Sanity check on “mobile data”

Strange arithmetic by Apple: it is claiming a billion downloads of iPhone applications. This has tickled people who can actually count, because what Apple has actually announced is “downloads of a billion apps” which may just not be quite the same thing!

The Digital Evangelist commented wryly:

I am not an iPhone user but I am someone with a Touch. I have 20 applications that I use on my iPod and have removed 6 that didn’t work. The average for each of my applications is 4 updates since I have installed them. Does Apple count these as 26 Apps or 90 something?

He has a point. Much too much is being written by uncritical commentators about the glory and wonder of mobile data. And many such commentators aren’t asking obvious questions. As the Evangelist says,

“…the next time that someone tells me that Mobile Data is mainstream can they at first demonstrate that what they are doing is possible on a handset that is not Smart?

The next few months will be interesting in that the economic downturn means that the old subsidy model is over and so will smartphone numbers grow if the consumer has to pay up front for the handset? Without a Smartphone what of the market for Apps?

When I can get Opera on my Touch I will consider that Apple is Open and Mobile Data is more than niche,”

he concludes.

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