The Countdown to iPhone 5 Officially Begins

It’s on: the countdown to the iPhone 5. We’ll cover this, an important industry milestone for the Android platform, plus a number of interesting new mobile app studies in this week’s Fiksu Feed.

John Paczkowski of All Things D broke the news that Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5 during a huge media event on Tuesday, October 4. Of course, the publication notes, Apple could change its plans at any time, but sources have confirmed that the date has been set and that new devices will be available for purchase within just a few weeks of the announcement by Apple’s new CEO Tim Crook.

Washington Post reports that while the iPhone 5 announcement date appears to be set, there are two competing rumors swirling around the industry: the first being that Apple is launching a fairly similar version of the iPhone 4, while the other says that Apple will announce two separate phones – the re-vamped iPhone 4 and a completely new iPhone 5 model. The good news – all mysteries will be revealed shortly.

After taking a backseat to iOS for some time, Android is now having a “Cinderella moment,” according to Fast Company’s Sean Captain. Mobile developers and marketers alike are realizing that Android is as important – if not more so – than iOS. Captain cites a September 2011 Nielsen study, which showed that 34 percent of all smartphones in the U.S. now run on Android. And beyond market share, Captain argues that “tech teams and business owners find the whole process of making and releasing an Android app easier and quicker—from coding to launching and making money.”

An interesting study by Appsfire’s AppGenome project revealed that the mobile industry has hit an impressive milestone. InformationWeek reports that developers have coded one million mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms combined. AppGenome statistics indicate that app development was almost evenly divided between both platforms, with 52 percent of apps developed for the iPhone and 48 percent for Android smartphones.

For the hundreds of thousands of mobile developers and marketers looking to grow their mobile businesses via apps for iOS devices, GigaOM’s Darrell Etherington reports that in-app purchases are the new key to success. According to a Distimo study, in-app purchases account for 72 percent of revenue among Apple app store titles, exploding from the 28 percent recorded in 2010. Additionally, research shows that the freemium model is growing rapidly, with free app downloads increasing by 34 percent since last year.

Peter Kafka of All Things D reports that while the iPad is one of the hottest-selling gadgets around today, consumers prefer to use their iPads for fun – not for work. Citigroup revealed this, among other telling statistics around tablet adoption, in a new survey published this week. For example, while all tablet users interact with apps, iPad owners are much more likely to pay for them. Check out more stats on this survey here.

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