Yiptee freakin doo dah… Apple has announced their iPhone SDK.
The traditional closed software platform of the mobile industry has been revolutionized by Apple who, “struck a new relationship with [their] carriers where Apple is responsible for the software on the phone.” It will allow a mind blowing number of applications, games and tools, developed by third parties, for users to download and install directly on their phones.
Congratulations, Apple – you’re only about 122 days too late to be considered original! November 5th, 2007 is the fateful day that Google announced Android instead of the much awaited “gPhone”. Android – the open source mobile platform that allows 3rd parties to develop applications? Sound familiar?
Disappointment in the lack of gPhone plans were soon supplanted with the realization that Android would allow the concept of “hundreds of gPhones”. An unlimited number of phones could be loaded with Android software and all these phones could easily communicate with each other because they run on the same platform. The potential is endless and as we speak, developers are diligently working on applications that will be available on Android enabled phones before the end of the year.
While the Apple iPhone SDK is contained to one phone by one manufacturer on one wireless provider, Android is one platform with the capability to be run on unlimited handsets produced by unlimited manufacturers and unlimited carriers. In fact, that is the whole purpose for Android’s existence.
Verizon is often shunned for not signing on for the iPhone project when it was offered to them first, but less than a month after the Android announcement they stated they would open up their phones to outside applications by the end of 2008. The same 2008 which would see the first Android enabled handsets. The same year that will put this iPhone announcement in perspective as an over-hyped blip on the mobile map. Because that map will be powered by Google before year’s end.
The Open Handset Alliance is what will put Google in the mobile driving seat. Eventually, with enough momentum from Android, even the iPhone will have to succumb to the omnipresence and load up Android on iPhones everywhere.
The question is, why are analysts turning a blind eye to what this announcement really is – an effort to throw anything open source at the masses before Google’s Android takes hold sans competition?
Large technology and gadget websites such as CNet and Engadget trumpet the announcement as a huge success, hardly mentioning that Android has an undeniably larger potential while competing on the same grounds. Heck, Engadget released an article and platform comparison chart that doesn’t even MENTION android although the omission was quickly pointed out in the comments.
But wait… the similarities don’t end there…
There is also an iFund (read Android Developer’s Challenge Carbon Copy) which has 100 million dollars dedicated to support development of applications and software for the iPhone.
Oh, and like Android, you can download the SDK for free. But, to join the “Developer’s Club” and hold your iPhone with your pinky raised, you’ll need to shell out $99. Ahhh… nothing says “Open Source” like a freaking membership fee. I mean seriously, $100 million isn’t enough?
Miss Cleo’s news for tomorrow: Steve Jobs found on city corner holding styrofoam cup, begging passersby to give him money so he can buy an even better styrofoam cup.
News should inherently be “new”. Apple did nothing more than what was expected to try and compete with Android. Put down your pompoms and lets see how this plays out.