

Currently, 6% of the teenagers surveyed already owned a smart watch (a number that is slightly higher than market expectations). How many of those surveyed would buy an Apple smart watch at a presumed price point of $350? 17% of the audience, which is 5% up on the same question from six months ago.

Apple and Android Dominate US Market Share

Apple and Android combined now command 93.4% of the US smartphone market (reports ComScore from their February survey). That’s a rise of 2.8% from February 2013, and with Android’s share dropping from 35% to 32%, all the gains belong to Apple. BlackBerry and Windows Phone share most of the remaining percentage points, with Symbian still bouncing against the needle with 0.2%.

While Android as an entity is dropping back against Apple, the largest OEM in Google’s mobile ecosystem is gaining very slightly. Samsung has been adding a few tenths to their market share each month since March 2013. Expect that number to jump up with this month’s release of the Galaxy S5 against no new handsets from Apple.

“Customers Want What We Don’t Have”

In the last week, the Samsung vs. Apple patent case has continued to throw up more information and documentation from inside Apple. No doubt Cupertino will do the same to Samsung next week, but for the moment the torch has shown a little more of Apple’s internal workings. One of the documents that caught my eye concerned the planning for the 2014 financial year.

Looking at the whole smartphone market, the growth areas were in the sub $300 handsets, and the large-screened phablet market priced over $300… two areas where Apple is not present. Will this impact the product range over the rest of the year?

The Crystal Ball Of Apple Predictions From Ming-Chi Kuo

Forbes’ Mark Rogowsky looks at the predictions from KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo on Apple’s product line for the next twelve months. All the action appears to be focused on Q3, and the proposed product line-up is impressive:/>/>

If Kuo is right — and it’s likely much of what he says will come to pass — not only will Apple release new iPhones, but it will also offer more powerful iPads, a brand new Macbook Air, the long-awaited iWatch, an updated AppleTV.

While the updates for the  iPhone and the iPad would fit in with Apple’s annual refresh (September for the iPhone and October for the iPad), the timing of any iWatch release is still a matter of speculation. The MacBook Air will probably in early autumn, in time to catch everyone returning to school, college, and university.

As for the update to AppleTV, that’s a prediction that has been flagged up for every Apple event since the launch of the first box in January 2007. There are signs that this year could be that year, with rumours of various discussions between Apple and the media companies already taking place. It’s also worth nothing that recent FCC filings from Apple say that “Apple tablets are viewing platforms for cable services even while Apple offers an online video service, Apple TV, and explores development of an Apple set-top box.”

Taking A Closer Look At Lightroom Mobile 

As the iPad continues to morph into a computing platform that can replace a laptop, functionality through apps continues to increase. Following the release of MS Office for iPad, Adobe has released an iPad version of Lightroom and Amadou Diallo has been looking at the app here on Forbes:

I’ve been using a final version of Lightroom mobile for about a week now, editing images shot with everything from an iPhone to a Nikon D800E. The app lets you perform the same Basic Panel adjustments found in the desktop version of Lightroom. Tools like white balance, exposure, contrast, highlight, and shadow control are all available via a slider interface. You can rotate images and crop them, choosing from pre-defined aspect ratios. In addition, a collection of 47 filters and effects presets are offered, ranging from BW toning to film grain simulation, sharpening, and vignetting. All image edits are non-destructive, with changes saved automatically, as you make them.

Lightroom Mobile is a free download, although some tools will require a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. An iPhone version is in the works for future releases.

One Day, All Of These Design Teams Will Be Yours…

Lots of discussion online about the departure of Greg Christie, now Apple’s former Vice President of Human Interface. The team which previously reported to Craig Federighi now falls under the remit of Jonathan Ive. That fits in to a very nice media narrative of designer Ive building up a power base inside Apple, but the truth is likely to be far closer to the public statements of a planned retirement after 20 years at Apple than the more excitable speculation online.

Facebook Spins Out Messenger App 

Get ready for the Facebook Messenger app to become one of the top downloads for iOS over the next few weeks. Speaking to The Next Web, a Facebook spokesperson explained the reasoning behind the change:

We have built a fast and reliable messaging experience through Messenger and now it makes sense for us to focus all our energy and resources on that experience.

While Facebook’s iPad app will retain the messaging feature, over the next few weeks more iPhone users using the Facebook app will be pushed to the Messenger app, before the functionality is removed from the core Facebook app.

That’s it for this week on the Apple Loop, have a great weekend, and see you here next week! Forbes’ previous Apple Loop column can be found here.

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