Is Apple sandbagging the iPhone?

Remember when Steve Jobs gave us lots of excuses about why he wasn’t doing a video iPod? I do.

Doesn’t it sound a lot like the same excuses that Apple gave us last week as to why they aren’t letting third-party developers build apps for the iPhone?

I think Steve is trying to get a better deal from Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems. After all, Java already is running on a billion phones.

I asked Jonathan about what his “put Java on iPhone” pitch to Steve Jobs would be. His answer was he already gave Steve Jobs the pitch. I did notice that Jonathan (my interview will be up tomorrow) didn’t say whether or not his pitch was successful.

But it sure makes this quote by Steve Jobs (as linked to by Michael Gartenberg) seem awfully lame:

“You don’t want your phone to be an open platform”, meaning that anyone can write applications for it and potentially gum up the provider’s network, says Jobs. “You need it to work when you need it to work. Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.”

Wait a second. You mean there’s a billion phones with Java on them and Cingular’s network hasn’t gone down yet? Damn, how did that happen?

Not to mention my Cingular phone has several .NET apps on it. Written by third-party developers (cool ones, too, and a hell of a lot more useful than random voice-mail listening that wowed the Apple fans at MacWorld iPhoneWorld — like an app that shows you all the traffic in Seattle and whether or not you’ll get to your appointments at Microsoft on time. Or another one that is an RSS feed reader).

Hmmm, maybe Steve Jobs is playing Bill Gates against Jonathan Schwartz and trying to get a better deal?

Funny enough both Jonathan and I agreed that we’re going to buy an iPhone anyway. I told him that’d mean I’ll have two phones in my pocket. A cool looking one that cost $600 and one that has a keyboard I can type on with Java and/or .NET so I can load up lots of apps.

Somehow I have a sneaking feeling that Steve Jobs will announce in May that he’s “opened up” the iPhone by putting a runtime on it.

What do you think? Is Steve Jobs sandbagging all of us?

Or, are you just sick of talking about the iPhone?

Advertisements

160 thoughts on “Is Apple sandbagging the iPhone?

  1. I use a smartphone as well, but I have found that the phone performance does suffer when I start trying to use the phone to its full capabilities. One example is when I used to load Google local mobile – I then couldn’t use mobile IE to browse the web until I shut GLM down. Or when I used to use bluetooth to interface with my pc at home – both the phone and SMS functionality would get very flaky, resulting in the inability to answer calls or text messaging just not working. Due to these quirks, I now don’t use my phone to it’s full ability, which really depresses me. I want to use all the features, but I need it to be a reliable phone too…

    Like

  2. I use a smartphone as well, but I have found that the phone performance does suffer when I start trying to use the phone to its full capabilities. One example is when I used to load Google local mobile – I then couldn’t use mobile IE to browse the web until I shut GLM down. Or when I used to use bluetooth to interface with my pc at home – both the phone and SMS functionality would get very flaky, resulting in the inability to answer calls or text messaging just not working. Due to these quirks, I now don’t use my phone to it’s full ability, which really depresses me. I want to use all the features, but I need it to be a reliable phone too…

    Like

  3. “Funny enough both Jonathan and I agreed that we’re going to buy an iPhone anyway.”

    That seems to be the prevailing mood… so its really no wonder steveJ does whatever he wants. People lap it up, regardless.

    And the most amazing part is that people that spend 24/7 preaching OPEN systems… still buy (pun intended) into the ipod/mac camp.

    Like

  4. “Funny enough both Jonathan and I agreed that we’re going to buy an iPhone anyway.”

    That seems to be the prevailing mood… so its really no wonder steveJ does whatever he wants. People lap it up, regardless.

    And the most amazing part is that people that spend 24/7 preaching OPEN systems… still buy (pun intended) into the ipod/mac camp.

    Like

  5. I love how you point out that Jonathan Schwartz didn’t mention whether his pitch was successful or not. 🙂

    This one is sketchy, the whole concept of keeping ideas and development in-house goes with Apple’s tradition. I think that whether Steve’s remarks are true or not is besides the point. Either way, Apple’s iPhone will be able to run much more than its basic functions as demonstrated at MacWorld 07.

    I think that ultimately Apple will have a very organized and set-in-stone system for providing 3rd party apps for the iPhone.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Like

  6. I love how you point out that Jonathan Schwartz didn’t mention whether his pitch was successful or not. 🙂

    This one is sketchy, the whole concept of keeping ideas and development in-house goes with Apple’s tradition. I think that whether Steve’s remarks are true or not is besides the point. Either way, Apple’s iPhone will be able to run much more than its basic functions as demonstrated at MacWorld 07.

    I think that ultimately Apple will have a very organized and set-in-stone system for providing 3rd party apps for the iPhone.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Like

  7. This ‘closed platform’ statement, much like the iPod video statement, and the ‘who wants a flash-based MP3 player’ statement is becoming fairly standard practice for Apple.

    With respect to the closed nature of the iPhone, it’s obviously better for Apple to say no, then yes, rather than yes, then no. What about ‘maybe?’, hmm.. Apple never does ‘maybe’.

    Like

  8. This ‘closed platform’ statement, much like the iPod video statement, and the ‘who wants a flash-based MP3 player’ statement is becoming fairly standard practice for Apple.

    With respect to the closed nature of the iPhone, it’s obviously better for Apple to say no, then yes, rather than yes, then no. What about ‘maybe?’, hmm.. Apple never does ‘maybe’.

    Like

  9. If it stays open or closed we will just have to wait. I guess if they want to provide the full experience, they at least would need java and/or flash support on it.

    As with most gadgets, if they won’t allow it, others will make sure that it can run the stuff they need. The average consumer will just take it as it is. The geeks will change and enhance it no doubt about that.

    And as they have decided to wait imho very long before entering the European and Asia markets they will see some very though competition when they enter these markets. One thing I’m happy about is that they certainly have opened up some eyes of the current vendors of phone’s.

    Though Nokia already has some nice phones (N95 especially with its whopping 5 Megapixel camera) and Sony Ericsson isn’t very far behind my take is that when Apple isn’t changing the specs by the time it enters these markets you will get more for a cheaper price….

    Like

  10. If it stays open or closed we will just have to wait. I guess if they want to provide the full experience, they at least would need java and/or flash support on it.

    As with most gadgets, if they won’t allow it, others will make sure that it can run the stuff they need. The average consumer will just take it as it is. The geeks will change and enhance it no doubt about that.

    And as they have decided to wait imho very long before entering the European and Asia markets they will see some very though competition when they enter these markets. One thing I’m happy about is that they certainly have opened up some eyes of the current vendors of phone’s.

    Though Nokia already has some nice phones (N95 especially with its whopping 5 Megapixel camera) and Sony Ericsson isn’t very far behind my take is that when Apple isn’t changing the specs by the time it enters these markets you will get more for a cheaper price….

    Like

  11. Robert, the 3G version for Europe is going to be up to EUR999 (USD$1200+) – though, that’s without a contract or network lockin.

    “Or, are you just sick of talking about the iPhone?”
    Oh, heck yes.

    Like

  12. Robert, the 3G version for Europe is going to be up to EUR999 (USD$1200+) – though, that’s without a contract or network lockin.

    “Or, are you just sick of talking about the iPhone?”
    Oh, heck yes.

    Like

  13. The iPhone is set out to solve a few problems Jobs mentioned in the keynote. The whole experience of using a cellphone is pretty shitty these days. I went out and bought a cell phone that does two things….dials numbers and sends texts. When you add on a bunch of things not really designed for it….ala TV, calendars, etc. you get a bloated piece of junk. The interfaces are terrible. The input devices are worse.

    Multi-touch is a revolutionary way to solve this problem. Right now Jobs as at stage 1. The phone isn’t even ready yet. They announced it to beat the FCC to it. I am hoping Apple will include RSS as Safari has it built in.

    Whether or not they will allow 3rd parties to make industry specific apps is unknown but I think multitouch is the perfect technology to do this stuff. Apple will be really aggressive on keeping the whole iPod/Phone experience the best it can be. That’s what I really think he meant by his comments.

    Your dope wars game won’t crash Cingular, but it could crash the phone. I’m sure they are working on technology that is “contained” so it cannot really mess up the experience. Apple is a consumer company at heart.

    Don’t forget the iPhone has Wifi and a browser. Those two features are huge as desktop apps move to the browser. Who knows we could see some iPhone specific websites developed for widescreen mode. I’m still amazed how they can pack something so powerful into something so small.

    Like

  14. The iPhone is set out to solve a few problems Jobs mentioned in the keynote. The whole experience of using a cellphone is pretty shitty these days. I went out and bought a cell phone that does two things….dials numbers and sends texts. When you add on a bunch of things not really designed for it….ala TV, calendars, etc. you get a bloated piece of junk. The interfaces are terrible. The input devices are worse.

    Multi-touch is a revolutionary way to solve this problem. Right now Jobs as at stage 1. The phone isn’t even ready yet. They announced it to beat the FCC to it. I am hoping Apple will include RSS as Safari has it built in.

    Whether or not they will allow 3rd parties to make industry specific apps is unknown but I think multitouch is the perfect technology to do this stuff. Apple will be really aggressive on keeping the whole iPod/Phone experience the best it can be. That’s what I really think he meant by his comments.

    Your dope wars game won’t crash Cingular, but it could crash the phone. I’m sure they are working on technology that is “contained” so it cannot really mess up the experience. Apple is a consumer company at heart.

    Don’t forget the iPhone has Wifi and a browser. Those two features are huge as desktop apps move to the browser. Who knows we could see some iPhone specific websites developed for widescreen mode. I’m still amazed how they can pack something so powerful into something so small.

    Like

  15. I don’t think Apple has decided on all the details of this issue yet.

    Actually, though, Steve Jobs has already said there *will* third-party apps for iPhone, which of course will be be sold through iTunes.

    However, the decision that Apple needs to make is about whether to maintain tight control over the 3rd-party app market (e.g. like they do with iPod games), or by completely opening the phone so that anyone can write and install apps (like many existing mobile phones)… or somewhere in between (e.g. requiring all 3rd-party apps to be distributed via iTunes). They will take this decision this based on how they believe they can make the most money. And depending on that decision, they might or might not need/want to put Java on iPhone.

    It’s not only about being able to install 3rd party apps though. It’s also about enabling iPhone to be at the forefront of handling mobile “web apps” (which don’t require installation). Flash Lite is probably going to be the most important platform for that (given the Java ME community doesn’t *appear* to be addressing these needs). So – I expect to see Flash Lite on iPhone.

    Like

  16. I don’t think Apple has decided on all the details of this issue yet.

    Actually, though, Steve Jobs has already said there *will* third-party apps for iPhone, which of course will be be sold through iTunes.

    However, the decision that Apple needs to make is about whether to maintain tight control over the 3rd-party app market (e.g. like they do with iPod games), or by completely opening the phone so that anyone can write and install apps (like many existing mobile phones)… or somewhere in between (e.g. requiring all 3rd-party apps to be distributed via iTunes). They will take this decision this based on how they believe they can make the most money. And depending on that decision, they might or might not need/want to put Java on iPhone.

    It’s not only about being able to install 3rd party apps though. It’s also about enabling iPhone to be at the forefront of handling mobile “web apps” (which don’t require installation). Flash Lite is probably going to be the most important platform for that (given the Java ME community doesn’t *appear* to be addressing these needs). So – I expect to see Flash Lite on iPhone.

    Like

  17. Apple will let third parties create and load up widgets on the iPhone. They have to – they’d be literally mad not to! The combination of the release of Dashcode with Leopard and the existing distribution system for OS X widgets makes this almost assured. Rememeber, widgets can’t crash.

    When it comes to third party applications, I can completely believe that Apple won’t open up support for these. Lets face it, even first party “applications” on phones suck. Do I really want to wait around for a fucking load time, and then deal with dodgy Java, when all I want to see is the location of the nearest starbucks? No thanks.

    Widgets are a far more elegant solution than applications, and the included applications with the iPhone will do all other jobs that widgets can’t do very nicely thankyouverymuch.

    Like

  18. Apple will let third parties create and load up widgets on the iPhone. They have to – they’d be literally mad not to! The combination of the release of Dashcode with Leopard and the existing distribution system for OS X widgets makes this almost assured. Rememeber, widgets can’t crash.

    When it comes to third party applications, I can completely believe that Apple won’t open up support for these. Lets face it, even first party “applications” on phones suck. Do I really want to wait around for a fucking load time, and then deal with dodgy Java, when all I want to see is the location of the nearest starbucks? No thanks.

    Widgets are a far more elegant solution than applications, and the included applications with the iPhone will do all other jobs that widgets can’t do very nicely thankyouverymuch.

    Like

  19. I personally don’t think it will have Java, doesn’t need it, might have Flash though. My bet, since it’s a version of OS-X and all new Apple devices will probably also, that it will be open to apps but they’ll need to be developed using the same tools as used for general Mac programming now. I wouldn’t doubt apps may have to be certified just like game systems though.

    Like

  20. I personally don’t think it will have Java, doesn’t need it, might have Flash though. My bet, since it’s a version of OS-X and all new Apple devices will probably also, that it will be open to apps but they’ll need to be developed using the same tools as used for general Mac programming now. I wouldn’t doubt apps may have to be certified just like game systems though.

    Like

  21. There isn’t anything more hyped and let us more down then anything coming from Apple. The elitist glow that comes from Apple fanboys is disgusting, everything Jobs says is taken as truth and anything apple is holier then thou. I for one getting tired of it, that and the constant whacking at Bill Gates, at least the man is honest and does good with his fortune.. Take a leaf out of that book Jobs!

    Like

  22. There isn’t anything more hyped and let us more down then anything coming from Apple. The elitist glow that comes from Apple fanboys is disgusting, everything Jobs says is taken as truth and anything apple is holier then thou. I for one getting tired of it, that and the constant whacking at Bill Gates, at least the man is honest and does good with his fortune.. Take a leaf out of that book Jobs!

    Like

  23. if we want an OPEN iphone… then lets simply demand it by not buying until it is OPEN. apple prides themselves on being responsive to the customer. together we can test their mantra.

    Like

  24. if we want an OPEN iphone… then lets simply demand it by not buying until it is OPEN. apple prides themselves on being responsive to the customer. together we can test their mantra.

    Like

  25. I read a comment somewhere that pointed out the disparity in attitude between buying a $600 Playstation3 or a $600 iPhone. Sony should hire Steve Jobs to extend his reailty distortion field to cover the PS3.

    Like

  26. I read a comment somewhere that pointed out the disparity in attitude between buying a $600 Playstation3 or a $600 iPhone. Sony should hire Steve Jobs to extend his reailty distortion field to cover the PS3.

    Like

  27. 1) I’m sick of iPhone everything. (“OMG! It’s a phone that you can make phone calls on! That’s Revolutionary!”)
    2) It’ll be nice if he allows a Java runtime (I don’t expect .NET Compact Framework, since it’s not Windows Mobile or CE – athough originally I was hopeful there’d be a Mono port for the iPhone) …but the truth is that Steve Jobs is *never* going to dance around a room saying “developers, developers, developers…” – for a whole lot of reasons of course, but one of them is that Apple have their own take on monopoly, and I believe his instinct is to want all the software to be Apple software or produced by companies effectively subcontracted to Apple. Control-freakery 101.

    Like

  28. 1) I’m sick of iPhone everything. (“OMG! It’s a phone that you can make phone calls on! That’s Revolutionary!”)
    2) It’ll be nice if he allows a Java runtime (I don’t expect .NET Compact Framework, since it’s not Windows Mobile or CE – athough originally I was hopeful there’d be a Mono port for the iPhone) …but the truth is that Steve Jobs is *never* going to dance around a room saying “developers, developers, developers…” – for a whole lot of reasons of course, but one of them is that Apple have their own take on monopoly, and I believe his instinct is to want all the software to be Apple software or produced by companies effectively subcontracted to Apple. Control-freakery 101.

    Like

  29. Since I am in the…unenviable position of having to support smartphones of every stripe at my company, I can tell you that while third party applications won’t crash the network, (that’s a ridiculous idea), they will make the phone suck to use.

    Palm phones that go into never – ending resets, (THANKS POCKET QUICKEN), having to reset any WM phone with Goodlink on it, (YAY) at least once a day, sometimes multiple times a day, and i’ve yet to successfully uninstall it out of WM without a hard reset.

    Newsbreak makes me reset regularly too, because it locks up and you can’t kill it.

    So yeah, without sufficient safeguards, an application CAN make your phone either useless, or severely degrade it’s performance. I’ve no problem with Apple being conservative about how third party applications get on the iPhone.

    Like

  30. Since I am in the…unenviable position of having to support smartphones of every stripe at my company, I can tell you that while third party applications won’t crash the network, (that’s a ridiculous idea), they will make the phone suck to use.

    Palm phones that go into never – ending resets, (THANKS POCKET QUICKEN), having to reset any WM phone with Goodlink on it, (YAY) at least once a day, sometimes multiple times a day, and i’ve yet to successfully uninstall it out of WM without a hard reset.

    Newsbreak makes me reset regularly too, because it locks up and you can’t kill it.

    So yeah, without sufficient safeguards, an application CAN make your phone either useless, or severely degrade it’s performance. I’ve no problem with Apple being conservative about how third party applications get on the iPhone.

    Like

  31. Generally I like reading what you have to say. Let me start with that up front, because tragically it’s about the most positive thing I’ve got to say all comment.

    So do you know what I’m sick of? I’m sick of reading the heavily coloured sledging, Robert. Yes, we know what you think of companies that aren’t transparent or who don’t believe in the new way of reaching out to consumers or are who are overly and unnecessarily “defended” by a kool-aid-drinking audience.

    Some of us don’t even disagree with you, but you know what? It gets really tiring hearing the mantra all the time — just as tiring as for those whose attitudes are polar opposite.

    Yes, we know what you think of the iPhone (and indeed more often than not, it seems all things Apple). The kool-aid-drinkers are, generally speaking, defensive because they’re scared their idol is going to lose whatever marketshare it has; are you defensive because of the opposite? Either position is utterly irrational, as are “holy wars” of any type. Why waste time and energy on it, when you could be discussing something positive and exciting instead?

    Apple is not going to start listening to bloggers, A-list or no, until after Steve Jobs is gone from the company for good — if ever. If you don’t like what they do, then nobody’s forcing you or anyone else to buy their stuff, and calling attention to it (or the kool-aid-drinkers) is hardly going to change the status quo.

    Yes, I’m heartily sick of hearing about the iPhone, divisive device as it well is. I’m very happy with my existing mobile, the iPhone won’t appear here in Australia for a long time yet if ever, and if or when the iPhone does nothing else, it might stimulate the incumbents into making even more exciting platforms in the future, which can only be good for consumers. The End.

    You weren’t this snarky when you worked for Microsoft, so what’s changed? If you don’t like what a given company is doing, don’t give them heaps of free advertising by drawing attention to them ad infinitum. I politely suggest that you try to ignore them instead.

    Like

  32. Generally I like reading what you have to say. Let me start with that up front, because tragically it’s about the most positive thing I’ve got to say all comment.

    So do you know what I’m sick of? I’m sick of reading the heavily coloured sledging, Robert. Yes, we know what you think of companies that aren’t transparent or who don’t believe in the new way of reaching out to consumers or are who are overly and unnecessarily “defended” by a kool-aid-drinking audience.

    Some of us don’t even disagree with you, but you know what? It gets really tiring hearing the mantra all the time — just as tiring as for those whose attitudes are polar opposite.

    Yes, we know what you think of the iPhone (and indeed more often than not, it seems all things Apple). The kool-aid-drinkers are, generally speaking, defensive because they’re scared their idol is going to lose whatever marketshare it has; are you defensive because of the opposite? Either position is utterly irrational, as are “holy wars” of any type. Why waste time and energy on it, when you could be discussing something positive and exciting instead?

    Apple is not going to start listening to bloggers, A-list or no, until after Steve Jobs is gone from the company for good — if ever. If you don’t like what they do, then nobody’s forcing you or anyone else to buy their stuff, and calling attention to it (or the kool-aid-drinkers) is hardly going to change the status quo.

    Yes, I’m heartily sick of hearing about the iPhone, divisive device as it well is. I’m very happy with my existing mobile, the iPhone won’t appear here in Australia for a long time yet if ever, and if or when the iPhone does nothing else, it might stimulate the incumbents into making even more exciting platforms in the future, which can only be good for consumers. The End.

    You weren’t this snarky when you worked for Microsoft, so what’s changed? If you don’t like what a given company is doing, don’t give them heaps of free advertising by drawing attention to them ad infinitum. I politely suggest that you try to ignore them instead.

    Like

  33. If you put all the words written by 3rd parties about the iPhone end to end, you still won’t get any sense from it all. Just as well it’s all electronic otherwise what remains of the Brazilian forests would have disappeared by now!

    Like

  34. If you put all the words written by 3rd parties about the iPhone end to end, you still won’t get any sense from it all. Just as well it’s all electronic otherwise what remains of the Brazilian forests would have disappeared by now!

    Like

  35. Since when did Java apps get the UI right? Since when did Java apps get the Apple UI right? Since when does Java have the APIs for gesture-based navigation?

    Tell me again why Apple “wants” Java or .Net?

    Whether or not others are allowed to develop for it, why would Apple want either of these developer languages when the iPhone supports Apple’s own language for developing small, slick applications with exquisite graphics, animations, and gesture-based navigation?

    Yes, tons of people will want to develop for it. Yes, Jobs will be sandbagging for many months maybe a year or two… But NOT to get Sun software. Not to get .Net. (Since when has Microsoft truly done ANYTHING to get .Net on another platform? Hmmm….) You are wrong again, Scoble. I think it’s like the 6th time in less than 10 days.

    Like

  36. Since when did Java apps get the UI right? Since when did Java apps get the Apple UI right? Since when does Java have the APIs for gesture-based navigation?

    Tell me again why Apple “wants” Java or .Net?

    Whether or not others are allowed to develop for it, why would Apple want either of these developer languages when the iPhone supports Apple’s own language for developing small, slick applications with exquisite graphics, animations, and gesture-based navigation?

    Yes, tons of people will want to develop for it. Yes, Jobs will be sandbagging for many months maybe a year or two… But NOT to get Sun software. Not to get .Net. (Since when has Microsoft truly done ANYTHING to get .Net on another platform? Hmmm….) You are wrong again, Scoble. I think it’s like the 6th time in less than 10 days.

    Like

  37. Robert, when I first heard that you couldn’t load apps onto the iPhone, I thought it was because of Cingular. After all, wasn’t it because of the carriers that the Motorola itunes phone couldn’t purchase songs wirelessly?

    And he seems to be implying that with this quote “Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down”

    And good call renaming Macworld to iPhoneWorld. It just sounds right 😉

    Like

  38. Robert, when I first heard that you couldn’t load apps onto the iPhone, I thought it was because of Cingular. After all, wasn’t it because of the carriers that the Motorola itunes phone couldn’t purchase songs wirelessly?

    And he seems to be implying that with this quote “Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down”

    And good call renaming Macworld to iPhoneWorld. It just sounds right 😉

    Like

  39. “Remember when Steve Jobs gave us lots of excuses about why he wasn’t doing a video iPod? I do.”

    Remember when Steve Job said that there would be apps for the iPhone? i Do.

    “That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn’t mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment.” NYT Jan 11

    Like

  40. “Remember when Steve Jobs gave us lots of excuses about why he wasn’t doing a video iPod? I do.”

    Remember when Steve Job said that there would be apps for the iPhone? i Do.

    “That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn’t mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment.” NYT Jan 11

    Like

  41. I am tired of the constant iPhone guessing and second guessing, lets wait and see what the release version actually does or doesn’t do in 6 months when it comes out. I feel we’re going to see several spin-off products and maybe a few changes of the iPhone before it’s released.

    At least we’re not getting your political views fed to us when you’re talking about Apple.:-)

    Like

  42. I am tired of the constant iPhone guessing and second guessing, lets wait and see what the release version actually does or doesn’t do in 6 months when it comes out. I feel we’re going to see several spin-off products and maybe a few changes of the iPhone before it’s released.

    At least we’re not getting your political views fed to us when you’re talking about Apple.:-)

    Like

  43. I think Steve is sandbagging, but not on features. I think he’s sandbagging on price. My bet is the phone will be $100 to $200 cheaper than the announced price when it comes out, and it’s artifically high right now to make sure people keep buying iPods.

    Like

  44. I think Steve is sandbagging, but not on features. I think he’s sandbagging on price. My bet is the phone will be $100 to $200 cheaper than the announced price when it comes out, and it’s artifically high right now to make sure people keep buying iPods.

    Like

  45. My guess is that Jobs would like to establish a mobile platform for applets of his own via Dashboard.

    In a market where every phone can easily play mp3s, video and all that, he’s got to start cannibalizing his own ipod market, before the phone vendors cannibalize his itunes market, and as apps on phones are apparently a very fragmented space, like mp3 players were before the ipod (and its clones) arrived, he may want to take a chance with a new platform.

    Like

  46. My guess is that Jobs would like to establish a mobile platform for applets of his own via Dashboard.

    In a market where every phone can easily play mp3s, video and all that, he’s got to start cannibalizing his own ipod market, before the phone vendors cannibalize his itunes market, and as apps on phones are apparently a very fragmented space, like mp3 players were before the ipod (and its clones) arrived, he may want to take a chance with a new platform.

    Like

  47. The iPhone is always hooked to the network. Will that stop homebrewed software?
    Maybe you could hack the cellphone but not get on the Cingular network?

    Like

  48. Completely agree and listed several “predictions” for the iPhone here: http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkontherun/2007/01/apples_iphone_r.html

    To save you a click:
    1. HSDPA support is added by launch; we’ll know when we see the FCC results. 😉
    2. Killer app is not “making calls” even though Jobs touted it as such. Killer app is iTunes on the phone with ability to download content.
    3. Outlook support gets added.
    4. Apple one-ups Microsoft and adds WiFi synching. That was pulled from WinMo 5.
    5. Apple adds voice nav of iTunes to the phone via their patent and the mic-enabled headset. Touch is cool, but requires you to look at the phone.

    Like

  49. Completely agree and listed several “predictions” for the iPhone here: http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkontherun/2007/01/apples_iphone_r.html

    To save you a click:
    1. HSDPA support is added by launch; we’ll know when we see the FCC results. 😉
    2. Killer app is not “making calls” even though Jobs touted it as such. Killer app is iTunes on the phone with ability to download content.
    3. Outlook support gets added.
    4. Apple one-ups Microsoft and adds WiFi synching. That was pulled from WinMo 5.
    5. Apple adds voice nav of iTunes to the phone via their patent and the mic-enabled headset. Touch is cool, but requires you to look at the phone.

    Like

  50. The iPhone is always hooked to the network. Will that stop homebrewed software?
    Maybe you could hack the cellphone but not get on the Cingular network?

    Like

  51. I’m very sick of the iPhone, but I have been since day one. But yet, I feel compelled to post about it, because the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field ™ is so pervasive across the blogosphere.

    He is sandbagging us (actually not us, ie, not me, but the rest of the Kool-Aid drinkers). I’m not sure what his future plans are for the device, but here are the points that he is sandbagging us on, that if any other company did this (you know, like that big one in Redmond whose name escapes me now), the device would be DOA:
    – No 3G. What? Are you kidding me? You actually expect me to browse the Internet at EDGE speeds?
    – No replaceable battery. If Palm, Sony, Motorola, LG or Samsung sold such an expensive device without a replaceable battery, it would be lambasted, and the device would have few converts (yes, I know that some Treo’s had the same shortcoming, but where are they now?). So when the battery degrades, you have to be without a phone for a while, either because an iGenius is fixing it at the Jobs ATM (Apple Store), or you send it away, without a phone for a while.
    – Crapular lockin. Enough said.
    – Another closed system. Just what the world needs, more DRM. But, unlike typical DRM which is intended to “protect” the content providers, this is intended to feed the Jobs ATM. You want some widgets? Pay Apple 0.99 for it, and it’s yours. Want 3G? Pay Apple $500 for the next version (or charge 4.99 for a firmware upgrade). Want a battery? $99 please.
    – Plus the third party apps situation.

    Now with all of these limitations, Robert, why would you still want this thing? If a product costs $500-600 (with 2 year contract), you better believe that I’m going to make sure that the product meets my needs. If it fails to meet my needs, plenty of Windows Mobile devices exist (HTC anyone?) that will fill my needs for less, and on a better network, like the Q, which would run me about $100.

    Let’s face it. The SEC could (and may) find Jobs guilty of stock options fraud, and no one would care. The stockholders would probably rejoice. Imagine if Gates was found guilty? Or imagine if the big company from Redmond used a trademark of another big company?

    @Tony Chung: That iProduct ad is old, but look at how it still rings true. The part about the iDump perfectly reflects the iPhone.

    Like

  52. I’m very sick of the iPhone, but I have been since day one. But yet, I feel compelled to post about it, because the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field ™ is so pervasive across the blogosphere.

    He is sandbagging us (actually not us, ie, not me, but the rest of the Kool-Aid drinkers). I’m not sure what his future plans are for the device, but here are the points that he is sandbagging us on, that if any other company did this (you know, like that big one in Redmond whose name escapes me now), the device would be DOA:
    – No 3G. What? Are you kidding me? You actually expect me to browse the Internet at EDGE speeds?
    – No replaceable battery. If Palm, Sony, Motorola, LG or Samsung sold such an expensive device without a replaceable battery, it would be lambasted, and the device would have few converts (yes, I know that some Treo’s had the same shortcoming, but where are they now?). So when the battery degrades, you have to be without a phone for a while, either because an iGenius is fixing it at the Jobs ATM (Apple Store), or you send it away, without a phone for a while.
    – Crapular lockin. Enough said.
    – Another closed system. Just what the world needs, more DRM. But, unlike typical DRM which is intended to “protect” the content providers, this is intended to feed the Jobs ATM. You want some widgets? Pay Apple 0.99 for it, and it’s yours. Want 3G? Pay Apple $500 for the next version (or charge 4.99 for a firmware upgrade). Want a battery? $99 please.
    – Plus the third party apps situation.

    Now with all of these limitations, Robert, why would you still want this thing? If a product costs $500-600 (with 2 year contract), you better believe that I’m going to make sure that the product meets my needs. If it fails to meet my needs, plenty of Windows Mobile devices exist (HTC anyone?) that will fill my needs for less, and on a better network, like the Q, which would run me about $100.

    Let’s face it. The SEC could (and may) find Jobs guilty of stock options fraud, and no one would care. The stockholders would probably rejoice. Imagine if Gates was found guilty? Or imagine if the big company from Redmond used a trademark of another big company?

    @Tony Chung: That iProduct ad is old, but look at how it still rings true. The part about the iDump perfectly reflects the iPhone.

    Like

  53. I agree with Scoble here. Apple is limiting the potential of the iPhone.

    No one knows how the market will react to the iPhone for certain. Could anyone have predicted that the Razr would be the crazy hit that it was? its only claim to fame, thinness and sleekness. The iPhone promises a lot for the next generation.
    Hopefully it will inspire other companies to bring out better competing products, which can match as well as exceed the iPhones capabilities without compromising on its simple design.

    This could in turn lead Apple to releasing several versions of the iPhone and possibly an iPod/PDA hybrid.

    Like

  54. I agree with Scoble here. Apple is limiting the potential of the iPhone.

    No one knows how the market will react to the iPhone for certain. Could anyone have predicted that the Razr would be the crazy hit that it was? its only claim to fame, thinness and sleekness. The iPhone promises a lot for the next generation.
    Hopefully it will inspire other companies to bring out better competing products, which can match as well as exceed the iPhones capabilities without compromising on its simple design.

    This could in turn lead Apple to releasing several versions of the iPhone and possibly an iPod/PDA hybrid.

    Like

  55. Here’s what Apple marketing has accomplished: “Are you just sick of talking about the iPhone?”
    Here’s what all the companies at CES accomplished: “Are you just sick of hearing about that thing at CES?”

    All of us who second-guess Apple (under the new Steve Jobs) are chumps.

    Like

  56. Here’s what Apple marketing has accomplished: “Are you just sick of talking about the iPhone?”
    Here’s what all the companies at CES accomplished: “Are you just sick of hearing about that thing at CES?”

    All of us who second-guess Apple (under the new Steve Jobs) are chumps.

    Like

  57. Sandbagging: Yes
    Sick of hearing about iPhone: Yes

    All I want to know is can I get a iBattery for my iPhone? If the iPhone can’t make it through a whole day of normal use without a charge it’s useless.

    Like

  58. Sandbagging: Yes
    Sick of hearing about iPhone: Yes

    All I want to know is can I get a iBattery for my iPhone? If the iPhone can’t make it through a whole day of normal use without a charge it’s useless.

    Like

  59. “Not to mention my Cingular phone has several .NET apps on it. — like an app that shows you all the traffic in Seattle and whether or not you’ll get to your appointments at Microsoft on time. Or another one that is an RSS feed reader).”

    Funny, I’ve got several apps in Safari that show me all the traffic in Seattle, whether or not I’ll get to my non-Microsoft appointments on time, and an RSS reader. They’re called “Web Pages”.

    Seriously, the way to develop for the the iPhone is Plain Ol’ Web Dev 101. Design for small-screen browsers using CSS, Ajax and any server-side wizardry you like, as long as it doesn’t require client-side Java or ActiveX (I’m guessing on the latter).

    Like

  60. “Not to mention my Cingular phone has several .NET apps on it. — like an app that shows you all the traffic in Seattle and whether or not you’ll get to your appointments at Microsoft on time. Or another one that is an RSS feed reader).”

    Funny, I’ve got several apps in Safari that show me all the traffic in Seattle, whether or not I’ll get to my non-Microsoft appointments on time, and an RSS reader. They’re called “Web Pages”.

    Seriously, the way to develop for the the iPhone is Plain Ol’ Web Dev 101. Design for small-screen browsers using CSS, Ajax and any server-side wizardry you like, as long as it doesn’t require client-side Java or ActiveX (I’m guessing on the latter).

    Like

  61. Can we hold off judgement until it actually ships and gets used. I’d love to come back here 6 months from now and compare notes with all of the comments made.

    6 months is an eternity in technology. Anything can change and be improved upon. At least we’re not moving backwards and products wether from Microsoft, Apple or any other company drives further innovation. Take a deep breath everyone, it’s all going to be for the better. Really!

    Like

  62. Can we hold off judgement until it actually ships and gets used. I’d love to come back here 6 months from now and compare notes with all of the comments made.

    6 months is an eternity in technology. Anything can change and be improved upon. At least we’re not moving backwards and products wether from Microsoft, Apple or any other company drives further innovation. Take a deep breath everyone, it’s all going to be for the better. Really!

    Like

  63. The iPhone is a CONSUMER device. What do we know about consumer devices? remember the sticker, no user serviceable parts inside, warranty void if opened. Jobs needs the iPhone to protect the iPod from the eventual slide of Nokia and Sony Ericssons into music players. But the iTunes/iPod gig depends on a locked player, ergo, a locked iPhone. Apple Computer inc. was a platform company all ISV friendly and developer oriented. Apple inc. is a consumer electronics company and that world is oriented around anonymous OEM deals and all you ISVs can go jump in a lake.

    Like

  64. The iPhone is a CONSUMER device. What do we know about consumer devices? remember the sticker, no user serviceable parts inside, warranty void if opened. Jobs needs the iPhone to protect the iPod from the eventual slide of Nokia and Sony Ericssons into music players. But the iTunes/iPod gig depends on a locked player, ergo, a locked iPhone. Apple Computer inc. was a platform company all ISV friendly and developer oriented. Apple inc. is a consumer electronics company and that world is oriented around anonymous OEM deals and all you ISVs can go jump in a lake.

    Like

  65. No, T Man, you can’t arbitrarily pick a definition so that you can rehash your complaints. The word is being used here and is mostly commonly interpreted to mean: “to conceal or misrepresent one’s true position, potential, or intent especially in order to take advantage of”.

    Like

  66. No, T Man, you can’t arbitrarily pick a definition so that you can rehash your complaints. The word is being used here and is mostly commonly interpreted to mean: “to conceal or misrepresent one’s true position, potential, or intent especially in order to take advantage of”.

    Like

  67. anyone who’s run the “hacked your TiVo” community software crap understands mr. Jobs position. the first time your teevee crashes, you suddenly realize the value of Tcl weather widgets written by idiots.

    apple’s gadget is years ahead. it does plenty. let Microsoft copy it and open it up to ISV’s — then you’ll see just how successful it won’t be. remember: years of evangelization did NOTHING for the stupid, backwards, oddly powerful yet missing super
    simple basic features, dopey Windows CE platform.

    the developer’s platform for iPhone is this funny thing called the Web, dude.

    make website that looks nice on phone, be happy.

    who the hell is interested in writing client software for wacky embedded devices any more?

    Like

  68. anyone who’s run the “hacked your TiVo” community software crap understands mr. Jobs position. the first time your teevee crashes, you suddenly realize the value of Tcl weather widgets written by idiots.

    apple’s gadget is years ahead. it does plenty. let Microsoft copy it and open it up to ISV’s — then you’ll see just how successful it won’t be. remember: years of evangelization did NOTHING for the stupid, backwards, oddly powerful yet missing super
    simple basic features, dopey Windows CE platform.

    the developer’s platform for iPhone is this funny thing called the Web, dude.

    make website that looks nice on phone, be happy.

    who the hell is interested in writing client software for wacky embedded devices any more?

    Like

  69. Goebbels, why are you calling me out?

    Let’s look at the premise of the post, and then tell me where I am wrong.

    “Is Steve Jobs sandbagging all of us?”

    From this, I mentioned that Jobs is in fact sandbagging us. In either case, I admitted that the word was not ideal, but was willing to offer a valid definition of the word to describe this. And what I really mean by sandbagging, or the way that I interpret it, is that Jobs relies on the Apple faithful (er, maybe Jobs faithful) to keep his business running. Creating an insane amount of buzz around ANY product launch, all in the hopes of getting that same core group of people to upgrade to the next version. Jobs knows that he can only do so much on the first iteration, and is willing to offer a hobbled device. He knows that he will be able to bring out a better device within a year, and offer it to the same masses for the same price with the extra features that they want, and expect, such as 3G data.

    And hence, we have the Apple Upgrade Treadmill ™ created to feed the Jobs ATM ™.

    Looking at the definition, we can interpret sandbagging in many different ways, all relevant.

    2a. “to hit or stun with or as if with a sandbag” = MacWorld
    2b. “to treat unfairly or harshly” = Cingular (oops, I mean AT&T) will be feeling this after a year of working with Apple.
    2c. “to coerce by crude means” = what I said
    2d. “to conceal or misrepresent one’s true position, potential, or intent especially in order to take advantage of” = Jobs, and any word that comes out of his mouth.

    Like

  70. Goebbels, why are you calling me out?

    Let’s look at the premise of the post, and then tell me where I am wrong.

    “Is Steve Jobs sandbagging all of us?”

    From this, I mentioned that Jobs is in fact sandbagging us. In either case, I admitted that the word was not ideal, but was willing to offer a valid definition of the word to describe this. And what I really mean by sandbagging, or the way that I interpret it, is that Jobs relies on the Apple faithful (er, maybe Jobs faithful) to keep his business running. Creating an insane amount of buzz around ANY product launch, all in the hopes of getting that same core group of people to upgrade to the next version. Jobs knows that he can only do so much on the first iteration, and is willing to offer a hobbled device. He knows that he will be able to bring out a better device within a year, and offer it to the same masses for the same price with the extra features that they want, and expect, such as 3G data.

    And hence, we have the Apple Upgrade Treadmill ™ created to feed the Jobs ATM ™.

    Looking at the definition, we can interpret sandbagging in many different ways, all relevant.

    2a. “to hit or stun with or as if with a sandbag” = MacWorld
    2b. “to treat unfairly or harshly” = Cingular (oops, I mean AT&T) will be feeling this after a year of working with Apple.
    2c. “to coerce by crude means” = what I said
    2d. “to conceal or misrepresent one’s true position, potential, or intent especially in order to take advantage of” = Jobs, and any word that comes out of his mouth.

    Like

  71. T Man, because you are just ranting about things you don’t like.

    The premise of this post is that Jobs is soft pedaling the platform to surprise us with either the Java or .Net runtime.

    Nothing you have said has anything to do with this premise.

    Get a clue. Read the post. Realize what it is about.

    Like

  72. T Man, because you are just ranting about things you don’t like.

    The premise of this post is that Jobs is soft pedaling the platform to surprise us with either the Java or .Net runtime.

    Nothing you have said has anything to do with this premise.

    Get a clue. Read the post. Realize what it is about.

    Like

  73. One of the issues with HSPDA is what it does to battery life. There’s some work being done on more efficient radio stack, but right now, it does some bad things to battery life.

    So there’s some logic in sticking with EDGE for now.

    Like

  74. One of the issues with HSPDA is what it does to battery life. There’s some work being done on more efficient radio stack, but right now, it does some bad things to battery life.

    So there’s some logic in sticking with EDGE for now.

    Like

  75. “And the most amazing part is that people that spend 24/7 preaching OPEN systems… still buy (pun intended) into the ipod/mac camp.”

    You do realize that the iPod is as open as you want it to be? ie. put MP3s on it if you like – or AIFF files …

    People buy into the Mac camp because of the user experience – end of story.

    Like

  76. “And the most amazing part is that people that spend 24/7 preaching OPEN systems… still buy (pun intended) into the ipod/mac camp.”

    You do realize that the iPod is as open as you want it to be? ie. put MP3s on it if you like – or AIFF files …

    People buy into the Mac camp because of the user experience – end of story.

    Like

  77. I resent the idea that “Apple People” would buy Steve’s poop in an offwhite box if it came with two grey buttons. First of all, it would have to be trasparent blue or smoke grey, and have one aluminum button. Seriously though. I was converted to FreeBSD 4.2 from Wimblows when I heard that OS-X is built on FreeBSD 5.x That’s why I own a Powerbook G4. Not because it has an apple logo on it, but it’s because it works, all of the time, and I DON’T have to reinstall the OS every 6-9 months. I was sick of the iPhone by the end of the keynote too, but it does seem like a great idea. We all use GUI’s (Apple) We Use Mice (Apple) what else? I like the company because it’s innovative and not behind the industry by at least 5 years, unlike Micr…Um…some companies.

    Like

  78. I resent the idea that “Apple People” would buy Steve’s poop in an offwhite box if it came with two grey buttons. First of all, it would have to be trasparent blue or smoke grey, and have one aluminum button. Seriously though. I was converted to FreeBSD 4.2 from Wimblows when I heard that OS-X is built on FreeBSD 5.x That’s why I own a Powerbook G4. Not because it has an apple logo on it, but it’s because it works, all of the time, and I DON’T have to reinstall the OS every 6-9 months. I was sick of the iPhone by the end of the keynote too, but it does seem like a great idea. We all use GUI’s (Apple) We Use Mice (Apple) what else? I like the company because it’s innovative and not behind the industry by at least 5 years, unlike Micr…Um…some companies.

    Like

  79. I’m no techie, but as a regular smartphone user, I am appalled at the iPhone’s low-tech features. Here in Asia we do video calls on 3G platforms already. Our phones are at least 3.2 megapixels (Sony Ericsson K800i), are Mp3 players and can transfer our playlists from iTunes from our Macs, surf the internet, send/receive emails, and yes call/text on it.

    The way I see it, the only “revolutionary”thing about the iPhone is it touch-screen technology. It sure is gorgeous but until Apple’s designers beef up the iPhone’s features, it certainly won’t sell here in Asia.

    Like

  80. I’m no techie, but as a regular smartphone user, I am appalled at the iPhone’s low-tech features. Here in Asia we do video calls on 3G platforms already. Our phones are at least 3.2 megapixels (Sony Ericsson K800i), are Mp3 players and can transfer our playlists from iTunes from our Macs, surf the internet, send/receive emails, and yes call/text on it.

    The way I see it, the only “revolutionary”thing about the iPhone is it touch-screen technology. It sure is gorgeous but until Apple’s designers beef up the iPhone’s features, it certainly won’t sell here in Asia.

    Like

  81. @will,

    Had a read, imho it’s just speculation, the said price would be outrageous as far as I’m concerned. Also notice that the price has been removed from the Amazon.de website ;).

    Currently Euro 600,- is approximately the highest price which you pay for some of the newer smartphones. Anything above this, will make it just to highly priced.

    Furthermore I’ll expect that by the time the iPhone reaches Europe, all vendors will have caught up. A year to prepare is a very long time indeed.

    Like

  82. @will,

    Had a read, imho it’s just speculation, the said price would be outrageous as far as I’m concerned. Also notice that the price has been removed from the Amazon.de website ;).

    Currently Euro 600,- is approximately the highest price which you pay for some of the newer smartphones. Anything above this, will make it just to highly priced.

    Furthermore I’ll expect that by the time the iPhone reaches Europe, all vendors will have caught up. A year to prepare is a very long time indeed.

    Like

  83. All vendor’s will have caught up to OS X running dashboard widgets and a full browser by next year …. uh , yeah right.

    Like

  84. All vendor’s will have caught up to OS X running dashboard widgets and a full browser by next year …. uh , yeah right.

    Like

  85. I don’t think it will sell here in Asia as everything here seems to streets ahead of ‘the latest gadgets’in the US and Europe. The competition is too stiff not to do everything you can to satisfy as many potential users as possible. This device will be a flop. I wonder why apple didn’t build on their existing expertise and just go for a powerful pocket PC device running OSX Mobile, with a nice big touch screen,5 mega pixel camera,wireless, phone capability (if desired) and good battery life and knock the competition for six istead of this potential bookend..

    Like

  86. I don’t think it will sell here in Asia as everything here seems to streets ahead of ‘the latest gadgets’in the US and Europe. The competition is too stiff not to do everything you can to satisfy as many potential users as possible. This device will be a flop. I wonder why apple didn’t build on their existing expertise and just go for a powerful pocket PC device running OSX Mobile, with a nice big touch screen,5 mega pixel camera,wireless, phone capability (if desired) and good battery life and knock the competition for six istead of this potential bookend..

    Like

  87. Isn’t every app with a web front end something that will run on iPhone?

    How many phones out of 1 billion sold have a third-party non-oem Java application downloaded on them?

    Is “Mobile Java Application” a marketing checkbox to fill by phone producers or something truely useful?

    Like

  88. Isn’t every app with a web front end something that will run on iPhone?

    How many phones out of 1 billion sold have a third-party non-oem Java application downloaded on them?

    Is “Mobile Java Application” a marketing checkbox to fill by phone producers or something truely useful?

    Like

  89. I just have a quick announcement for this thread. Listen up, people. Could everybody posting on here *please* remember to refer to the product by its proper pre-release name ? Prior to the June launch the product is to be referred to as either 1) “the Holy Object”, 2) “iSaviour” or 3) “Jesus Phone” . I trust on your goodwill to cooperate with us here.

    Thank you, Herb Zilker, Apple PR

    p.s.: failure to comply may result in the referral of your IP address to our board certified iCamps, Apple’s user-friendly and effective re-education camps, located in Michigan and California. Thanks !

    Like

  90. I just have a quick announcement for this thread. Listen up, people. Could everybody posting on here *please* remember to refer to the product by its proper pre-release name ? Prior to the June launch the product is to be referred to as either 1) “the Holy Object”, 2) “iSaviour” or 3) “Jesus Phone” . I trust on your goodwill to cooperate with us here.

    Thank you, Herb Zilker, Apple PR

    p.s.: failure to comply may result in the referral of your IP address to our board certified iCamps, Apple’s user-friendly and effective re-education camps, located in Michigan and California. Thanks !

    Like

Comments are closed.