Two days ago we wrote about the sudden sharp decrease in photos taken with an iPhone being published to Flickr. While we speculated on reasons for the drop, the most likely candidate of all has now come to light – Apple itself.
TUAW has picked up on our post and a commenter there, Matt Gilligan, makes the following observation:
It’s probably a combination of a lot of things, but I think mostly it’s actually Apple.
As of the 3.1 OS update, Apple has started to append proper EXIF identification data to the different phone models. Photos uploaded by now say “iPhone”, “iPhone 3G” or “iPhone 3GS”.
It’s true, too – upload a photo to Flickr from your iPhone 3GS and the photo’s metadata will identify the camera as an Apple iPhone 3GS. Pre-3.1, photos from all models of iPhone were listed simply as an ‘Apple iPhone’. With the 3GS’ superior camera it makes sense for Apple to specify which photos have been taken with which device.
3.1 can’t explain the drop entirely – it only came out five days ago – but it certainly seems to be driving the drop. Witness today’s data that shows the iPhone has dropped into third place behind the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi:
So the rise and fall of the iPhone on Flickr this summer can be explained like this: The in June/July is down all the new 3GS owners trying out their super new camera. Then the recent drop ties in with the release of firmware 3.1.
Flickr doesn’t offer data for the iPhone 3G and 3GS yet but it will be interesting to compare all three models of iPhone once it does.