Massive iPhone 5s and 5C sales numbers prove Apple analysts wrong
Today in Apple: Amazing sales numbers for the iPhone 5S and 5C. Plus: iPhone beats Android in screen latencies, and FaceTime Audio
iPhone 5S and 5C Far Exceed Sales Estimates
The Apple analysts have egg on their faces...again. The consumer response to the new iPhone 5S and 5C can be summed up with two words: blowout sales.
With 9 million phones flying off the shelves in the first weekend, Apple was looking more like the company Steve Jobs began resurrecting in 1997. Sticking to a cautiously high-end (read: profitable) strategy, CEO Tim Cook placed the new products in market with unerring precision. Investors cheered on Monday. Apple shares are up $20, or 4.4%, so far today.
I'd like to say I was surprised about the huge sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C, but I wasn't. The 5C is aimed perfectly at certain groups of consumers who simply don't care about technical specs, and the 5S appeals to power users and early adopters who crave it's 64-bit processor and fingerprint scanner (among other things).
I suspect that this is just a harbinger of things to come for Apple since the company will soon be releasing the new iPad and iPad mini. It will be fun to see if the analysts goof so badly again on the iPad sales estimates.
The iPhone Beats Android in Touchscreen Latencies
App Glimpse has a very interesting look at touchscreen latencies, and it comes away with a very positive view of the iPhone versus Android devices. The iPhone beats all Android devices, as well as the Windows Phone 8 Lumia.
As you can see, the results are remarkable. At a MART of 55ms, The iPhone 5 is twice as responsive as any Android or WP8 phone tested. All the Android devices’ MARTs fell in the same 110 – 120ms range, with the WP8-based Lumia 928 falling into that bucket as well. (Incidentally, the ranges all span about 16ms, which is expected given the 60 Hz refresh rate of these smartphones. 1/60s = 16.6ms)
There are several possible reasons for this. Since touchscreen hardware has significant latency itself (check out this video from Microsoft Research for a visual demonstration), our best guess at Agawi is that Apple’s touchscreen hardware is better optimized or more sensitively calibrated for capturing and processing touch. Another possibility is that while the Android and WP8 code are running on runtimes (Dalvik and CLR respectively), the iPhone code is written in closer-to-the-metal Objective-C, which may reduce some latency. In future TouchMarks, we’ll compare C/C++-based Android apps to Java based apps to determine if this is the case.
Regardless of the reasons, the conclusion is clear: the best written apps on iPhones will simply feel more responsive than similar apps on the current gen of Android devices. (We speculate this might be a major reason why the iPhone keyboard generally feels better than the Android keyboard to many people.)
Image Courtesy of App Glimpse
I'm somewhat surprised that there's such a difference, but I haven't spent much time with Android phones. It seems that Android (and Windows Phone) manufacturers have some work ahead of them to catch up to the iPhone's good results.
FaceTime Audio in iOS 7
One of the more overlooked features in iOS 7 is FaceTime Audio. You can now make audio-only calls via FaceTime. Previously, in iOS 6, you only had the option of video calls. FaceTime Audio is a nice option for the times when you prefer not to do a video call.
Quietly, gradually, but clearly Apple is building platform lock-in into its iOS products, with some features that are deeper than just a rich third-party software ecosystem. FaceTime Audio is the latest of these, VoIP calling built on the back of its FaceTime video chat service, which is tightly integrated to the phone app to make placing free international calls almost a pleasant surprise for those looking to connect with far-flung loved ones.
FaceTime Audio joins iMessage as another reason to sign on with the Apple camp and get an iPhone or iPad device, and then never to depart again. It’s a little odd to see it arrive so much later than FaceTime’s video calling feature, but the reversal of feature rollout makes a lot of sense ; audio-only calls are uncomfortably close to standard phone calls, which is still one of the sole remaining areas that carriers control.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.