At its annual worldwide developer conference, Apple unveiled the new version of its iOS operating system (OS) that powers its iPhone, iPod touch and iPad mobile devices.Apple claims iOS 5 will bring over 200 user-facing enhancements, including:
- An improved notification system
- iMessage, a new messaging application and protocol that allows the exchange of short text messages over Wi-Fi and cellular data
- OS-level Twitter integration allowing for single sign-on
- PC-free start-up and Wi-Fi sync essentially eliminating the need to tether a device to a computer
IHS continued that there are about 80m units of iPhone that will be shipped in 2011. That means that Apple will continue its dominance in the premium s’phone category leaving Nokia and Blackberry on the catch-up phase. IHS also noted that Apple is now the world’s biggest purchaser of electronics components largely in part to the volume of iPhone,iPod and iPad it has sold. Today, iPhone is already generating more revenue and profits than any other mobile handset. Unless Android phones push harder, it does not seem that either of RIM or Nokia can challenge Apple.
The introduction of iOS5 will position Apple to continue its dominance in the market. While Android has made a lot of inroads into the market, the fact remains that in the premium market, Apple wins. By adding more integrations with Twitter and more sync functions, iOS will position Apple to lead and drive this discussion on their own terms.
The plan to have more than 40 user interface enhancements is a welcome news. Apple must ensure that this does not end up confusing people that are already obsessed with their technologies. While innovation is encouraged, it is vital that they have a transition that does not radically alienate their core customers.
Tekedia will be waiting to experience the new iOS5 even as new iPhones, iPad and other gizmos are planned in coming months.
What is iOS?
iOS (known as iPhone OS before June 2010) is Apple’s mobile operating system. Originally developed for the iPhone, it has since been extended to support other Apple devices such as the iPod touch, iPad and Apple TV. Apple does not license iOS for installation on third-party hardware. As of May 31, 2011, Apple’s App Store contains more than 500,000 iOS applications, which have collectively been downloaded more than 15 billion times. In the last quarter of 2010, it had a 16% share of the smartphone operating system market in terms of units sold, third behind Google’s Android and Nokia’s Symbian. As of May 2010 it accounted for 59% of mobile web consumption (not including the iPad) in North America. (wikipedia)