WWDC 2014 Apple puts its fighting boots on

With a series of moves to show it's about ready to react decisively against its competition, Apple reeled off an impressive series of statistics during its WWDC keynote Monday, reflecting the health and vibrancy of its platforms at what seems set to be one of its most important developer conferences yet.



The 25th WWDC, the event began in 1990 with 1,300 developers, now there are over 9 million registered Apple developers -- that's up 47 percent since 2013. The youngest developer at WWDC is just 13-years old.

Impressive statistics too for iOS 8:

  • Over 4,000 new developer API's in iOS 8
  • The latest version of Xcode has been downloaded over 14 million times.
  • Apple also introduced a new graphics technology for iOS 8, Metal. This offers a tenfold improvement in draw call speed

The Mac

It is telling that the Mac installed base has now reached 80 million. 40 million copies of OS X Mavericks have been installed, making it the most successful OS X release in Apple's history.

While PC sales fell 5 percent in the last year, Mac sales climbed 12 percent. When it comes to active users, it is also interesting that while 51 percent of the Mac installed base are now on Mavericks, just 14 percent of PC users have upgraded to Windows 8, despite that OS being available one year longer.

Assuming a PC install base of 250 million, this means that just 35 million PCs are on Windows 8 -- Apple's market-defying momentum means the future looks tough for Windows as PC users upgrade -- they appear more likely than ever to migrate to Mac.

Some stats too on OS X Yosemite.

  • Safari's support for HTML5 Premium Video Extensions means you should be able to watch Netflix video for two hours longer on a single battery charge.
  • Safari is over six times faster than Firefox and five times faster than Chrome when executing JavaScript found on typical Websites.

The iOS

Apple CEO Tim Cook also let us know 130 million customers purchased an iOS device in the past 12 months for the first time. "Many of these customers were switchers from Android," Cook said. "They bought an Android phone…by mistake…and then sought a better experience (and a better life) and decided to check out iPhone and iOS."

Over half of Apple's new Chinese iPhone customers dumped their Android device to take on an iPhone, he said -- and with China rapidly becoming the world's biggest market Apple's popularity there in comparison to other platforms hints at great opportunities for developers in future.

800 million iOS devices have been sold so far, including 100 million iPod touch; over 200 million iPads and in excess of 500 million iPhones.

Despite the numbers there's almost zero fragmentation in Apple's mobile ecosystem: iOS 7 has reached 89 percent of the iOS installed base.

There's more of course:

  • 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies use iOS
  • 1.2 million apps are available on the App Store
  • 300 million people visit the App Store each week
  • 75 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store
  • TouchID is now used by over 83 percent of iPhone 5S customers

One more thing…

Apple never said it, but the fact that Xcode 6 includes new OS Simulator features that will allow developers to resize the simulated screen for any arbitrary resolution means -- well, it's a pretty blatant confirmation Apple will introduce devices with different sizes -- small (iWatch) and large (phablet phones). The other thing it implies is that Apple isn’t talking about it yet.

Fortunately on iOS you can develop for a range of devices without worrying too much about device capability. You can also develop solutions for the current and future iteration of the OS, as there's no fragmentation.

Android is toast.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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