Apple Announces Updates to the iPhone
Published on: 15th January 2008
At the Macworld conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that the company had sold 4 million units of its iPhone handset since it was launched exactly 200 days ago. He noted that was 20,000 phones sold per day, on average.
He claimed that the market share for the iPhone in the USA has reached 19.5% - within the smartphone market. This places them second behind RIM - although it should be noted that the figures given relate to handset vendors and not the smartphone software market, which would probably push Apple further down the charts as Symbian and Windows Mobile would jump up the listing.
The company also announced new features on the iPhone: Maps with location awareness. The location based service has been developed with Google and Skyhook Wireless - a company which maps available Wi-Fi access points. The Wi-Fi Positioning System claims to offer a 20 meter positioning accuracy for its mapping services. The service is limited to the USA at the moment, although Skyhook says it is currently rolling out coverage in Europe and Asia.
Users will also be able to send SMS messages to multiple recipients with a new software upgrade and customise the front page of the browser. Still no mention of support for MMS though.
He also confirmed that the long-awaited SDK to allow 3rd party developers to work with the phone OS is still on track for a launch next month.
The company is also going to start offering movie rentals via their iTune retail portal - and a software update for the iPhone will enable it to support that service. The rental scheme requires that a person watches the film in its entirety within a day of starting to watch it - although you get 30 days from making the rental purchase to start viewing the movie. The rental service launches in the USA with 1,000 movies with international rollout later.
The OS upgrade for the iPhone is available today - and is free of charge. A related upgrade for the iPod touch to offer similar functionality for its built in web browser will be available for $20.
At the end of the presentation - and still no sign of a 3G iPhone, or any new network operator agreements.
In a separate announcement, but related to the iPhone - the Strategy Analytics User Experience team says that it observed and captured the pain points of 50 mobile users who were asked to undertake seven key tasks with the Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera and Mini-map mobile web browsers, both in the UK and USA.
Paul Brown, a Senior Analyst in the User Experience Team noted "Safari received 5-star ratings for five out of the seven attributes rated by participants, including Ease of Accessing the browser, Ease of Entering a Website Address, Ease of Web Page Navigation, Saving a Bookmark and Ease of Returning to Previous Pages."
David Kerr, Vice President of the Global Wireless Practice, added "Internet Explorer matched Safari in terms of ease of web access and ease of saving a page as a bookmark but could not equal Safari in terms of entering website addresses and overall page navigation."
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