Mobile analytics firm finds evidence of Apple Tablets in the wild running new iPhone OS

Mon, Jan 25, 2010

News, Rumors

With Apple’s Tablet announcement about 48 hours away, a mobile app analytics company called Flurry is reporting that they’ve seen evidence of Apple’s tablet show up in their data logs, running the as-of-yet unreleased iPhone OS 3.2.

Using Flurry Analytics, the company identified approximately 50 devices that match the characteristics of Apple’s rumored tablet device. Because Flurry could reliably “place” these devices geographically on Apple’s Cupertino campus, we have a fair level of confidence that we are observing a group of pre-release tablets in testing. Testing of this device increased dramatically in January, with observed signs of life as early as October of last year. Apple appears to be going through its cycle of testing and polish, which is expected from any hardware or software company as it nears launch.

Of the 50 or so devices, Flurry’s logs recorded approximately 200 applications being used for testing purposes. Below is a category breakdown of those 200 apps, and if the chart is any indication, Apple may┬ávery well be positioning the Tablet as a gaming device.

In the comments on Flurry’s site, Seith Weintraub asked a salient question: “You guys ever think that these could be the iPhones testing 3.2 like what has already been reported. What makes you so sure these are tablets? Is there a resolution component?”

Peter Farago, Flurry’s VP of Marketing, subsequently responded:

This is a fair question. We feel confident that we are looking at the tablet device for two main reasons, that I can share with you. Also note that, as a company, we have experience tracking new Apple hardware devices in the past.

1) If this were an iPhone we were looking at, the hardware would tell us when we ask it (via the software). So we can rule out that this is an iPhone. Also, we already see verified iPhone devices testing OS 4.0 and these leave (Apple’s Cupertino, CA) campus, whereas this device does not. This makes sense given the secrecy around the new tablet device as the launch event nears.
2) The apps being tested match up to what the devices is supposed to feature (e.g., news, books, etc.). We cannot share further detail here due to Terms of Service agreements we have with customers that use our service, but feel that if you were able to see the data we see, at the level of granularity, it would be clear to you as well.

Of course the truth will be revealed on Wednesday, but we wouldn’t publish such a report without a high level of confidence.

Flurry is not interested in building a business on rumor, but rather authority, credibility and accuracy.

Also of note is another comment from Farago where he stated that of the games running on the Apple Tablet, a good number of them are social/multi-player games, which tends to suggest that the tablet will “raise the bar on social gaming over the iPhone.”



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