Word has it that the iPhone is encouraging use of mobile applications. This phone boasts a 90% customer satisfaction rate (according to Apple) and reports rates of mobile browsing use at a whopping 98%! Add to this that 80% of owners report using 10 or more features – and you surely have a device that is driving experimentation and innovative use.
But these impressive stats don’t include the number of people who are really experimenting and being innovative with their iPhones.
At Monday June 6th’s iPhone Developer Conference, Steve Jobs proudly proclaimed that Apple has sold nearly 6 million iPhones in the nearly one year since it’s launch. Estimates are that up to 10% of iPhone owners have “jail broken” their iPhones to add third party applications. If true, that’s about 600,000 people who are really experimenting with their phones and pushing new boundaries. Some claim this number is over one million.
We’ve been recipients of the value this creates in the market – as have you. The value to us is fairly direct. Our Devicescape Connect solution for the iPhone has been downloaded more than 325,000 times – meaning that half of all iPhone “innovators” have found our app and were interested enough to give it a try.
The value to you: more orthogonal but no less real. Some percentage of people wanted more than was being prescribed by Apple – and they found a way to get it. These people pushed the envelope for others and helped advance the industry by giving voice to demand. Because of them, millions of applications have flooded into the phones of brave iPhone owners, and this trend will continue. Apple has opened the doors to third party apps themselves: For business reasons and to satisfy demand. Their applications still come with a new prescription: Apple will allow certain and sanctified applications to be purchased from certain, sanctified places.
This will NOT stop the innovators though. Consumers want what they want. Trends start regardless of marketing, restrictions and rules.
Smart businesses don’t sue or brick their customers, because they understand that innovation is by nature disruptive and The customer is always right.