At ScientiaMobile, we take pride in having the highest quality device detection solution available which is why we are constantly keeping pace with the changing mobile landscape (so you don’t have to). [Check out our Mobile Overview Report for up-to-date mobile analytics]. More than four years ago, in WURFL API 1.5, we created the ‘is_smartphone’ virtual capability. At the time, this innovation allowed our customers to focus on their core competencies and delegate the task of keeping up with the mobile smartphone ecosystem to ScientiaMobile.
Times are Changing
Over the last few years, the world of mobile operating systems has undergone drastic changes. As a reminder, when the ‘is_smartphone’ capability was initially launched:
- Android’s Holo UI was all the rage
- Apple had just rolled out the Control Center on iOS
- Samsung’s Bada OS was a possible Android competitor
- Microsoft had finally introduced their digital assistant, Cortana, to the Windows Phone OS
ScientiaMobile has been tracking all these changes to the world of mobile devices and fine-tuning the definition of what we call a smartphone. Now, we are planning a larger update to the definition of what we call a smartphone.
Announcing our Smartphone Definition Update in Advance
We want to inform our current customers about the many positives of this large update, as well as give them time to adjust to the new definition of smartphones in case it impacts their mobile analytics reporting. A small amount of web traffic that was previously being classified as smartphones will now be classified as non-smartphones and vice-versa. The net impact of these changes is greater conformity to what the industry considers a “smart” smartphone, with minimal reclassification of current traffic.
What We are Changing in our Smartphone Definition
In March, we will release our newly updated API (WURFL API 220.127.116.11) featuring new requirements for smartphone detection such as:
- Change the minimum horizontal resolution required for a device from 320px to 480px.
- Change the minimum iOS version required to iOS 7. iOS 7 was introduced in Sept 2013. This changes the former definition which considered iOS 3 and above a smartphone. This, as you can see, will have minimal impact given that only 0.12% of the iOS users are below this requirement and the trends will continue to go in this direction.
- Change the minimum Android version required to Android 4.0 from Android 2.3, a.k.a “Gingerbread.” Less than 0.1% of Android users are on Android 2.3 or below.
- Remove the following operating systems from being considered as a smartphone OS (all three operating systems are no longer under development for mobile phones):webOS (last updated Jan 2012, currently a mostly Smart TV OS), MeeGo (last updated Nov 2013), Bada OS (Feb 2013).
- Adding the following operating systems to be considered as a smartphone OS: Amazon’s Fire OS, Samsung’s Tizen OS.