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Why no iPhone SDK?

Friday, June 15, 2007 by Dave Winer.

Scoble says Steve Jobs isn't an idiot, he knows that developers make a big difference in the success of a platform. He concludes that an SDK, turning the iPhone into an open platform, will come at some point after the initial release, maybe as early as January 2008. Permalink to this paragraph

But then there's this angle... Permalink to this paragraph

Steve Jobs, quoted in a Newsweek interview: "Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up." This explanation has largely been dismissed as a Jobs attempt at reality distortion that didn't work.  Permalink to this paragraph

But maybe it isn't such a far-fetched idea... Permalink to this paragraph

There's one application, for sure, that could mess up not just Cingular's West Coast network, but the whole idea of an Internet-capable PDA with wifi that wants to be a conventional cell phone. It's called Skype, and it really worries the phone companies. So much so that they might have made the closedness of the iPhone a condition of working with Apple. Permalink to this paragraph

Shortly after Apple opens the iPhone, if they ever do, expect a compatible version of Skype to follow shortly after.  Permalink to this paragraph

But the finger-in-the-dyke approach may not hold back the flood this time... Permalink to this paragraph

News.com: "Wal-Mart is the first major retailer to dedicate a section to Skype equipment." Permalink to this paragraph

Finally, you gotta wonder why Apple, the pioneer of 802.11 wireless networks, went with such old, expensive, customer-hostile and likely obsolete technology, instead of partnering with Skype, and sticking with businesses they know and have mastered. This might be the mistake of iPhone.  Permalink to this paragraph

Talking with Scoble yesterday, who says he's going to camp out to buy an iPhone on June 29, I suggested it might not be like buying a Playstation or new version of Windows. Remember, you have to buy a service plan from AT&T when you buy an iPhone, and that involves lots of time. A credit check, options to choose, service plans, etc. It might not be the party everyone thinks it will be. Permalink to this paragraph

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Last update: 6/15/2007; 3:56:24 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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