Should you adapt your app for the iPhone X?

The iPhone X was released on the 3rd of November. And with it returns the 10 year old question: Does it make sense to support new devices and features right from the start? Should you jump in, take on development during the early phase of adoption and order a couple of test devices?

As a couple of times before we went all in, built our app against the iOS 11 SDK and adopted the safe area changes.

adopted_apps

Apps that adapted for the iPhone X. From left to right: LOVOO, Netflix, Facebook

While a lot of apps already support the new iPhone, there are also some well known apps that don’t.

nonadopted_apps

From left to right: Amazon Prime Video, Google Maps, Spotify

And then there are Apps, that switched to the iOS 11 SDK, but did not do a single thing to support the iPhone X:

wunderlist

Wunderlist. To be fair, they kinda stopped support for the app

So was it worth it, we asked ourselves? But instead of relying on our gut feeling we went for some numbers!

iPhone X start weekend

First we had a look at our newly registered iOS devices. This includes all devices, that never had our app installed before, though this does not always mean that we have a completely new user. While we have first time app users, we also have phone upgraders.

 

1_iPhoneX

Nevertheless, 3% is quite impressive for launch day! Over the course of the weekend this share drops a bit because no additional iPhones were sold.

iPhone 8 & 8 Plus

What does 3 % of newly registered devices mean? Is that high, low or average? Let’s compare these numbers to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus launch week.

 

2_iPhone8

Launch day share is quite similar. Though with the iPhone X it’s even more impressive, because it has to compete against the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus combined. One interesting fact though: the absolute numbers of registered iPhone X and 8(+) devices are quite similar. There are just more new non-X devices now, than there have been in September, when the iPhone 8 launched.

iPhone 7 & 7 Plus

We asked ourselves, how many users held back with buying a new iPhone because of the X. So let’s compare the X launch to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus launch.

 

3_iPhone7

There are a couple of interesting things to take away from this. Apparently there really is a shortage of X devices available compared to the 7(+) start. It also seems pretty obvious, that a lot of people waited for the iPhone X instead of buying a new iPhone 8(+) right away. But it also shows, that overall more people are upgrading to new devices this year compared to last year.

Are LOVOO users quick to upgrade to a new phone shortly after release? Does this phenomenon stop at iOS devices? Let’s check the Pixel 2 just for fun:

Pixel 2

So let’s compare the iPhone X against the Android competition. The Pixel 2 was released on the 19th of October and is priced nearly as high as the iPhone X.

 

4_Pixel2

We had to add some labels here, so that you can see there is some activity after the launch. We didn’t expect the number to actually be that low, but looking at them you can see, that the Pixel 2 isn’t really a factor in our core markets. Share changes a lot, when you have a look at the Galaxy S8(+).

Overall share

The share of newly registered devices is quite impressive. But how does the overall share of new iPhones look like?

 

5_iPhoneXDAU

Overall share is understandably very low after the first few days, but when comparing these numbers to recent iPhone launches we can get a pretty good picture on where we are going.

 

7_iPhone7DAU

The iPhone X share of DAU is somewhere between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 devices. So overall share of iPhone X devices after 2 weeks will probably land somewhere around 1% depending on how Apple is keeping up their pace.

Conclusion

iPhones X devices are out there. And even though given our analysis it’s likely that Apple cannot fulfill the demand, the amount of devices sold is comparable to recent Apple launches.

So as to the question, whether it was worth it: 1% of active users after only 2 weeks actually translates to a whole lot of iPhone X devices on our platform. So for us it definitely made sense to adopt the new form factor. People are excited about their new iPhones and you want to be part of that excitement.

And the last argument for supporting the iPhone X is of course Apple itself – they just love app makers, that support their latest technologies. So don’t even think about being featured in the App Store again, before adapting your app for the iPhone X.

Update Nov 10: Updated adoption rates until Nov 9th. Interestingly, even though the share of iPhone X devices registering is slightly lower than the number of iPhone 8(+) devices back in September, the share of active iPhone X users is still better. This could be a hint that early adopters prefer to open apps which support their new iPhone X.
Also Wunderlist updated their app to support the iPhone X.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s