Even if he raised all the money from Kickstarter, Warner Brothers still owns the rights to making a sequel, and still would control all distribution. This should have been expected from the start.
The indie film movement of the 90s proved that you didn't need Hollywood to make films, but Hollywood has done everything they can to control film distribution. That's why indie films are largely confined to film festivals, where they hope to get bought by Hollywood's faux indie distributors.
The internet is a direct threat to Hollywood's distribution system, but aside from Netflix it has yet to topple Hollywood's iron grip on the American film industry, and probably won't as long as people fall for Hollywood's marketing hype and go to see awful sequels and subscribe to cable.
I'm arguing that the touchscreen (technology) set it apart from most phones of that time, and while iTunes compatibility is software, the iPhone's success had to do with a lot of things including marketing and being part of an established ecosystem that people were familiar with.
And that's not to say the software wasn't important either. I've used music players besides Apple's and the've all failed on the software side of things.
But since Kaliedescape does everything a computer can do at a 1/10th of the price, the only thing it has to justify that expense is a clean user interface. Even the iPhone would have failed if it cost over $2000.
I'll add that marketing probably played into the iPhone's success as much as the technology. Even if something did the same exact thing before it, most people were blinded by marketing and Apple brand recognition - something else Kalidescape hasn't got.