Claims that the arrival of iOS 6 will cause Apple’s smartphone operating system to become a lot more fragmented have split opinion among the iFaithful, a uSwitch Tech consumer poll reveals.
Until recently, Apple’s tight control of its platform ecosystem, teamed with a rigid adherence to one-off annual updates rather than issuing a slew of new iterations every year a la Android, has ensured iKit owners get a unified user experience across different devices.
The Cupertino-based company’s strictures have also fostered a climate where developers are encouraged to create apps for iDevices in the knowledge that the potential market for their wares will not be limited by older iPhone models being unable to run them.
However, last month tech sages were heard to mutter that the era of a unified iOS platform had come to an end. The proclamations of doom followed last month’s unveiling of the new version of Apple’s OS, iOS 6.
Although the latest iteration is coming to every iPhone from the 3GS and later, it only brings select features to older models, with the inconsistencies seized on as evidence that the platform is fragmenting.
But although industry watchers seem convinced that a schism is unfolding before us, our study revealed that the public is less sure that this is what’s happening.
Of the 1,078 uSwitch site users polled, 551 (51.1 per cent) said they sensed that iOS 6 marks the onset of fragmentation problems, leaving almost as many (527 or 48.9 per cent) rejecting the fragmentation claims out of hand.
How far fragmentation actually bothers mass-market consumers and could negatively affect sales and the perception of Apple is a moot point.
But one thing is for sure. The very fact that it’s being credibly talked about will give Android owners ammo to fling at iFans, having been forced to deflect criticism about Google’s undeniably fragmented platform for years now.