The new iPhone OS 3.0 is great, the list of the new features is a long one. So we, as Developers, Developers, Developers!, are questioning: What shall we do for 3.0? We’re planning a lot, above all multiplayer game with peer-to-peer, some In-App-Purchase and other stuff, which we find cool and of what we’re thinking that our customers will love it.
But our developer friend Oliver Drobnik, who is always on the ball when it’s about “the next step”, is asking the clever question: Which OS Version to target? At his blog he is offering quite interesting stats about the percentile allocation of the different iPhone OS version, installed on the user devices. You can read all the facts at his blog, which is always a font of wisdom to me. In short: At the moment only 4.5% of all apps in the Apple App Store are presuming OS 3.0. According to AdMob stats about free apps 44% of the iPhone owners are yet using 3.0, but only 1% of the iPod Touch users, because apple is demanding 10$ for the upgrade. 78% of the Touch users are still using the version 2.2.1.
Hmmm, regarding these numbers the question is truly, whether a developer team should put all their ressources into the development of a 3.0-only feature, when not even the half of their potential customers can use them. Even for us the question is important, because we have a lot of iPod Touch users with our Super Trumps games (about 37%).
To emphasise this we’ll answer Oliver with our own stats, collected with the submission of received points to our online highscore.
To cut a long story short: At least a fourth is already using 3.0, that’s not bad! But nearly two-thirds are still running 2.2.1. What does that mean? Not overmuch. We will still abide by publishing a peer-2-peer multiplayer option for Super Trumps, because also we would love to play the game with a dear friend or our kids.
But every developer team should keep the fact at the back of their minds, that it takes a longer time until the majority of the devices are updated to the newest OS version. So don’t make the mistake to forget about the loyal customers, which are always waiting some time before updating, just to have always the most advanced technology in your applications.