Among the 5000 developers crowding Apple’s WWDC 2011 this year, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster was on the scene, surveying a small pool developers on platform related questions. Munster’s sample of 45 participants consisted of only iOS developers, who’d naturally favor Apple’s development platforms over Microsoft or RIM. The results of the survey were published in a note to clients that compared these 45 responses to 20 he gathered in 2008, when the iPad and Android markets were non-existant. Of the developers sampled, Munster found that the pool of iOS developers typically favored smartphone development over desktop development, and that iOS was best for monetization. Philip Elmer-DeWitt highlights some of the findings:
Only 7% are also developing apps for the Mac, down from 50% in 2008.
Nearly half (47%) write apps for Android, 36% for Research in Motion’s (RIMM) BlackBerry, 13% for Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Phone 7 and 7% for Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) WebOS.
Asked which platform had the highest potential for future growth, none mentioned the BlackBerry, WebOS or Nokia’s (NOK) Symbian.
Although 100% preferred iOS for ease of development and monetization, they did have some complaints, chief among them Apple’s “strict limitations” (38%) and the App Store approval process (11%).
Lion, iOS 5, and Apple’s iCloud were hot topics of WWDC 2011 this year, and while Munster only surveyed a handful of developers, there’s a lot to be excited about for both Mac and iPhone development. Scott Forstall announced on stage that iOS development in particular is still a hot market with over 200 million iOS devices sold. iOS’ installed base is leading the market at 44%, compared to 28% for Android and 19% for RIM. Total, Apple has paid developers $2.5 million dollars for apps marketed in the App Store.
Desktop development is still strong, as showcased in Apple’s Design Awards this year, featuring amazing apps like Pixelmator and Capo. Many developers are going to be updating or releasing new versions of theirs apps for Lion through the Mac App Store, and if Reeder is any indication, I have a feeling Mac development is as strong as it’s ever been. Survey results have been posted after the break.
With rumors floating around about Apple’s upcoming cloud music service (especially after last night’s report on the company signing a deal with EMI) and others like Google and Amazon moving forward on the streaming bandwagon with products to upload and stream music at any time with smartphones, tablets and desktop web browsers, subscription-based payment systems are often seen as the only feasible solution to guarantee a continuos cloud service without interruptions, always available anywhere you go. Just like Spotify and Rdio let users stream large collections of music they don’t necessarily own by paying a monthly or annual fee, Apple is rumored to extend the iTunes subscription system it created for magazines to music, movies, and a combination of both for the ultimate iTunes Store cloud experience. But just how much are phone and tablet people willing to pay for these new cloud services based on subscriptions? That’s what research firm Nielsen takes a look at in its latest survey, asking users of “connected devices” how much they would pay for media subscriptions that would give them access to a variety of content on their mobile devices.
It turns out, music, movies, magazines, books and TV shows are something people would pay for — sure, there are different results, but take a look at the graph above and you’ll see that these 5 categories are the ones with less orange, which stands for “not willing to pay.” On the other side, sports content, streaming radio and news are something people would be less prone to subscribe to. Overall, the sweet spot for subscriptions seems to be around $4.99 – $9.99 per month, which is what most cloud services ask for these days. There’s an interesting difference about music, however: people would pay for “downloaded music”, and not for “streaming radio.” Assuming “downloaded music” stands for “music you own”, and people care about having online access to music that’s ultimately theirs, services like Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music Beta should be exactly what people are looking for, as they let you upload your own music to the cloud. Also assuming Apple is working on a similar solution, this survey suggests the company should allow for both uploads and Spotify-like streaming, enabling users to lock their own collections in the cloud, and get access to stuff they didn’t buy as well. Maybe that’s what these deals with music labels are all about.
Tablet and smartphone owners with proper Internet access on the go are willing to pay for online media available through apps, and if that’s their own media, there’s an incentive to subscribe. A report in the past weeks suggested Apple was considering offering a free initial trial for its new cloud music service, with a $20 yearly subscription once the demo is over.
The National Gamers Survey, compiled by research firms Distimo and Newzoo from March data has revealed that there are roughly 63 million gamers on the iOS ecosystem who (individually) download, on average, 2.5 games per month. Games represent half of all apps downloaded across the iOS and Mac App Stores with more than 5 million games downloaded per day – based on the survey that included the US, UK and five other European countries. A clear majority of 4.6 million are downloaded for the iPhone or iPod Touch whilst just over 400,000 are for the iPad and just a sliver for the Mac with 41,000 per day.
The survey also revealed that in-app purchases within games is becoming an increasingly common feature found in games with revenue from in-app purchases also representing a large proportion of total revenues. 88% of the top 300 games on iOS are free, but across and free and paid games, two fifths of the revenue is now coming from in-app purchases. On the iPhone and iPod touch it represented 40% of gross revenue and 32% for the iPad. These high figures may give reason to why Lodsys has recently started to target developers that implement in-app purchases; it would certainly raise a lot of revenue if they received license fees from even just a portion of developers.
Some more statistical data about the spread of iOS devices was also revealed, noting that across some of the countries surveyed, including the US, UK, France and Germany, between 6% and 7% of the online population have an iPhone. Whilst of those iPhone users, between 50% and 75% play games. As for the iPad, the report claims 15 million Americans actively play games on it, whilst 7 million Europeans do so – exceeding the number of people using Sony’s PSP.
When the iPad went on sale just over a year ago, many were unsure of what people would use it for and the uncertainty has largely continued to today, where it is still a little vague as to how a tablet fits into people’s lives. Yesterday however, Business Insider published some fascinating data on a whole range of questions that surround the iPad and how it is used. The data was collated after Business Insider issued an extensive survey, on a wide variety of issues and questions, to more than 850 people.
Their survey revealed that for about 70% of respondents, there was only 1 iPad in their household and only about 23% has 2 in the one household – less than 7% had 3 or more iPads in their household. Nearly 40% had downloaded between 20 and 50 apps, whilst 30% had downloaded more than 50 apps – with few paying for more than 20 of those apps and only 6% paying for none. Below are some of the other more interesting results but jump over to The Atlantic for all the results.
87.4% did not even consider an Android tablet before buying an iPad and 90% would not consider a BlackBerry PlayBook or HP TouchPad
The number of people with WiFi-only or the 3G iPad is fairly evenly split (52% to 48%)
Only 49% subscribe to a monthly 3G data plan (of those who have a 3G iPad)
40% use the iPad as their primary computer
The most cited reasons for use of the iPad are; web browsing (35%), using social or communication apps (22%), watching video (12%), playing games (12%) and using all other apps (20%)
For consuming news, 38% would use the iPad’s web browser, 34% would use a news site’s app and 28% would use an aggregator like Reeder or Flipboard.
72% read e-books on the iPad, mostly on iBooks but Kindle is a close second
In an unsurprising turn of events following the launch of a survey among readers who own an iPad, BusinessInsider posts a chart detailing how people use an iPad. And unsurprisingly, the usual suspects are on top: the chart shows people use iPads to browse the web (36% in May 2011, 37.7% in November 2010), whilst 23% rely on the tablet for their email needs and communication skills happening on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks that presumably have a native iPad app, otherwise that would count in the “web browsing” section, I guess. The iPad is also strongly used to watch videos (14.52% up from 11.50% in November 2010), play games and “use other apps.”
What about those other apps? Watching videos with Plex or other media managers is a great experience, especially when combined with AirPlay and an Apple TV in your living room. Playing games? Between Angry Birds and Sword & Sworcery there’s plenty of choice to go by. Other apps? They must refer to things like OmniFocus, Simplenote, LogMeIn, Instapaper and Screens. It’s all about the apps, but Safari is still king when it comes to spending time with an iPad, browsing the web.
Digital game downloads have been on the rise in recent years and according to the latest NPD report, a large portion of that increase can be attributed to mobile devices which count for nearly half of all video game downloads. The report, which focused solely on full game downloads (not micro-transactions, add-ons or previously purchased games), notes that even those who owned a console would generally download more games to their mobile devices.
Following mobile devices were personal computers as the second most common platform for downloading games, no doubt driven primarily by Steam, then consoles and finally portable gaming devices (Nintendo DS, Sony PSP). Obviously it should be pointed out that, typically, a full game download for a mobile device is priced far lower than a game for consoles and even computers. Nonetheless, Anita Frazier notes in the report “Mobile gaming represents one of the fastest growing segments of the digital games market, and potential for future growth remains strong.”
Interestingly, of those that have purchased a mobile game in the past three months, a surprising 60% said they still spend the same amount on console or portable gaming device games. The report also revealed that if a game was available in physical and digital form at the same time, at the same price, 75% would buy a physical copy because they liked to own a “real” copy – the remaining 25% mainly cited convenience as their reason.
A new survey on the value of brands has placed Apple as the world’s most valuable brand, ending Google’s four-year reign at the top of the list. The ‘Brandz’ survey, done by global brands agency Millward Brown, found that the Apple brand is worth an estimated $153 billion, which was an 84% increase from last years survey.
Global brands director of Millward Brown, Peter Walshe, said that Apple’s pointed to a number of factors that has led to Apple’s rapid rise in brand valuation. He said that their meticulous attention detail and presence in corporate environment were two of the reasons that they have behaved differently to other consumer electronics manufacturers and went on to say:
Apple is breaking the rules in terms of its pricing model. It’s doing what luxury brands do, where the higher price the brand is, the more it seems to underpin and reinforce the desire. Obviously, it has to be allied to great products and a great experience, and Apple has nurtured that.
Technology and telecommunications companies generally dominated the list, with Apple (1), Google (2), IBM (3), Microsoft (5), AT&T (7) and China Mobile (9) holding six of the top 10 spots, sharing it with the old-heavyweight brands of Coca-Cola (6) and McDonalds (4). Meanwhile Facebook entered the top 100 at number 35 this year, with a valuation of $19.1 billion.
The survey is done by Millward Brown essentially observing the value that the companies put on their own brands in their earnings reports and analysing it in conjunction with the results of a survey of more than 2 million consumers.
A Nielsen survey released today reveals the iPad has a commanding lead in the US tablet market, controlling a staggering 82%. This is despite the recent entrance to the market by Android tablets from Motorola, Samsung and others, which have comparatively trivial share of the tablet market.
In fact following Apple is Samsung with just 4% of the market despite its strong push late last year with the Galaxy Tab, and then there is Dell and Motorola with just 3% and 2% of the market. Yet all are overshadowed by the ‘Other’ category, this mishmash of various relatively unknown companies staggeringly has the same share of the market that Samsung, Dell and Motorola have combined.
The survey didn’t differentiate between the iPad 2 and original iPad but it did find that there is a fairly even split between WiFi-only models (43%) and WiFi+3G (39%) models. Also fascinating was that the survey found large proportions of tablet users would change their usage of other devices. In particular 35% of desktop computer and 32% of laptop users would use their computers less often or not at all after purchasing their tablet. E-readers and portable music players would also be used less or not at all following a tablet purchase by 27% of those surveyed.
Furthermore, the most frequently given reasons for using their computer less is mostly because the tablet is “easy to carry/take with you”, “ease of interface/OS” and the “fast start up/off” it provides to users. A final interesting note is that 43% of correspondents said that more than 1 person in their family/household is a user of the tablet device.
Tablets are changing the way consumers engage with content
With more than 165 million tablets expected to ship over the next two years, tablets are growing in popularity and changing the way that we consume content. People are spending considerable time with tablet devices and using them to play games, browse the web and search for information.
I’m not terribly surprised that tablets are becoming a hub for personal entertainment, but I am surprised at what people are using their tablets for (I figured news and reading would be on top). 28% of 1430 respondents (BGR) said the tablet has become their primary computer in the household, with 43% spending more time with their tablets than their laptops or desktops. 84% of those surveyed play games on their tablets, compared to lesser 61% who use their tablets to consume the news. Only 46% of those surveyed use their tablets to read e-books which is astounding.
Assuming that the majority of those surveyed owned an iPad, does this mean that less than 50% of iPad owners download, purchase, or read books from the iBookstore? What about Kindle and Amazon? With the amount of interactive content available on the iPad, it’s understandable people are seeking apps like Flipboard and are consuming media via their usual outlets, though I’m surprised e-books don’t have a bigger market or aren’t generating more attention.
The initial blog post doesn’t reveal too much, but the included PDF details a lot of interesting numerics for the small March survey.