how many blind people use the iPhone?

I can't find any estimate of how many people with blindness out there are useing the iPhone. Can anyone offer info on this?

Forum: 

No firm numbers

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

When the Bureau of Engraving and Printing launched their EyeNote app last year, they said that "more than 100,000 blind and visually impaired individuals could currently own an Apple iPhone".

Unfortunately they didn't give a source for this figure, and the use of the word 'could' suggests that it might have been little more than a best guess.

The figure would appear not to include other iOS devices and presumably refers only to the USA.

I'm not aware of any more up-to-date figures, or ones that are global or include all iOS devices.

blind i phone users

I don't know the exact amount of blind people that use the i phone but majority of them do. I became a i phone user about 6 months ago and i love it. If a blind person is not a i phone user by now they certainly will get the message because it is spreading. There are about 15 blind people at my job who are i phone users and others that are thinking about switching to the i phone from other phones.

From 2007 to 2012! I've been

From 2007 to 2012! I've been using Nokia phones with Talks and Mobile Speak. Having had my first iPhone which is the iPhone 4S! I wouldn't go back to any other phone and that includes Android as I had a brief spell with Android 2.3 with the HTC Cha Cha. Nearly everyone I know has an iPhone of some description and the UK Talks support list has hardly any traffic because of the volumes of people switching to the iPhone. In my City! There are around 1400 visually impaired or blind people and I would say that half of them will have an iPhone. A propotion of those have gone over to Android. So on the iPhone count! It's looking rather healthy. I hope this is getting back to Apple as they will modify Voiceover to work better in some situations.

Apple users.

App Developer

Hi all,
My first post on the forum.
I have been looking for a clue as to how many Apple users there are out here. Specifically iPhone users. It seems that no record is kept anywhere and consumers aren't asked at time of purchase. I can only assume that the only way to tell is to see how many people download visually impaired friendly apps. Well, not really... I recently met a partially sighted man who was holding his iPhone close to his face. "Don't you use Voice Over" I say. "What's that?" He says.

I work in the visual impairment field as a guide dog mobility instructor. Don't let this fool you, my prime motivation (probably unusually) is in regard of visual impairment. 27 years in the field of dog training will do that to you. My main interest revolves around mobility but increasingly I have found myself drawn to technology and specifically the multitude of uses for applications and the general use of the mobile phone within the visual impairment sector. My own feeling is that beyond being a leveller of the playing field this technology will mean that visually impaired exponents abilities will far surpass the skills of their sighted counterparts if this has not been done so already. To this end I have resolved to ensure that my own skills and knowledge levels are not left languishing. i know i want to be prepared when i am faced with a guide dog client who uses their new guide dog in tandem with his/her Bluetooth headset.

It just seems crazy that no one knows how many users, either actual or potential there are out there. It also seems crazy that on every visit to a phone shop and on asking the same question "do you understand Voice Over?" I am met with a blank expression. How can sales assistants recommend the right phone to visually
Impaired customers if they don't even know this accessibility function exists?

Now, I like Apple, in fact I love what Apple has done but how can such a fantastic forward thinking and generally supportive company allow this to happen? How can it let people sell its product who obviously don't have a clue how it works for such a massive part of the community.

So, how many vi Apple users are there? I would say many but there are many many more who don't even know they are Apple users yet or who,are Apple users who have no idea of the potential they hold in their hand.

I would be very interested to hear if anyone else has thoughts or knowledge on this subject.

Warm regards to all.

.gavin.

It's a good question. I've

It's a good question. I've never seen any estimation of it even from Apple itself. Let say in Hong Kong, there're 120,000 visually impaired including the elderly. HK is so-called a developed country. The usage of iPhone, however by my observation, it isn't as popular as the feature phone. As for the reasons besides expensiveness, you all might guess it.

my two sense

both me and my brother are blind and we use iphones. i don't know where you might go about finding a number that would be an accurate representation. i'd start with some of the blindness organizations such as the NFB, the ACB, and maybe APH, but this last one is unlikely.
i for one am probably going to leave IOS behind and switch over to an android phone about christmas time. but thats because of personal choice and the fact i like a lot more what is being done with the android ?OS and Talkback. and there are several things which i hate about apple's products, and there business model. but that is not for this topic. and i digress.

It's a good question...

But probably one that's hard to answer. I guess one way to tell would be to see how many people install apps relating to blindness. But that's not going to be completely accurate either... just off the top of my head, I know 3 sighted people who've tried TapTapSee just because they wanted to see how it worked. If most of us out there know a few sighted people who try apps just to see what they're about, the number is going to be completely inaccurate. It might be better to run a test on an app that's paid; sighted people are a lot less likely to try a blindness-related app if they have to pay for it. But still, I don't think we'd get an accurate representation.

So...

App Developer

It would seem that my suspicions are confirmed with the views of this small but knowledgable market research group. Does it not seem strange though in this day and age of marketing and knowledge equalling power that Apple wouldn't want to have its finger on the pulse of numbers of users?

Thanks for the input people.

And good luck with the Android device Kyle.

Gavin.

Service Survey Alert

In order to find out how many consumers are using an IPhone who are blind/visually impaired you can send a survey via alert. In the survey you may ask how many iPhone owners are using voice over.

how many blind people use the iPhone

hi all, I am so tired of all the arguments that android isn't accessible, and android is crap. yes, while i do agree that most blind phone owners use the iPhone, there is a number who have switched to android, why? simply put, some of us are sick and tired of apple not listening to our concerns regarding voiceover, and not even fixing issues that have been there sense iOS 5. I do have an iPhone five for now, but come february of next year i too will be moving to android, because google seems to get what its users want, and fix talkback on a monthly bases. apple seems to care more about what can we do for other disabilities then blind users. when voiceover came out for iOS back in 2009 it was great. I think in my honest opinion that when Steve jobs died, the commitment to accessibility concerning voiceover died with him. I'm sorry to get like this, but enough is enough. if apple would fix the issues that people have with voicer, give us more options as far as speech goes, fix problems in a timely manner, and get back on track, then I might consider staying.

amen brandon armstrong

i so totally agree with you Brandon Armstrong. how ever, part of me switching is also i'm just sick and tired of crap apple does and their OS being so restrictive. and other junk and mumbo jumbo.

I'm thinking to switch to

Even though I'm afraid of Android because I've seen it on a device my sister has at home, I'm really thinking to switch to a Nexus because I will be able to soon run the Nuance Vocalizer Hebrew voice on it and get speech. iOS is maybe more stable and less tricki to use, but if Apple is not going to listen to us I'm afraid I'll not go with there mobile devices again.
I'm a techi person and I localize a big screen reader here in Israel JAWS to Hebrew so learning and messing around with technology is not a problem for me, when I have to reinstall my computers everyday for testing purpices.
With Apple, I think i'll only switch to the Mac sometime.

you have nothing to fear

with android you have nothing to fear if you have common sense. as long as you interject a bit of common sense in your purcheases you will be fine. and the same goes on aIOS. you might need to do a bit more research on android but you have nothing to fear. the latest android is very great. and we are due to get android 4.4 kit kat in a few months.

Hi all

App Developer

Competition is good and I can't see any reason why someone wouldn't change systems if they felt one was better than the other. I haven't hearduch positive feedback from Android users so I would be interested to hear some. I look forward to your views Kyle.

Gavin

This comment has been deleted.

LaBoheme

App Developer

Thanks good info.

.gav.

diagnostic and usage info sent to apple should be anonymous:

Even though vo may be in the info that gets sent to apple, it should not indicate that a blind person is using the device. In fact, there are many folk using iPhones that do not own them but turn vo on for one reason or another on a device owned by a sighted person. there are also serious sighted developers who use vo for their accessibility efforts.

apple knows:

Apple knows in many ways how many blind folk use iOS devices if they want to. I don't think for them though that it is an important marketing position. They love to serve and making money is good, but they are not going to decide on how to treat the blindness market based on numbers alone even if numbers are a factor.

Android

i was just merely touching on the subject because it was brought up. honestly i think it should be brought up in a way because people need to know there are alternatives. i have seen a few topics on android here and they aren't the most positive. which was understandable because they were done a while ago or from the prospective of a older operating system version like Ice Cream Sand witch. android, like i've said before, is a lot better now not only from a sighted prospective, but a accessible prospective as well. i've been thinking about starting a topic here on this subject anyway.

how many blind people use the iPhone

honestly I think that android does need to be talked about because let's face it, like i said yesterday apple doesn't seem to get what the customer wants anymore, and as far as voiceover is concerned, the problem I think is iOS has grown up, but voiceover hasn't come along with it. we're using old code from 2010 or 2009 on 2013 models of iPhone and other iOS devices and frankly it's quite stupid that voiceover has issues like focusing and apple seems to be taking a backseat at fixing the problems. they say they are committed to accessibility, and that they take the reports they get very seriously, but I think they are going to have to really prove to me that they are committed and fix voiceover issues, and just not say it. it's like the accessibility team are sleeping on the job when it comes to voiceover or something.

agreed

i so totally agree Brandan. plus there are other bones i have with apple but, voice over needs to mature not only with the products, but with new code, apps, and features that comes out. apple has sadly disappointed me on this. they aren't innovators unfortunately, they take things and, supposedly, make them better. but i fail to see what things they have innovated in the passed two or so years. really Siri was the last thing they have done since voice over, and Siri is still crap. now please don't kill me for saying all of this because we still have IOS 7 to be released in a few days and Siri is, supposed, to be better but, we will have to see. maybe IOS 7 will be the thing that puts apple back in this with all of this supposed finger print scanner and stuff, but we will have to see. if apple doesn't get on the inovation campaign soon, i fear for them as a business. with the lower price of android, its rapid expansion of apps, its ever developing and growing talkback screen reader, apple is about to be left in the proverbial digital dust.

how many blind people use iPhone

I agree with you, and as far as voiceover goes, I think apple has been left in the dust as late as last year with iOS six. if iOS seven is anything like iOS six, then get ready for a big let down.

I don't think iPhone usage among the blind will die

Hi! It's plain that some people who have posted to this thread are disappointed with IOS, and I respect that: if they want to switch to Android, that's their choice, and it's good that Android has become more and more accessible so that it's a good alternative to IOS for blind smart-phone users. However, I personally don't think iPhone usage among the blind will die: many of us are happy with IOS and don't want to switch. Speaking for myself, my iPhone is the best mobile phone I have ever had, and I personally won't stop getting iPhones unless Apple gives up on VoiceOver altogether, which it is showing no signs of doing. I don't suppose I'm the only blind iPhone user who feels this way, so, however much wishful thinking there may be among those who are disappointed with IOS and are planning to switch to Android, I don't think the usage statistics for blind iPhone users, if such statistics actually exist, will fall to zero blind users any time soon. Use of the iPhone among blind people may continue to drop if more and more people are disappointed with it, but that's definitely not the case for all of us, as I've already pointed out.

Blind iPhone users...

I agree with Clare's comment. Having been an iPhone user for just over a year and a half, I wouldn't go back. I have tried Android and yes it is improving, however I wouldn't change unless some really bad bug re Voiceover appeared, with no fix. I can't see that happening, and having noticed many of my friends and my wife change to iPhones, I think that iOS and blind users still have a strong foundation ahead. Looking forward to iOS7.
Mike

blind people using the iPhone

i wasn't saying that it will drop to zero. i would garrontee that it will never drop to zero until apple goes under as a company. no offense but blind people are some of the most stubborn and hard headed people i know. they will continue to use the stuff they know until they either run the device into the ground or the rapture happens. coff coff, windows xp, coff coff. i under stand this because i'm kind of this way, but not as much as i used to be. this isn't necessarily a bad thing, however, there is a point where you need to say, you need to update. like in the case of windows xp. Microsoft is dropping support for it in i believe April of 2014, there fore you will not get anymore security updates by Microsoft. there are going to be so many things as far as viruses and malware that will hit the internet after that effecting windows xp and you will not be able to stop them or get help from Microsoft, because Microsoft isn't supporting xp no longer. i wouldn't be surprised if some blind people continue to use xp for a while for several reasons after 2014; even though windows 7 is much better than xp in several ways. just even think about the cry out when windows 8 hit the stores. sighted people said,"what happened to the start menu?" so blind people aren't the only ones who don't like change, but like i said before, blind people hate change more than any other group of people i know. and i under stand that: they want to use something that they are used to, they can accessibly navigate, they want to use the thing that keeps them productive, and for most people that's the iPhone. well, for a while, that was the only thing for blind people. part of this is just me letting people know that there finally is an accessible option. since android is relatively new. okay, the accessibility has been there for about two years, but its just now starting to get good and comparable to voice over.

blind people using the iPhone

I agree with Kyle. while I do agree that the usage for iPhone will not drop to zero percent, please wake up and look at where voiceover is now, verses where it was two years ago. I'm telling you all this as an iPhone user sense 2010. back when i got my first iPhone voiceover was great to use, apple seemed to be willing to fix issues, and they kept up to date with voiceover changes. it just seems to me that sense Steve died two years ago, voiceover has just fallen short of what I have come to expect from apple as a company. the reason I am disappointed with iOS is the fact that accessibility just seems to be sleeping on the job and voiceover is lacking fixes. if you guys want to go and see what i mean try using the web, and safari. it's very clear to me that voiceover has focusing issues in iOS six, and believe me, I paid last year to beta test iOS six and I noticed this and reported it to apples dev team. I gave clear step by step instructions on how to recreate the issues I ran in to, and what does apple do? They sent me an email saying send us a log file. ok, fine, but if your on a mac there is no way to send log files with the bug reports, and they didn't fix the problem. this is why I am so disappointed with apple.

To Brandon and Kyle

This has absolutely nothing to do with blind people, this is human nature. people make choices and some folks, *gasp* are actually happy with iOS. It's ok to be unhappy with iOS and want to switch but some of the things being posted here are just untrue. Lets see the 2 of you guys build a better operating system and phone and serve not just the blind community, but millions upon millions of sighted users too. go on. Lets see what the 2 of you master minds can come up with.

to toonhead,

by no means am i suggesting that i could nor want to code a new OS for smart phones. i know there are many people that are happy with IOS and apple. my brother is one. i believe all people should have a choice. i love the fact that we have a choice now of which phone we can get. to the contrary i believe it does have to do with blindness. i was merorly making the observation that if you are blind you tend to be rather stubborn. not all people fit into this mold , but a good portion do. i gave the observation that people are still using windows xp when there are 4 newer versions newer than that. windows vista, 7, 8, and 8.1. could you tell us what we are posting that is untrue?

Reason's for sticking to the iphone

Hi.

Let me start this post, by saying that I'm glad there are choices out there for more than just one operating system. How boring would the world be if the Iphone was the only accessible smart phone option. However, there are lots of reasons people don't just chop and change. I used xp for a long time, not because I didn't want to change, or try something new, but the overriding reason was that I simply could not afford to get a new pc let alone paying for windows 7. I did get a copy of windows 7 but had switched to the mac by then. Yea vmware. A lot of people have early versions of jaws and the new windows won't support that version so they have to use what they have. Anyway, windows aside I thought I would give you some reasons why I'm not looking to switch from the iphone. The first one again is a financial consideration. Some of us get iphones on plans and are under contract. I personally don't have the money to go purchase an android phone I may or may not like. I believe voice over will grow and improve. So, it may not happen as quickly as people would like, but I believe it will happen. I for one am looking forward to Ios 7. Another reason I'm not looking to currently switch is due to the fact that I don't think you can do everything on the android platform you can do on the iphone yet. e.g. some of the games, and some reading apps. I know nook is accessible on android but nook books can't be accessed from Australia. another thing is that my iphone plays so unbelievably nicely with my mac that the experience for the most part is great. I love being able to iMessage right from my mac etc. so, I don't think it's just stubbornness that stops people from changeing to something new. I think a lot of the time people have genuine reasons.

Good points, Maria!

Excellent, excellent points. Again I say this has nothing to do with blindness, because I still know people who use XP and they're as sighted as sighted can be. It's about making due with what's available to you, or in the case of some others they simply like what they have and don't want to switch. . Not everyone can afford a new pc, and not everyone can afford a new phone so they stick with what they have until such time as they can make those upgrades. Think before you write here.

agreed

HI. Yes I agree, it really has nothing to do with blindness. I have lots of sighted family that uses iphone and some of them use android. I personally hope both operating systems grow and mature so that people can continue to use one or even both operating systems. I don't think there really needs to be a line drawn. People use what they want to use and more power to them.

how many blind people use iPhone

hi all, while i do agree with your points, lets face facts, voiceover doesn't seem to be growing along side iOS. I'm sorry, but the focusing issues with apps, delaying when things close when home button is pressed, just doesn't tell me that voiceover is growing. to me, this kind of behavior shows me that apple isn't doing there job. I have never said for people to switch, I'm glad there are other options out their to go with if someone isn't happy with the iPhone. the point I am making though is apple really needs to show us that they really are committed to fixing voiceover, and implementing new features along side the voiceover fixes. I am not mad at anyone on here, I just want to make people aware about what apple hasn't been doing the last two years. can apple come back? yes, I believe they can come back, and fix voiceover, but honestly I think they need to put there money where there mouth is and do the job that they say they are committed to. Just a few of my thoughts.

advantages and disadvantages

I'm not really trying to say one OS is better than the other. while i might have come across like that in some of my previous comments that was not my intention. like all things, both OS's have there advantages and disadvantages. for instance apple/IOS does really well with integrated devices. so if you do something on your mac, you can pick it up on your iPhone or iPad. however, if you want to go that rout, your going to pay an arm and probably two legs, because one of the disadvantages to apple is there products tend to be more expensive than something you might get on android or windows. on the other side, android does very well with user experience. you can customize your device down to the finest detail, that you can have it do exactly what you want it to do. Apple/IOS is the oppisit. what you get is what you have to live with. now i know there is jail braking, but not only is that not for everyone, but i really believe apple is trying to crack down on that. so enjoy it while it lasts. furthermore, android does very well with having what i call an open system. where you can just about get something from anywhere and you can get it to go on your phone. whether you stick it on the sd card, or you throw it in dropbox, it is a lot easier to get stuff on your android device than apple/IOS. with apple/IOS like we all know, you have to go threw iTunes which is a beast in and of itself. but even then, aIOS devices are so exclusive it has to interface with itunes and you can only use that to get anything on your phone and that can be a pain sometimes. hope you all understand where i'm comming from and why i'm providing all of this for everyone to see

voiceover in iOS:

I am interested in specific issues. For instance, I am not having an issue of apps closing unless there is something else going on. When you say focus issues, can you nail this down? What apps, how consistent and so on?

voiceover in iOS

hi their, the focusing issues come in on the web. when you use safari voiceover jumps around.

VO Jumping Around?

Hello. I have never noticed an issue with VO jumping around. Can you please give a more descriptive idea of what you mean by that?

VO jumping around

hi, for example lets say you navigate a web page by heading. so you get to a heading you want, and it says something like heading level 2, it could then jump back up to the top of the page.

Android is accessible as well

I used an iPhone from 2009 to september 4th 2013. I decided to switch and go with an android phone. I've got a Samsung Galaxy S4. I played around with a nexus 7 for about a year and was convinced that android is the way to go for me. I will always have an iPad and maybe even an iPod Touch but, I felt like with iOS 7 nothing new was coming. Just my thoughts.