With the addition of the new Maps platform and Passbook app to its iOS 6 operating system, Apple Inc. has extended the reach of its smartphone and tablet ecosystem into the real world, helping to drive the company’s app store revenue up by nearly 70 percent this year.
“Until now, Apple’s iOS ecosystem has focused on virtual services, such as apps, digital music and movies,” said Ian Fogg, senior principal analyst for mobile at IHS. “However, with iOS version 6, Apple is moving into real-world location and financial-transaction features. The new Apple Maps and Passbook apps and accompanying location platform for app developers is the keystone for this real-world expansion, and will help support the accelerated growth of the Apple App Store market in 2012.”
The new features in iOS6 will be immediately relevant to existing iPhone owners as well as developers because of Apple’s slick upgrade process for new iOS versions.
Apple reported that more than 80 percent of iOS users had upgraded to the then-current iOS 5. The same is projected for iOS 6. Ian Fogg says that “This means that Apple’s app developers have a much greater potential target market for Apps that use iOS6′s headline new features, such as the new Apple Maps location platform, Passbook and Facebook integration. Apple understands that to build a viable ecosystem, it needs to have a large audience of users on the most recent version of iOS. Apple has been, and will continue to be, successful at delivering that up-to-date installed base.”