How successful has the iPhone OS 3.0 and iPhone 3G S launches been? The raw numbers are quite high—over 1 million 3G S handsets sold (I’m assuming that doesn’t include any $99 iPhone 3Gs) and over 6 million downloads of the operating system.
“Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning,” said Steve Jobs in a press release. “With over 50,000 applications available from Apple’s revolutionary App Store, iPhone momentum is stronger than ever.”
Well, the face value numbers do speak of momentum, but it bears remembering that the iPhone and iPod touch ecosystem encompasses over 40 million devices. In rough terms, that means in just a few days that Apple has increased it device base by at least 2.5 percent (we don’t know how many touches and legacy iPhones were also sold) and seen about 17.5 percent buy into or upgrade to the new OS.
Hmm, I’m thinking 6 million OS downloads is a nice start, but not exactly momentous. Personally, momentous in this situation probably lies in the 25 to 33 percent range.
Yes, there are more than 50,000 apps available, but over 49,000 of those are utter crap—hence the big software upgrade. Really, of what value could 50,000 apps be to any one person and, furthermore, how many of them are actively being developed, less than 2,000?
The company will need to do a lot more to drive upgrade penetration, because it’s iPhone OS 3.0 that is the basis for expanding the third-party software developer business model that’s critical to the continued success of the platform…