The iPhone is Not a Smartphone
Just finished up with the live Apple Keynote blogstravaganza, mostly over at Engadget (opens in new tab), who caught the absolutely stupendous image over at the right. And I'm finding myself suddenly less worried about the iPhone decimating Windows Mobile than I was before. A lot less worried.
Here's the relevant quote from Engaget's coverage, straight from the mouth of his Steveness:
Weeeeeaaak indeed. Like I said just a few days ago, "a smartphone is a platform, and a platform needs 3rd party apps (opens in new tab)." Jobs' reply: "There's no SDK you need!" In other words: No Apps For You! Use webpage and online apps instead.
Orly? How about security - sure, a web developer can secure a webapp, but it's easier to just depend on a phone's built-in security on an app that's housed on the phone. Or how about when you don't actually have reliable and useful data signal? Too bad, so sad. Or what about the fact that I like to use my phone a little differently than you use yours - so I can install a custom ToDo app, or a neat little shortcut hack, or whatever. Sorry - with the iPhone you can use any interface you want as long as it's the default.
No support for a real developer community means that Apple is releasing an appliance, not a platform. Without a platform, the iPhone is not a smartphone, Q.E.D. Just so we're perfectly clear here: It's looking like Blackberry has better third party support than the iPhone will.
And that photo... at first glance it is (among other things) yet another joke on Steve Ballmer; but if Apple really intends to lock out all genuine "on the phone" 3rd party development... Well then we'll probably see Ballmer smile like that on his own.
Update: phone different's (opens in new tab) OMGNOAPPZ (opens in new tab) series weighs in (opens in new tab) with a slightly more optimistic (though still troubled) take.
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Personally I don't think I have heard anyone say that the iPhone is being marketed as a heavy duty productivity device.
People seem to forget that the reason why Apple sold 100 million iPods was that it was insanely easy to use and probably more importantly offered a connect-and-sync way of getting your music to the device. The iPhone will do the same. I am sure it's just a matter of time (perhaps with the 3G iPhone) that OTA music sync or iTunes purchases becomes standard fare on the iPhone "platform".