There’s a good chance, however much you think mobile telephony and portable internet-enabled devices will affect your life and business… it will be bigger.

Take, for example, Apple’s launch of the iPhones 5C and 5S last week, two incremental updates on the existing 5 model, the former at the slightly more affordable end of the scale and the latter the fingerprint-recognising 64bit luxury choice. The result….

Apple sold nine million iPhones over the weekend – a record for an Apple launch. Here’s what some of the twitterati had to say:

They are undoubtedly impressive figures, though almost certainly boosted by the devices’ availability in more markets than with previous launches, including China at launch. But the question remains of how many of those sales represent new Apple customers rather than existing iPhone owners upgrading.

Without more data, we can safely say the total number of people out there with an iPhone isn’t going down anytime soon.

Software supremacy

However, another new stat from Apple could be more interesting for digital publishers. More than 200 million devices have upgraded to iOS7 since it was released in the middle of last week, making it the “fastest software upgrade in history”, as Apple puts it. Analyst Benedict Evans sums up the importance of this figure thus:

There may be more Android devices out there, but when it comes to prioritising which operating system to develop for, it’s a case of weighing the dominant iOS version against the dominant Android version, a contest Apple is on pretty even terms in.

The rapid upgrade rate also suggests Apple consumers are more engaged with their devices – they want the new software as soon as it’s available. 

And for another indication of why iOS is a more appealing market, the pricier iPhone 5s outsold the 5c more than three to one. Apple customers are still focused on the high-end – meaning they’re more likely to have money to spend with you (or your advertisers). 

Whether or not the naysayers are right about Apple losing its creative spark, there are going to be lots of iPhone users out there for a long time, they care more about what happens on their devices, and they have more money. The mobile OS market dynamics which make Apple a more appealing to publishers and developers of all stripes aren’t going to change just yet.

Or, alternatively, you could buy into the idea that after Steve Jobs died, Apple is doomed. It’s up to you.