So I greeted Apple’s entry into the market with great excitement. ”Finally the hegemony is broken! Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead!” Apple would be the first major device sold where the carrier’s crappy software wasn’t on the phone. We would herald in a new era of innovation. Google would soon follow with their own phones, it was rumored. The mobile web would finally be open! Or would it?
So Apple has encouraged application developers to set loose building apps. We now have a couple of hundred thousand applications developed. The web browsers are as immature as the Internet browsers were in the late 90’s. And “native” (those installed on the device) applications can take advantage of features that the browser can’t like the acceleramator (which detects motion), the GPS (to get your location) and the camera.
- But here are the major problems if this model holds:
- Every developer now has to have an iPhone development team.
- Every application has to be submitted to Apple for approval. They are now a bottleneck. When you change an application it has to be resubmitted – however minor the change.
- Apple is the new “gateway” that can extract a toll from you (sound familiar?). Apple wants to take a major share of the revenue.
- Data within the applications is locked into the device
- Flash is not supported, which means that all assets you’ve developed for the Internet that work in Flash are worthless for this device
- Apple has sent out signals such as that they might like to own location-based mobile advertising. If you encroach on this territory they may stop you or blow you out. They may do this / they may not. They may encroach in other “interesting” areas. They may not.
- Approvals are a black box.
And this is just the start. Now the real problems.....