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  • Hello you. I'm a 38-year old MSc student, studying Advanced Computer Science at Sussex University. I'm especially interested in Internet and mobile software, sensors and pervasive computing, user interfaces, and the process of developing great software.

    Before that I spent 11 years running Future Platforms, a software company I co-founded which makes lovely things for mobile phones, and which I sold in 2011.

    I read a lot, write here, and practice Aikido and airsoft. I live in Brighton, a seaside town on the south coast of the UK, with two cats and a clown.


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March 19, 2008



They use the web more because they are showing off to all their mates how cool they are for having an iPhone and look, it can browse the web!

Flat data tariff as standard can't hurt either...



I hate to say it my friend, but you might be in a small state of denial. All kinds of people are buying the iPhone.

Accept the fact that the Americans have out-innovated the Europeans again and that the iPhone is truly a ground breaking device and move past it. It'll save you some internal angst, really.



Al Briggs

I hate to say it Tom - but I guess you don't know enough normal people - I know plenty who have bought it and many more who lust after it. It is an accessory for the fashionista and if it encourages them on-line and to alter how they use technology then all the better.

I agree with Russ about you being in denial - not sure if he understands who it is that does innovation within Apple - but I don't think the innovators all have US passports. :-)


Tom Hume

Russ: I'm saying nothing about the quality of the iphone (which I quite like, particularly for a v1). I'm commenting more on some iffy conclusions folks are drawing from statistics. "iphone users browse the web more" doesn't automatically mean "iphone is causing its owners to browse the web more". It could just as easily mean "people who already want to browse the web from a mobile device are buying the iphone".

I trust the stats from M:Metrics, who are great. It's more the conclusions being drawn from them that I distrust (until there's some evidence for them of course).

I don't know anyone who owns an iphone who doesn't work in media or technology. As I posted, thats anecdotal. There's no real evidence for it, but it is fact.


Al - The "Americans" remark was just me talking smack and giving a felow Mobitopian a ribbing... But you're right, I should have said, an "American Company" instead, as I and most other Americans had nothing to do with the iPhone's development.

Tom - My anecdotal experience is from living right in the middle of Silicon Valley, so it's biased completely on the flip side of your experience... But in general, anyone who would buy an iPod is interested in an iPhone. Just yesterday I was at a "playdate" with my son, and taught a Mom how to use SMS on her iPhone (so I could schedule meetups more easily). She wasn't sure how well it would work - but she browses the web no problem. This is a person who would have *never* browsed the web on her phone before (or used any of the other features either most likely), but does so now because of how nice the iPhone's GUI/Browser is.

So my anecdotal experience - as well as the *huge* percentages in that report - definitely point to a correlation between ease of use, and actual usage.



Tom Hume

Russ: the percentages in that report don't imply that iphone ownership is the cause of more internet usage - though I'd agree with you that ease of use assists here (just look at recent Google stats showing an upturn in mobile searches when time-to-search is cut).

Looking at UK stats from 2006:

Say smartphone ownership in the UK has stuck at the same level of 6.6% of mobile subscribers (and it won't have, it'll have grown). Say that the UK has 80% penetration (folks disagree on this, 80% is probably conservative, some say we're at more than 100%). That means there are 3.2m UK smartphone owners. iphone has so far sold just shy of 200k units in the UK (all since 2006). This means that at best, iphone has a 6.25% share of the UK smartphone market.

I'd bet that not all of those iphone purchases were from folks who'd never surfed the web before, and are now doing so on their phone. I'd bet that the majority are from folks who already wanted or used web-on-the-move, and are doing so via iphone now. This still means that iphone users are online more than other smartphone users... I'm just saying the driver, for most of them, was already there.

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