Microsoft’s Windows 7 is released yesterday, and the boys and girls at Redmond are probably feeling very pleased with the news that pre-orders on Amazon for its latest OS have broken records. Windows 7 is now the biggest pre-order product in Amazon’s history.
Not to be outdone, Apple is busy breaking records too. At the Web 2.0 Summit this week, Morgan Stanley’s Managing Director Mary Meeker revealed that the iPhone/iPod touch is the fastest growing consumer electronics platform in history. And she had some charts to prove it. TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld picked through her 60+ page presentation to focus on three iPhone-relevant slides.
Catchy title, no? But impressive. The iPhone/iPod touch has seen far steeper user adoption than that of other popular consumer electronics platforms, including other iPods.
However, Gizmodo’s Dan Nosowitz very wisely points out:
Comparing one gadget to another in a different category is messy and inconclusive. iPhone adoption is different than, say, Wii adoption for lots of reasons: The iPhone is a phone, a gadget which pretty much everybody has and needs, and it combined the capabilities of a phone with that of an established hit, the iPod. In contrast, the Wii is a videogame system, a category with a totally different demographic, requiring different kinds of software and accessories. They’re just not the same (and I only mentioned a couple reasons), and comparing unit shipments doesn’t necessarily prove anything.
A slightly busier one, this illustrates how, in the two year period following its launch, the iPhone/iPod touch’s mobile internet user base has enjoyed a faster, higher adoption rate (57 million) than NTT Docomo’s mobile internet platform imode (25 million) and even desktop Internet legend AOL (7 million).
Of course, it’s important to remember that Apple benefits (at least a little) from the changing times. Both AOL and imode enjoyed their super-growth in the mid to late 1990’s — the Internet’s Stone Age. While the iPhone platform is undoubtedly sophisticated, it takes advantage of extraordinary advances in hardware and software engineering that, a decade ago, were merely the stuff of geek dreams. Also, let’s not forget that — relative to the Internet’s ubiquity and sophistication today — the mobile and desktop Internet of the 90’s was far more expensive, harder to use and much less rewarding of an experience. Still, these are impressive numbers nonetheless. It’s just helpful to put them into perspective.
If you want a chart that demonstrates just exactly why AT&T’s network is trembling at the knees beneath the strain of millions of data-hungry iPhones, look no further. Schonfeld added two arrows to pinpoint the June 2007 and July 2008 launches of, respectively, the iPhone and iPhone 3G. If you’re an iPhone owner and you don’t spend more time using the thing for email and web browsing than, y’know, actually talking to people, you’re in the minority. iPhone owners love their unlimited data.
You can bet your bottom dollar Steve’s next keynote presentation will extrapolate some of this data (of course, his charts will contain no numbers but look way more sexy).
View or download the entire presentation from Scribd, and tell me in the comments how no one uses the word “Pwns” any more.