Apple tablet spotted in wild: 50 Apple tablets testing iPhone apps seen by mobile analytics firm - 15% Off Ink and TonerApple’s “tablet is expected to go on sale in the spring, and it is not known what price Apple will set,” Jenna Wortham reports for The New York Times.

“A few clues about what kinds of applications Apple employees are trying out on the tablet come from Flurry, a mobile analytics company that offers developers a free tool which gathers data about the use of their applications,” Wortham reports. “With the data, Flurry can generate reports about the location of an application’s users, for example, or how long it took a user to complete a game level.”

“Applications with the Flurry software built in also send a unique code identifying what kind of device they are running on,” Wortham reports. “Flurry said its systems began detecting a new class of device last October. About 50 of the devices have been detected so far, most of them being used near Cupertino, said Peter Farago, vice president for marketing at Flurry. ‘We saw a lot of testing of applications that deal with daily media consumption, like news, books, streaming music and radio,’ Mr. Farago said. ‘But we are also seeing so many social apps, like multiplayer games you can play with your friends.'”

Wortham reports, “While he said contractual obligations prevented him from naming specific applications, Mr. Farago said the data also showed “a heavy emphasis on what people can do during those in-between moments and while in transit” — using apps for finding restaurants or keeping shopping lists, for example.”

Full article here.

Peter Farago reports for Flurry, “On these devices, Flurry observed approximately 200 different applications in use by testers. Studying category trends provides insight into the kind of user Apple is targeting and how it expects the device to be used. Below is a chart that shows the number of applications in use by category across test devices.”

Farago reports, “The tablet device clearly targets consumers. The mix of applications observed comprises mainly of media and entertainment consumption as opposed to enterprise, productivity and computing. Specifically, popular tested apps include news, games, entertainment and lifestyle. In particular, there was a strong trend toward news, books and other kinds of daily media consumption, including streaming music and radio. In fact, the most widely downloaded of any single specific application was a new app. In its October Pulse report, Flurry studied iPhone as an e-reader and the threat this poses to Amazon Kindle. With rumors of large newspaper and book publisher deals, combined with its reading-friendly form factor, we speculate that the new Apple tablet will focus heavily on daily media consumption. Finally, across all applications detected, there was a strong theme of sharing and/or social interaction including social games, social networking, photo sharing and utilities like file transfer applications.”

Farago reports, ” noteworthy observation is that the Apple hardware we detected was running on OS 3.2, which has not yet been released. Currently the iPhone and iPod Touch are running on OS 3.1.2. Historically, Apple releases OS upgrades just before releasing new hardware. With significant expected changes (e.g., multi-touch, multi-tasking) for the tablet device operating system, there was concern among application developers that the tablet would not support existing iPhone applications. However, from the testing we observed, it appears that Apple wants to leverage the 130,000+ applications already available in the App Store on day one for the new device. For the developer, this is good news.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. What concerns me isn’t the use of the tablets, cool, but the fact that my usage can be tracked. That seems to invade on privacy don’t you think? I am surprised by the level of sophistication in tracking usage, location and type of unit using the app.

  2. @Dean Waterman

    Are you this Dean Waterman:

    Dean Waterman

    Senior Pastor, Redeeming Grace Fellowship Church, Community Fellowship SDA Church.
    Norfolk, Virginia Area

    If so concerned about privacy I think you may have a few basic things to learn. I found the above in about 3 seconds through google.

    Just saying…

    Magic Word: “moral” As in, what’s the moral of this story?

  3. Dean… It’s not all that special really, it’s like people can track the percentage of people that use their site that use Safari or IE. Basically they’ve just found 50 devises in the world with a new id number using a web service. It’s just tracking a general ’50 users were using ‘app x,y and z’ on a new device, not what they were doing per say.

  4. That ability has been around for as long as I know. I believe that my server service ran a software program called Net Cloak and it was running OS 9 back then. I knew your IP number, equipment type, browser type, and much more when you requested my web content. The customer/surfer’s IP clearly tells you where the hit is coming from.

    This may be news to you but should not be to most.

  5. @Dean,

    That depends on what information is provided. If the tracking is just when the application is used, with no information as to the identity of the user or device attached (as in personal information, device serial number, or anything else that can be tracked back to you or your device) then there is no foul. If it does, well, that’s a different matter.

  6. And your TV is spying on you. Get up in the middle of the night, sneak into your living room and you can hear it gossiping with other neighborhood TVs. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  7. I understand privacy, and the lack of it these days. However, to have a product I use, such as an iPhone, iPod Touch, or a new Tablet, tracked for my location or usage is somewhat disconcerting. THAT is my surprise.

    Believe me, I fully understand what privacy is and isn’t. When I publish myself on the net’ I am open to anyone looking for me. But when I use an app or a product and it’s tracked, that is a different story.

  8. There’s another side to the tracking issue, and it also applies to credit card usage: you can paint whatever picture of yourself you want. The smug asses collecting the data will be totally misled.

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