Survey shows nearly one half of US iPhone owners have added unofficial third-party apps

“An extensive study released Tuesday by Rubicon Consulting reveals that nearly one half of US iPhone users have taken measures to add applications to the handset on their own, while just a bit more than 10 percent say they’ve unlocked the device from AT&T’s wireless network,” AppleInsider reports. “More specifically, the survey of 460 randomly-selected iPhone users last month found that nearly 50 percent have at one point added at least one application to the handset.”

“However, only 13 percent of those US iPhone owners say they’ve unlocked the device, suggesting that the upcoming release of iPhone software 2.0 and the official iPhone App Store will address the most controversial aspect of the handset facing US consumers since its release late last June,” AppleInsider reports. “A followup question on the most desired features appears to support that thesis, with more than 40 percent of respondents saying that want the ability to easily add third party applications.”

“Rubicon estimates that AT&T is generating about $2 billion in incremental yearly service revenues from the first three million iPhones sold in the US, with that figure set to increase as more iPhones are purchased and activated. A good chunk of that revenue — or $1.64 billion — is presumed to come from the 1.41 million (or 47 percent of iPhone owners) who say they switched to AT&T from another carrier in order to use the Apple handset,” AppleInsider reports.

Much more in the full report here.

Rubicon Consulting’s “The Apple iPhone: Successes and Challenges for the Mobile Industry” whitepaper is available via pdf here.

This obviously bodes well for Apple’s iPhone Software 2.0 and the iTunes App Store.


  1. That’s very impressive, if those figures are true. Actually I’m kind of surprised of the number of iPhone users who have unlocked their mobile phones. I really thought that the number was a lot lower.

  2. Well. I’ve jailbroken my iPod touch- this way, I get all the third party apps, up until the 2.0 software release, and that way, I get the best of both worlds. 😀 But yes, I do believe that the 2.0 software will be much better than a jailbroken iPod’s software: and the games look poised to convert the iPhone/iPod touch platform to a new level. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. BFD,

    Uneducated, ignorant morons like you should keep your fingers off keyboards and you’re eyes on your studies.

    That’s more than enough sample size for valid survey results.

    Learn something before typing out your stupidity.

  4. The numbers sounded odd to me, but $2B annually for 3M iPhones comes out to roughly $56 per month. Now it is clear why AT&T and other telecoms are willing to share a little revenue with Apple.

  5. @Obviously Valid

    really? even without knowing how they choose the sample? even without learning their methods? with no other details you KNOW that that sample size is valid?

    you said something about “Uneducated, ignorant morons”?

    i say something about motes and beams in eyes…..

  6. One phone model brought in 1.41 million accounts. I guess ATT ought to be pretty happy about that.

    “…nearly 50 percent have at one point added at least one application to the handset.”

    I wonder how many of those tried it, but didn’t re-jailbreak after iPhone updates. How many current users are running jailbreaked (jailbroke?) iPhones? Probably a lot lower.

  7. The sample size is more than adequate.

    The way the owners were picked, the questions they were asked and the questions their answers triggered all are suspect until they are published.

    With the right question set you can get any answer you want. Change the questions and get the opposite answer from the same sample subjects.

    Lies, damn lies and statistics.

  8. @Obviously Valid

    “Uneducated, ignorant morons like you should keep your fingers off keyboards and you’re eyes on your studies.”

    You have just illustrated how big of an ignorant ass-hat you truly are.

    So glad your intelligence and razor wit are safely contained at the golden arches. Now get back to working those friers cuz your mother just ordered another 20 piece McNuggets dumb-ass.

  9. I just read through the research report. Interestingly, they did NOT ask how many people had “jailbroken” their phones. They asked how many people had added applications to their phone. A quick check on the Apple iPhone page shows there are 1,307 different applications that can be downloaded WITHOUT jailbreaking the phone.

    The idea that half the iPhones have been jailbroken is an extreme exaggeration, at least based on this survey. Not sure why so many people are pushing the idea that “everybody” is messing with their iPhones. I know a number of iPhone owners (including myself) and none of us would ever THINK of hacking our iPhone. It just isn’t worth the time and effort. We like that the iPhone just works. And we’re content to wait till Apple opens up the device to add on helpful (or just distracting) little apps.

  10. More interesting reading. Of those surveyed, only 13 percent of US residents reported they’d changed carriers. That sounds a lot closer to the percentage of “jailbroken” phones than half.

    MDN – you should really correct the headline, or at least point out that this survey is anything but definitive.

    The survey DID NOT ask how many people had installed unofficial third-party apps… just how many people had installed apps. The difference, of course, is everything.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.