What is the deal with Steve Jobs, who is protecting his iPhone from being used the way users really like it, their own way? Apple not only launches it exclusively with certain partners, telling all you morons that don’t happen to have a mobile subscription there to hop over, but it also doesn’t like it when people try to open it up themselves.
Hacks are reported on a daily basis for the iPhone. I wonder how long it will take Apple to understand that these hacks aren’t just a protest against our savior Steve.
The hacks are coming from two emotions: the techies that just love to prove that “it can’t be hacked!” isn’t true, and the user that disagrees with the “you have no choice” mantra. If someone tells you that you only have one choice (his), what do you do? Well, I remember getting these sort of speeches at home when I was a child. Didn’t like it then, don’t like them now.
The iPhone may just be the invention of the year. Apple, just may have proved that mobile communications can be redesigned and evolved into a new user experience. But, having said that, they also ignore a basic need of their customers called “freedom”. Making it an exclusive phone that is only within reach of a few proves to be an excellent short term revenue strategy. It is already the most talked about market entry strategy in the mobile world. But I cannot help but think it is also a very arrogant strategy towards the customer. If we are to make mobile Internet successful, and let the iPhone be one of its drivers, then Apple better start thinking about opening up their platform.
If not, then Apple will definitely have a great niche on its hands and make a great living on it. But the mass will most likely choose something that works on all carriers and handsets.
And the mobile operators better rethink their strategy as well. As long as they determine who can get on their network and who cannot, they will remain hijacked to the Apple mantra. Forcing them to pay loads of money to Apple for every iPhone they sell.
It is freedom that sells in the end. Freedom will help customers (re-) discover the Internet on their mobile phones. Freedom is the ticket to increase in ARPU, the thing Mobile carriers need so desperately. Google is trying to jump on the bandwagon of freedom with their recent Android announcements. We will have to wait and see if that will be taking of. In the meantime the question remains. Who will free the customer?
Lack of freedom is the reason I’ll sell my Mac Pro and return to my PC roots.
You’re running a little bit behind the facts. On October 17, 2007 Apple announced an SDK would be made available to third-party developers in February 2008.
I think the initial lock-up was hotly debated within Apple, but the choice was made to allow the iPhone to have a secure “life” for a few months. If the phone would have been open right from the start, some script kiddy would have installed his own app, which made the iPhone crash and then all analysts would have shouted “see, this phone is insecure”.
I think Apple has a valid concern about 3rd party apps. They don’t want your phone to crash when you’re about to take a important call (imagine how that feels, must be like MS Word crashing on you when you hit Save).
Instead they’ve proved the phone is stable, reliable and a joy to use. Once that was established they opened up the phone. Credit where credit is due I think.
@Erik, thanks for your observation. I was aware that Apple had announced the SDK, and to be complete I should have mentioned it. But I still think that the iPhone is not an open platform the way Apple is monetizing it now. Just look at it from a user perspective. If I want to use it on a different network, one thta is not dictated by Apple or the mobile carrier, but dictated by my needs, I can’t do it.
If I want to use the iPhone to Skype from any WiFi connection (take the one at your home for example) I can’t do it.
In essence, I think of the iPhone as a multimedia computer that can also make calls. But as an owner of that computer, I don’t get to use it in a way I can with my home PC.
And I am not so sure about the motives of Apple with the delay in delivering the SDK. The blogging world is skeptical about te reasons why it came this late. But, now that it is here, we will have to wait and see what will happen.