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
    Overcast, 5 Oct 2007 @ 6:38am

    Well, open and closed are really not the point with forcing a lockdown to one cell phone provider.

    It's kinda getting 'open and closed' confused with 'choice'.

    I'm not sure there's anymore risk to having a choice of cell phone carriers than just having AT&T.

    But you know, it's not just Apple making themselves seem so closed minded, AT&T is doing a superb job too. If their service was so wonderful, then why FORCE people to use it? If it's so great, wouldn't people be using it willingly?

    Only reason I see to force anything is that you have a cool phone with garbage cell service and you're forced to use it.

    Again, Thanks! But... no thanks :)

    I'll be sure to avoid both in the future. And people talking Microsoft pushing 'propriety'....

    But yes, it should open the gates wide for a competitor. Remember... IBM did close to the same thing years ago, not opening up Microchannel architecture to others. Thus: PCI

    Apple's done this before too - forcing you to buy their software and hardware. Both overpriced (sound familiar) and we see how much of the market they got out of that.

    Rinse and Repeat.

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