Programming + Design

iPhone OS drops to #3 behind Android and Blackberry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brett Brewer   
Monday, 10 May 2010

Last week I took the plunge and finally ordered my first smartphone. I went with the HTC Incredible, which runs the latest version of the Android OS. I was hoping the iPhone would come to Verizon in time, but I gave up waiting and now I'm even happier that I went with the Android OS -- according to a story posted on Slashdot today, the iPhone OS is #3.

Seems to me like Apple is quickly painting itself into the same corner it always does. Regardless of the whole Flash controversy, developers really don't appreciate the way they are being manipulated and manhandled by Apple. Developers are being told they can't use particular development tools such as Flash even though Adobe spent the past year creating a way to compile Flash apps to native iPhone apps, thus negating the whole need to run Flash on the iPhone, but Apple killed that, saying they won't approve any app that was not created on their platform with their tools. So, developers are also being forced to buy a Mac even to run the development tools. Then they have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get an app added to the iPhone app store, assuming it doesn't compete with one of Apple's own apps or contain some feature that Apple doesn't want users to have. I see the beginning of a massive market slide for the iPhone as more and more developers focus on the truly open Android platform.

Apple has done this kind of thing every time it gains a foothold in a new market and it has always hurt them in the long run, forcing them to come up with yet another new market for another new gadget every couple of years just to stay ahead of all the bad will they create by taking an "Apple knows best" approach with the geeks who ultimately influence decision makers. I can see corporate customers moving completely away from the iPhone in the next 12-24 months as developers jump on the Android bandwagon. Of course, Apple's never had this much cash in the bank before either, so maybe they will be able to throw enough marketing money at the problem to prop up their platform for years to come, but if it remains a "closed" platform I wouldn't be surprised if the iPhone platform ends up becoming a small and shrinking niche within 3 years. Consumers are already somewhat annoyed about Apple's strong-arming the publishing industry (Amazon in particular) to increase pricing for e-books to coincide with the release of their iPad. Apple is always making enemies out of those who should be their's nothing new for them. I suspect that the Apple koolaid won't taste so good once there's a bunch of other comparable devices available on open platforms.  

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