Apple's iPhone Walled Garden An Opportunity For Competitors To Make The iPhone The Next Hiptop

from the as-it-should-be dept

While we agree with some others that Apple's decision to focus on a walled garden approach to iPhone apps seems short-sighted, it certainly does open up an opportunity for competitors -- and those competitors seem to be realizing it. A bunch of companies are starting ad campaigns around their mobile phone offerings highlighting how open they are compared to the iPhone. That would be competition at work, and a response to anyone who may be suggesting that Apple should somehow be required to open up. Of course, touting openness is just one part of the story. It helps to also have some really good technology to stack up behind it, and on that front, most of the competitors still have a long way to go. That probably means that Apple's closed strategy won't hurt it very much in the short-term, but it does open up a huge opening for someone who can actually get closer to matching the iPhone on the technology side.

Apple could respond by opening up a bit more (and there's some indication that they're doing exactly that), but building up a strong developer community from the beginning would help keep the iPhone miles ahead of the competition. In fact, the iPhone craze is somewhat reminiscent of the hype surrounding Danger's Hiptop five years ago. It was launched on T-Mobile (under the "Sidekick" brand), but again as a closed platform. It took months for Danger to get a real developer program going, and even then it was pretty weak. Without a strong developer community, many other devices passed by the Hiptop, where it had had an early advantage. While Danger has been able to do okay with continual Sidekick updates, it never really reached its potential as one of the very first truly usable mobile data devices for the masses.

Filed Under: iphone, walled garden


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  1. identicon
    Brian, 5 Oct 2007 @ 5:54am

    I'm No Expert...

    ...but I've been doing a lot of reading about the iPhone (I have an unlocked/jailbroken/1.0.2) and where it's headed. Apple has alienated so many good customers over the past month that they really need to do something to garner some goodwill...the web-based SDK is not the answer. By all accounts, the phone will not function as a phone while EDGE data is being passed meaning any apps running through the browser will make phone a Touch. I coud be misunderstanding the whole thing though. All I know is I had no interest in smartphones/3rd part apps/etc until the iPhone came around--I expected that the future would bring full integration with my OSX laptop (Mobile Delicious Library?!) and cool 3rd party advancements. MAybe I'm expecting too much from Apple but I really don't see any other company fulfilling my needs--that's why this is so disappointing.

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