iOS and device usage among the Visually Impaired

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App Development
During the (public) keynote, Tim Cook threw up a statistic that didn't seem to make sense to me. He said that 93% of iOS users were on the most current version (which is iOS 6). But a good number of iOS devices don't support anything greater than 5.1 (iPhones 3G or earlier, iPod Touches 3rd Gen or earlier and iPad first gen). So it seemed unlikely to me that 93% of iOS devices are running iOS 6. Is there a reliable resource that lists what the device breakdown is among the public and visually impaired users? I'm trying to decide how low-end a device I should support; currently, we don't support iPhone 3G or earlier or 1st/2nd Gen iPod touches. Apple makes that a convenient cut-off point.

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Submitted by Ricardo on Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hello, I don't know. I can easily see the numbers being in that ball park. How many people who use smartphones are walking around with 5 year old devices? On average, in the U.S,., people get a new phone every 18 to 20 months. This might be a bigger turnover rate than the rest of the world but, I assume those who live in other countries who can afford an IOS device to begin with, are not waiting 5 years to purchase another one.

Are you sure, I thought he said 30%, I remember thinking that was low when I heard it. I thought the 93% figure was for the number of accounts with an associated credit card? Of course, I am probably wrong, I was listening to the meta coverage on TWIT and Leo was probably moaning on about being disappointed or some such nonsense at that point!

Submitted by BrianSchmidt on Wednesday, June 12, 2013

In reply to by JT

it was definitely 93%... there was a slide with a pie chart and everything :).. I went back and watched that part again, in case I'd heard it wrong. Though he *said* "93% of iOS devices are on the most current version", but the slide said 93% on iOS 6. Maybe what he meant was "93% of iOS users are on the most current version their device supports" but the slide was wrong? >Leo was probably moaning on about being disappointed or some such nonsense at that point! LOL!

Hello Brian, The other day I had read this interesting article that might help you out. The article was written by a developer that talks about how he wrote his app to call home to his servers that supplies him the information he wants. Technically, what this does for him is to determine in what he needs to support and such. I was also surprised by the breakdown myself. So here is what he has reported by his own app. 6.X 89.6% 5.X 9.0% 4.X 1.4% Now he continues to break those numbers even more by these statistics: 6.1.x 81.8% 6.0.x 7.8% 5.1.x 8.3% 5.0.x 0.8% 4.3.x 1.4% So the question I had and it failed to say. What country is this being polled from I mean Is this number only from the US or is this worldwide? Where do the older devices go? Do they really go in not being used anymore and is simply tossed out? Maybe, they are being passed on to other countries? You had also mentioned if there were any information pertaining in how much and the breakdown for the visually impaired community. That would be very difficult I'd imagine. I suppose if you contact a developer that soletly created an app that was designed only for the visually impaired community if they couldn't give you a similair breakdown? I have never seen a breakdown like that before that is specifically for the visually impaired. Hope this was of some help.

Submitted by Chelsea on Wednesday, June 12, 2013

When talking about support for the visually impaired community, keep in mind that voiceover was only introduced on the iPhone 3GS and up. And the 3GS is not even going to be supported in IOS 7. .

Ah--Thank you Chelsea! So it'd probably fair to say that the number of Visually impaired uses with devices below 3GS is pretty miniscule... Best, Brian