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AT&T Welcomes Programmers for All Phones Except the iPhone

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the come-out-and-play dept.

Programming 283

An anonymous reader writes "Apple's reasoning for keeping the iPhone a closed platform is that they don't want to 'potentially gum up the provider's network'. An article in the New York Times, though, points out that there are hundreds of phones out there working on open platforms that don't seem to be causing network interference. AT&T and Palm, in fact, welcome experimentation on their platforms. In AT&T's case ... on every phone but the iPhone. 'Hackers who have explored the workings of the phone say it uses the frameworks and structures that Apple uses on its other platforms to enable development; it just hasn't been documented. So if Apple is going to allow applications later, is there any reason -- other than vindictiveness or obsessive interest in control -- that it would want to cut off those developed by the pioneers who figured things out ahead of the official launch?'"

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283 comments

vindictiveness? (2, Insightful)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823149)

Control I buy into, but vindictive?

Re:vindictiveness? (2, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823205)

It's all about the money so follow it. I can't wait for the Asians to put an Apple clone onto the market. That way the iPhone will become "just another phone." Or have they patented that touch interface?

Re:vindictiveness? (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823275)

Already there.

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/cellphones/meizu-m8-pricing-revealed-most-affordable-iphone-clone-yet-241069.php [gizmodo.com]

as well as many others. I have touched one of the cooler ones that accepts 2 sim cards. I love it when some of the international sales people come back from HongKong with neat toys.

Re:vindictiveness? (1)

mc moss (1163007) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823377)

Why go to Honk Kong. Just go to the Chinatown in NYC or SF and you'll find amazing phones (I would recommend bringing along someone who speaks Mandarin).

Re:vindictiveness? (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823997)

Why go to Honk Kong. Just go to the Chinatown in NYC or SF and you'll find amazing phones (I would recommend bringing along someone who speaks Mandarin).
Don't know about NYC, but most of the Chinese spoken in SF is Cantonese.

Security Security Security (4, Interesting)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823501)

Steve Jobs can't come right out and say this, as it can be seen as tantamount to saying that users are stupid. Security. Not on the cell network, but the iPhone as a new platform. User's can't be trusted to install their own apps!

The big reason that Windows machines are riddled with Trojans, is that every user's process runs with the same permissions as the user, and that current systems do not allow finer-grained control over these permissions. (I removed 18 Trojans from my girlfriend's mom's computer the other day!) Stuff like this is one of the big reasons why the user experience on Windows can SUCK. (And yes, it's terrible that all iPhones have the same root password and that's already been cracked.)

The OLPC folks are addressing this by running apps in a sandbox. There are many others thinking along these lines -- that the security model we've been using is not the right one. The current Access Control List security model was designed to keep individual users on a mainframe from interfering with each other while under the supervision of a benevolent and all-powerful root Super-User. Now, in the 21st century, essentially everyone, their mom, their grandparents, and anyone else who runs Windows as Administrator and installs programs is root.

Think about it. There's something seriously wrong here, folks.

Now that we are entering the era of dual and quad core computers becoming mainstream, there is no reason why we can't have more secure models like capabilities. (Especially on quad core machines, where a micro-kernel can lock itself to one processor to prevent context-switch overhead without undue loss of performance.) In order to ensure security on the iPhone, and thus retain total control of the user experience despite malicious hackers, something like sandboxes with a capability model is needed. (Capabilities without context switch overhead could also be enabled by using a VM platform like Java.)

See Rik Farrow's Google Tech Talk [google.com] on this subject. It's over an hour, so download it and watch it while working out. It's a *fact* that we've been barking up the wrong tree security-wise.

Re:Security Security Security (or not?) (2)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823605)

Perhaps it's also worth mentioning that the initial programs written for the iPhone exploited security holes in the software? It's possible that the death of the Installer.app applications was just a side effect of a security tightening.

Then again, that doesn't explain the ringtones, does it?

License agreement (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824079)

More likely, the agreement with Apple, for AT&T to promote & sell the iphone probably says that they may promote & sell, but they CANNOT alter or modify anything on the phone, unless approved by Apple.

Is there? Yes.... (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823181)

is there any reason -- other than vindictiveness or obsessive interest in control -- that it would want to cut off those developed by the pioneers who figured things out ahead of the official launch?


My guess is that the short answer is "Yes", and the long answer is "Yes, AT&T cut them a big fat check to do exactly that."

Re:Is there? Yes.... (5, Interesting)

howiew (1049300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823265)

The simple reason that the iphone software is being significantly modified with every update now. Its sill in development at apple and is a moving target for potential developers. Its very possible that they will allow developers at some point but are aware that any applications written now will likely be broken after the next update.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (2, Interesting)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823489)

Assuming Apple aren't liars and the iPhone really runs (a slimmed down version of) OS X that would, in turns, mean they're not allowing developers to develop software for their PCs (by PC I mean "personal computer", not "x86 machine running MS Windows" as mac loonies would use it) as well?

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823611)

The simple reason that the iphone software is being significantly modified with every update now.
Why didn't Apple just say that? Why lie? The rationale they've offered so far suggests that Apple does not plan to open the iPhone at any point in time as doing otherwise would damage their credibility.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1)

howiew (1049300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823697)

If i were apple i would do the same thing. keep my options open. they have said: no kit...for now. I know people are dying to develop for it, but apple NEVER said that the iphone would be for developers or 3rd party apps. i would love it as much as anyone if they opened it up, but its their device. you modify it at your own risk. simple as that.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824059)

you modify it at your own risk. simple as that.
I don't think anyone disagrees.

If i were apple i would do the same thing. keep my options open.
Hmm... did you read my post? By saying, "we can't open it because it would destroy AT&T's network," the one thing Apple did not do is keep their options open. If they were to release the SDK now, people would ask about that supposed issue with AT&T's network.

apple NEVER said that the iphone would be for developers or 3rd party apps
Right. Newsflash: Apple said that the public will never be able to develop for the iPhone, because it would break AT&T's network. Now, they can't open it up without being caught in a lie. To reiterate, Apple said that the public will never be able to develop for the iPhone, because it would break AT&T's network. Now, they can't open it up without being caught in a lie. Please, for God's sake please read before replying.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (3, Insightful)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824051)

Why didn't Apple just say that? Why lie? The rationale they've offered so far suggests that Apple does not plan to open the iPhone at any point in time as doing otherwise would damage their credibility.
Sorry, but the price cut thing already damaged their credibility.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1, Insightful)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824257)

Sorry, but the price cut thing already damaged their credibility.
Right, this is because Apple said that they weren't going to drop the price, right? No? Ahhh, but Apple never said that. So, by doing something expected, albeit sooner than expected, how did they damage their credibility? Oh, they didn't? Thank you.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824349)

I actually didn't expect quite so cynical a rip-off of early adopters. Are you saying you did?

Re:Is there? Yes.... (3, Insightful)

buysse (5473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824453)

For $DEITY's sake, the freaking RAZR sold for around $500 (with contract) at launch. Three months later, it was $100. Now, it's bloody free. Should I sue because I paid money for the RAZR when I could have gotten for free later? How about the Blackberry? That used to be $500.

Apple didn't think there was going to be a fucking backlash because this is normal fucking pricing for phones. The price drops off quickly. It's not a scam, it's standard business practice at AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc. Everybody's just pissed because Apple did it this time, and not Motorola or Nokia.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824127)

Their iPhone HUIG does have a big fat "currently" in front of their "you can only develop web pages." (Too lazy to look up the exact wording, sorry. I think it's in the introduction.)

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823789)

Why would updating the software break everything? I mean, I'm pretty sure they know what an API is, and they managed to do a decent job with Carbon and whatnot. I can see why they wouldn't want to be making a bunch of promises to external developers, but they are making promises of some kind to in house developers anyway. I mean, backwards compatibility has been a software goal for a couple of decades, at the very least.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (4, Insightful)

pohl (872) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824365)

The design of good APIs is several orders of magnitude harder than getting a program to stand up & run in time for release. It tends to take several iterations to get things right. It's likely that they have given rough-cut APIs to internal teams (and perhaps some select partners) for developing apps. (perhaps the iTunes WiFi store is one example). Feedback from such developer projects may result in changes to, and perhaps even radical restructuring of, the underlying frameworks.

And, to answer your question, that is why an update could break something. If I have a program that calls a library, and the interface to that library changes, my program falls down, goes boom.

I bet they'll release a kit when they're sure they've frozen the API.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20824869)

Your apologist point of view in naive. The real reason is the iPhone, like the rest of Apple's offerings are sealed systems, sometimes hardware, sometimes software, sometimes both. It's locked down so Apple can squeeze every last dime out of its users. You want new software for it? Buy it direct only from Apple. Want a new battery? Send it to Apple for $$$. If you are okay with that, buy an iPhone or iWhatever. My money's not going to the cult of Jobs.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1)

drmerope (771119) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823673)

I think it's funny that you are so certain "AT&T" is to blame for this situation. Granted _thirty_ to _forty_ years ago, AT&T was embroiled in a bit of scandal over their attempt to maintain a closed network. BUT you might recall that they eventually gave-up (or lost) that fight. Meanwhile, Apple has a rather consistent history of opposing user access to their innards of their products.

It really shame b.c. apple is squandering good will over this. Unfortunately, the iPhone is complex enough that you have to start worrying about it being trojaned. I'd guess that there was some sort of question posed to engineering to protect the user from this. The answer that came back was to keep everything in a sandbox within the web browser.

Given apple's politics, this sort of anti-libertarian thinking is hardly surprising.

Two Words (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823967)

"Net Neutrality"

Not that I EVER cut Apple any slack (they are just as eee-vil as Sony, they just do it with more style), but AT&T are still into the "closed network" thing.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20824513)

b.c.
Why the fuck did you feel the need to abbreviate the word "because"?

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824655)

This guy hit the nail on the head: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=315191&cid=20824251 [slashdot.org]

Phones with 802.11 networking are a novelty right now. It's hardly a secret that Apple could lose their share of the kickbacks from iPhone service contracts if they don't keep the phone closed like AT&T wants, and the ability to dodge per-minute charges any time you're in a fairly urban area is something AT&T would be scared to death of.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824251)

The main issue I can see for blocking development on the iPhone and allowing development on other phones is the fact that the iPhone has WiFi built in, So that would allow people to make Vonage SoftPhones and Skype for the iPhone. Thus allowing people to use the iPhone without having to use the Network provider. Now Apple is in the situation if they don't keep the phone locked down that far they could loose AT&T and no other provider will go with them because people will just get the phones and use it over the "Evil" VoIP. But right now Cell phones have the best coverage but Wireless IP is getting very popular and cheap but for the iPhone to succeed they need support of big name cell carriers so After AT&T contract is over Sprint, Verizon, t-Moble can get iPhones too. But if it is very easy or even relatively esasy to put VoIP programs 3rd party in it. Then they don't want to sell it because it will compete and eventually kill themselves. The iPhone is a very powerful phone and if open to developers it can do a lot of things very easily so that normal people would use it. Now that there is a customer backlash... And I don't blame them for backlash that is why I don't have an iPhone, Apple is pointing at AT&T and saying they don't want us to do this. And AT&T is pointing to apple saying We love Developers but apple is keeping their phone closed. While both probably agreed that keeping it closed is best for both sides... Except for the customers.

Re:Is there? Yes.... (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824697)

So that would allow people to make Vonage SoftPhones and Skype for the iPhone. Thus allowing people to use the iPhone without having to use the Network provider.


So? My HTC Apache has wifi and there is a skype app for it... that didn't prevent cell providers from selling it with the ability to run 3rd party software out of the box.

I've said that all along (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823185)

I've said from the beginning that the reason Apple's iPhone was closed to outside development was due to Apple, and not to AT&T. Apple is obsessive about controlling the end-user experience, so they don't want any third-party development on the iPhone. And what happened? I got accused of starting flamewars by rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth Mac fanbois.

There's nothing wrong with Apple intent on the iPhone. It's their product and they can market and sell it how they see fit. If you don't like it, don't buy an iPhone.

Re:I've said that all along (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823431)

I completely agree. Since the beginning of their company Apple has vociferiously protected their Intellectual Property - to the point where they refused to license their hardware designs out when IBM did for the PC AT. This hurt them alot during the 80s and 90s, but now their innovation has really paid off. They still are the company they always were - I wouldn't hold my breath and wait for them to open the iPhone.

The problem of course is that the market has really changed since the days of the Mac SE. More and more people are competent programmers and in the day and age of user generated content, to lock people out of something like this is probably going to be a mistake in the long run. But, Apple has obviously proved its critics wrong before, so I'm sure this will remain a smashing retail success for them even though their supporters will bitch and moan that it's not an open platform, and probably never will be.

Re:I've said that all along (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20823633)

Just so you know, IBM did not license out the PC AT. IBM used off the shelf products for almost every part of the PC. Compaq reverse-engineered the only piece that was not off the shelf. IBM ended up not suing because they were a 'Big Iron' company at the time and saw the PC as a way for users to connect to the mainframe. In otherwords, the PC was a not-so-dumb terminal.

Re:I've said that all along (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823749)

You're right, I misspoke, and wikipedia [wikipedia.org] saves the day. People reverse-engineered the AT, but IBM did not pursue it. If it was Apple, though, I think we'd both agree that they would have sued the pants off them to protect their design.

Re:I've said that all along (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824311)

>IBM ended up not suing because they were a 'Big Iron' company at the time and saw the PC as a way for users to connect to the mainframe.

True, but not complete. IBM also tried to get back into the closed architecture biz with their PS/2 and Micro Channel Architecture bus. There was a lot to like about them, but IBM had a pretty nasty licensing deal that kept them from being adopted by anybody. The availability of third-party sound, video, and other cards for the ISA bus pretty much did in MCA. I had a PS/2 Model 80 that was a sweet machine, but it would have cost a testicle to add anything to it. My next box was a clone.

Re:I've said that all along (1)

gregory311 (1020261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823929)

I agree with this standpoint. Why does it seem to be so difficult for some people to admit/understand that if dozens of companies are adding code to a product .... invariably... the product will have more complexity and therefore increased variability of operation. In other words, it crashes more.

There is no evil here. Apple wants to absolutely minimize the unexpected behaviour of their product.

End of story.

Re:I've said that all along (3, Insightful)

31415926535897 (702314) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824797)

I completely agree with you, and what proves your point is how locked down the iPod Touch is. If Apple and AT&T were truly concerned with gumming up the cell network, then Apple would have allowed development on the iPod Touch. But they've actually locked it down more. You cannot enter calendar appointments (you can only see them after a sync with iTunes), and Apple has removed various features like Google Maps, which still would have been incredibly useful through Wifi.

For the record, I bought an iPod Touch. I feel that it was worth the purchase despite being so locked down because it is, hands down, the best iPod there is (except for the lack of hard drive space, but that doesn't concern me yet). I really wanted an iPhone, but my employer provides me with a Blackberry, so I couldn't justify another cell phone plan.

Now that I have the iPod Touch, I hope that some day Apple opens it up for development. After surfing the web on this thing, I think it is the best pocket computer I've ever seen. I've used some small Fujitsu Lifebooks and other tablet computers, but this blows all of those away. The potential of this device is amazing, and it confuses me that Apple wouldn't want to give people every excuse to buy one. I'm not complaining about mine, it does everything I wanted it to perfectly and I'm extremely happy with it. But I also think that Apple is passing up on an amazing revenue stream because they're so obsessed with control.

It isn't their product (2, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824957)

Once they sell it to someone, it becomes that person's product to do with as they like.

Wait just a minute... (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823201)

vindictiveness or obsessive interest in control
I've heard Steve Jobs called a lot of things but...
errr....
never mind.

Why are the Apple lovers surprised? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20823233)

I remember back when Apple was going after people selling mac roms for Amiga emulators.

Apple has always been proprietary and exercised iron-fisted control over what THEY want done with the hardware they sell for a profit. Why are the iPhone actions such a surprise?

Corporate Speak Keeps Coming (3, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823257)

If they don't want people messing with their precious phone, then don't buy one. I know that won't play well in the Reality Distortion Field, but their stubborness should not be rewarded.

Now, if it were actually the case that the service providers in the States actually wanted developers to do nifty stuff, then I think the pace of innovation on mobile phones would be quite different. Most of the wireless network providers don't want you to do neat things because that's money out of their pocket.

If there's a benevolent provider, please speak up.

Re:Corporate Speak Keeps Coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20823595)

Most of the wireless network providers don't want you to do neat things because that's money out of their pocket.

I do not agree with this. There are examples of the carrier blocking features because the can get a revenue stream for the functionality but there are even more examples of allowing third party network and non network applications. I have a Treo 650, a Sanyo MM8300, and a Verizon Blackberry (8703e). All of them allow third party applications. All of them have Google Maps installed, NFL tools, Opera, games, Gmail, and various messaging tools. My Treo is loaded with at least 30 different third party things, some very useful, some useless, some stable, some not as stable.

The problem with the iPhone is people are aware of what it is capable of (third party and carrier neutral SIM) but they are being actively blocked from doing these things by Apple. That is frustrating people and many feel it is an artificial limit that the iPhone should not have. Yes, don't buy one if you don't like it. It is up to you to determine if it is a Apple or an AT&T restriction. I made up my mind already though.

my personal guess (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823283)

AT&T is innocent, Apple wants to opt for the console model on the iphone, a closed platform , for which they are going to play middle man who cashes in via the itunes shop.

Re:my personal guess (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823553)

AT&T is innocent, Apple wants to opt for the console model on the iphone, a closed platform , for which they are going to play middle man who cashes in via the itunes shop.

Well there is certainly that, or that at this point in time the APIs are undocumented. As any developer can vouch, depending on undocumented APIs will break your program come some future system update.

No one really knows whether Apple, in the form of Steve Jobs, is intending to open up the iPhone at some future point, but it is fair to say that any tinkering with the iPhone in ways that aren't curretnly condoned will result in off the radar development, such that when Apple tests their system updates they won't take into account changes made by others. At the same time it should be noted, from using an iPhone myself, that much of the real value seems to be coming from third-party software.

I am living in Canada, where Apple has not yet released the iPhone and is still charging pre-dollar parity prices, so I am not going to be buying one right yet. Anyhow, I am waiting to see what the second generation will have to offer, other than 3G.

Serial Bluetooth support is certainly one feature I would look forward to.

Re:my personal guess (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823615)

If that were the case, then why wouldn't they offer an SDK for the iPhone and set up an "iPhone App" section on iTMS?

The iPhone is a psychology experiment (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20823301)

Give us insane amounts of money.
No, you can't THAT with an iPhone.
We are going to bill you so hard you'll wish you were never born.
No, you can't do THAT with an iPhone either
We'll drop the price right away just to rub in what a stupid amount of money first adopters forked over
No, no NO! stop trying to use your iPhone in any way we haven't sanctioned

Doctor:

Notice how the subject keeps coming back for more and thanking us for it? The next update will cause the phone to shock the user at random times. We will see how THAT gets spun into an innovative feature that the users thank us for.

[insert evil laugh here]

The Xbox is a psychology experiment (-1, Flamebait)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823823)

Give us insane amounts of money.
No, you can't THAT with an Xbox.
We are going to bill you so hard you'll wish you were never born.
No, you can't do THAT with an Xbox either
We'll drop the price right away just to rub in what a stupid amount of money first adopters forked over
No, no NO! stop trying to use your Xbox in any way we haven't sanctioned

Doctor:

Notice how the subject keeps coming back for more and thanking us for it? The next update will cause the console to shock the user at random times. We will see how THAT gets spun into an innovative feature that the users thank us for.

[insert evil laugh here]

[Why are people incapable of making the easiest of comparisons? Are they stupid, or just dumb? Apple is going for the console model, you frickin retards. If you don't like it, by a WinCe shitbrick.]

Re:The Xbox is a psychology experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20824409)


[Why are people incapable of making the easiest of comparisons? Are they stupid, or just dumb? Apple is going for the console model, you frickin retards. If you don't like it, by a WinCe shitbrick.]


Not to worry. I laugh just as hard at the sheeple who worship the xBox as the sheeple who worship the iPhone. (Ooo ooo Innovate me! Innovate me harder!)

avoiding responsibility for the API? (5, Insightful)

yoris (776276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823349)

The most obvious reason for me would seem to be simply avoid responsibility for the API until it is fully matured? Surely, if they were to release their API for the entire multi-touch aspect of the iPhone and iPod Touch at this point, they would be in a position where they have a lot of responsibilities:

* extensively documenting the API for a broad base instead of only for internal usage
* testing for possible bugs for usecases which are not relevant in Apple's internal usage
* making it feature complete
* making it secure
* when upgrading the API, supporting older applications built on that API (in other words, keeping full backwards compatibility)

All in all, this can be summed up as the basic fact that officially releasing the "mini OS X" that Apple uses on its portable devices as a development platform requires a whole different approach then simply using it themselves and not publishing it. All these responsibilities are easily avoided by simply not publishing the API and is a no-brainer if the company is on a tight deadline. Given the iPhone's short development lead time, i can fully understand that there was no time to get all of the above in order, so avoiding responsibility of the API for the time being seems like a logical thing to me.

That said, the above reason would steer them towards a tolerance stance regarding 'hackers', while Apple seems to be leaning more towards an 'active prosecution' stance, which i considere pretty much unjustified, together with the rest of the world.

All good points (1)

EriDay (679359) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823453)

You left one out: The ability to sell an iPhone 2 to the early adopters. How many of the folks who waited in line for hours/days to get an iPhone will hesitate to to drop another $500 once the open iPhone 2 comes out? There is no way Apple can keep this closed forever. When there are dozens of open smart phones to choose from Apple will have no choice but to compete. History will be the judge if early being to market was worth the pissed off customers who have a $500 POS in a year.

Re:avoiding responsibility for the API? (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823483)

It's not as if Leopard isn't breaking existing software. Pretty much every major OSX updates breaks stuff. How hard is it for them to go "well, we're not going to document nor support the API, but if you want to play with it, knock yourself out"? I seriously doubt Apple is blocking iPhone development merely because they don't want to do support.

Why? (1)

steelcobra (1042808) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823401)

"obsessive control" is Apple standard operating procedure for all of their machines, not just the iPhone. Want to use something other than iTunes for the iPod (I don't, but beside the point), you have to hack it. Run Mac OS on non-Mac hardware? Never happen. Include a real keyboard and a mouse with right click in the box? Same answer.

(I've gotten a chance to play with the new iMac keyboard, it sucks ass.)

Right click is in the box... (1)

losman (840619) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823965)

I never realized this but the Mighty Mouse that ships with the desktops does have a left and right click point. In the Mouse preference pane there is a choice to assign what the right side does and you can set it to right-click. :)

Re:Why? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824557)

Actually, all you need to do with the iPod (I think) is to figure out the database format (yes I know it's been "encrypted" recently) but other than that it's possible.

Run Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware? Wake up, it's just that Apple is one of the few SYSTEMS vendor left, of course their software will be tied to their hardware.

Real keyboard and mouse with right click? The new Mighty Mouse has four "buttons" plus a scrollball (scroll in four directions, not only two). Mac OS X has had support for multi-buttons mouses for quite a number of years (probably even 10.0, not sure). I've been using my Logitech M-BA47 with my Mac mini for over two years, no problems whatsoever (except WoW which kept remapping my buttons for some reason).

As for the new keyboard, yes it's weird at first, but believe me once you're used to it, it's faster than an old-style keyboard. Heck, when I try to use a non-flat keyboard (doesn't matter if it's my previous Apple keyboard, my old IBM keyboard or even my Tandy 1000 keyboard) they all feel "squishy". A weird description, I know, but it's hard to describe.

Who are they kidding? (4, Insightful)

Cleon (471197) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823441)

"Apple's reasoning for keeping the iPhone a closed platform is that they don't want to 'potentially gum up the provider's network'."

Yes, and I'm sure that's why they're keeping the iPod a closed platform, too.

Re:Who are they kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20823827)

Don't you see... someone could write a malicious program for the iPod Touch, which, via WiFi, can attach the iPhone, which in turn can be used to attack the AT&T network. Won't somebody please think of AT&T?

ugh, i love and hate Apple and Steve Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20823445)

So lets give Apple the benefit, say they want to control the development, pretty much like with all iPod devices they want their kick back from other companies providing services/applications on their iPhone. Having said that they want to control when that happens, when they have the money lines up and running, I mean Apple is a business after all, they loves their money and keeps what they extort(find).

So when Apple will be ready is the time the developers will look at them and go "EH" tried that then you f-ed it all up I had to give refunds to people, now no one will trust me or buy for the iPhone cuz you might wave your magic firmware (too funny) and poof it's all starting over again.

No one in their right mind could say that AT&T wanted to keep the iPhone in check, cuz wouldn't they have written that in their contract with their end users and spelled it out.

I have an iPhone and I love it, don't care about the locking/unlocking stuff since I had AT&T to begin with and I actually like their service. Not hurt by EDGE network speeds cuz the phone lasts longer then it would otherwise. But comeone, this is a control freak trying to freakishly control something through software, just like the DRM, you'll see the it's ok flag when Jobs releases a blog entry about how he "wishes" AT&T would allow them to relenquish control for the iPhone. Then 10 days later it'll unlock and poof once again Steve Jobs will pull the wool over the eyes of people, thinking he's a pioneer when in reality he's come to grips with the fact that he can't control people this way.

I had a lot of the open source stuff on my iPhone. It made the experience much better. If Apple wants to be a little whiner they should provide alternatives or sub-contract to these developers to create standardized apps that Apple then can get a piece of.

I want an pretty designed, great working iPhone! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20823447)

NOT a useless piece of garbage like the N-Gage was with all it's games and programs...

SO if Apple decides to keep your junk software off their hardware I love the iPhone even more!

Re:I want an pretty designed, great working iPhone (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824305)

Yes, it's really a pity how if Apple allowed 3rd party software, everyone would have to put it on their phone.

Oh, you wouldn't? Then what's your point again?

I wouldn't mind even a highly sandboxed environment, s long as there was some kind of local storage and "offline" functionality.

Re:I want an pretty designed, great working iPhone (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824779)

Here's a hint: the N-Gage sucked without the games or programs added. A bad UI will still be a bad UI no matter what you add on top of it.

A handheld device should be, first and foremost, a good device without anything added. Then, when people add things, it will, by definition, remain a good device. You don't want ten tons of features that only three people use initially, of course; every feature makes the phone harder to use, even if only slightly so. That said, if a person wants that feature and chooses to add it, that's the customer's choice to do so; the customer is saying that for him or her, having that feature is more important than the simplicity they lose as a result of having it. That should be the customer's choice, not the manufacturer's, not the telco's.

I don't buy for a minute that this is anything other than AT&T seeing if they can get away with it and not wanting a device on their network where you don't have to pay AT&T for the right to run games and other software on your own phone. Ditto for the ringtones situation. AT&T wants their cut. I have no reason to believe that Steve was outright lying to everyone when he said that Apple had to protect AT&T's fragile network, either. The difficulties adding software to the iPod touch can be easily explained by Apple simply wanting to maintain only one embedded port of the OS. Until I have reason to believe otherwise, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt because Apple doesn't have a history of being dirty, lying scumbags with delusions of grandeur and a desire to control everything, while AT&T does. I hope my loyalty to Apple is not misplaced....

People, get a grip. (2, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823463)

So if Apple is going to allow applications later, is there any reason -- other than vindictiveness or obsessive interest in control -- that it would want to cut off those developed by the pioneers who figured things out ahead of the official launch?'"
The summary is a troll. It has nothing to do with "vindictiveness or obsessive interest in control". It has to do with the fact that Apple, a publicly traded company, feels that they can make more money licensing third party apps than allowing them by default. Really, people, it's that simple.

And, why would anyone be surprised by this? It's very much in keeping with the way Apple has done business for years and years.

Re:People, get a grip. (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824003)

Your assessment of the summary is a bit incomplete.

Apple's approach to platform management has, as you rightly point out, always been like this since the Macintosh era. And, as you rightly point out, it's always been about money: controlling the tollbooth into happy happy Macland.

But dismissing "obsessive interest in control" misses an important point. "Obsessive interest in control" is the actual mechanism by which Apple guards the gates so those damn dirty hippy developers don't sneak in and litter the pristine paths and gardens with their own unsanctioned apps. Slackers lacking the necessary obsessive interest in control can't reliably watch the walls, making sure filthy spying bloggers can't sneak out with Apple's precious marketing secrets. If you don't care enough to obsess about controlling the iPhone environment, how are you going to keep renegade users from bolting from your chosen and sanctified service provider (damaging your ability to deliver your promised customer pool)?

But you were right about the "vindictiveness" in the summary being out of line and probably trollish.

Great, just pull the rug out... (1)

deesine (722173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824197)

from under all these youngsters who, by default, frame every relationship as a parent-child one. No, son, Apple is not your daddy and is not abusing you. There, just saved you all a ton in therapy bills.

Apple isn't selling a cell phone (3, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823475)

They are selling an iphone, a way of thinking, an idea. The problem is, the cellphone market really doesn't give a shit. Apple hasn't learned that. The question becomes, who budges first? Apple or the cell phone market?

Re:Apple isn't selling a cell phone (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823847)

Given their experiences with the Lisa, the Granny Smith, the Newton and the Pippin, I imagine it might be less of a budge than a shriek and drop.

Given their experiences with the iPod, on the other hand, I imagine that we might see a slow trickle of updated hardware and Official Software over the course of the product line's lifespan. Not necessarily the product's lifespan, but the line itself. It's been observed that Apple seems to consider the iPod to be disposable, and given that at least the original run of iPhones have a similar degree of non-user-serviceability (soldered-in batteries? Beg pardon, but what?), there very well could be a similar intention at work on some level.

Otherwise, as has been noted, there's iTunes. Licensing is probably going to be very lucrative, assuming that Apple doesn't try to corner the market there, and turning the purchase of games, ringtones, and applications into something as immediately painless and impulse-friendly as buying a music track is money in the bank.

Apple is like the bad old IBM (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823477)

Apple is like the bad old IBM of yesteryear.

Remember the bad old IBM that was incompatible with everyone else (remember EBCDIC), which you had to go through a select priesthood in order to do your job, and you had to wait three months for a trivial change to your report?

Apple is just like that: it's a platform so complicated that you cannot develop yourself software easily, you have to put yourself at the mercy of the high priests for software that does what you want, and worse than the original bad old IBM, it brainwashes it's followers into believing that all is well...

More conjecture from the NYT (2, Interesting)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823495)

From the article:

What's especially odd here is that Apple has indicated that it will eventually allow third-party developers. This is what Steve Jobs told Walt Mossberg at the D conference:

This is a very important trade-off between security and openness. We want both. We've got good ideas, and sometime later this year, we can open it up to third-party apps, and keep security.

And hackers who have explored the workings of the phone say it uses the frameworks and structures that Apple uses on its other platforms to enable development; it just hasn't been documented. So if Apple is going to allow applications later, is there any reason -- other than vindictiveness or obsessive interest in control -- that it would want to cut off those developed by the pioneers who figured things out ahead of the official launch?

What is especially odd is a NYT reporter creating a conspiracy story... wait I'm sorry that is normal operations at the times lately.

But seriously, maybe the real reason that Apple is not opening the iPhone right away is something more mundane. I base this on some of the minor clues given in the above quote.

1. The firmware API is not yet set in stone. Apple may be planning some "tweaks" to smooth over any rough edges in the firmware after releasing the phone into the wild and before publishing the currently undocumented API.

2. They haven't formulated a plan to keep the phone secure, and allow third-party programs (Sandbox anyone?).

3. The one thing that this article failed to mention that the other AT&T phones are handsets with limited OS installed and low data rate capabilities, and this is a smartphone with a reduced feature version of OS X installed and alledged high data rate capabilities. The point being that the iPhone is a little more complicated than a free Nokia or Motorolla phone.

Just wanted to point out some obvious scenarios, before the mac, windows, and linux fan-bois start the flamefest.

Re:More conjecture from the NYT (1)

SoulRider (148285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823693)

I would have to agree that #1 seems the most likely reason. They dont want to get into the same trap MS did where people develop around the bugs forcing them to support a broken api because a bunch of hi-profile applications exploit a bug in the firmware.

Re:More conjecture from the NYT (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824391)

other AT&T phones are handsets with limited OS installed and low data rate capabilities

That excuse doesn't fly. The iPhone uses AT&T's EDGE network which is slower than 3G or EVDO (although faster than GPRS). Other Smartphone OSes like Palm, Windows Mobile and Symbian are just as full-featured and open to developers. I have a Moto Q that cost 100 bucks. The screen is small and battery life sucks, but it has a full QWERTY keyboard, and I can install any Windows Mobile Smartphone software I damn please.

Re:More conjecture from the NYT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20824567)

AT&T != Sprint | Verizon

Other smartphone systems have matured APIs.

See his first two points.

Re:More conjecture from the NYT (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824667)

Where in the world did you get Sprint or Verizon from?

Or maybe original poster should have been more clear that in addition to Verizon/Sprint EVDO, AT&T also has a 3G network (UMTS) which the iPhone is incapable of using?

Re:More conjecture from the NYT (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824613)

"3. The one thing that this article failed to mention that the other AT&T phones are handsets with limited OS installed and low data rate capabilities, and this is a smartphone with a reduced feature version of OS X installed and alledged high data rate capabilities. The point being that the iPhone is a little more complicated than a free Nokia or Motorolla phone."

The iPhone is a crippled dumphone compared to other phones sold by AT&T such as:
AT&T 8525 (aka HTC TyTn/Hermes - now obsolete, will be replaced by the HTC TyTn II/Kaiser aka AT&T 8925 aka AT&T Tilt within a few weeks) - Full support for third-party apps, UMTS capability (iPhone only does EDGE), slide-out keyboard (so much nicer than a touchscreen), and about the same price as an iPhone with contract.
Samsung Blackjack - Also does UMTS, somewhat crippled compared to the 8525 (Windows Mobile Smartphone Edition, i.e. no touchscreen), but far cheaper. (See the other poster talking about their Blackjack.)
AT&T/Cingular 3125 - One of HTC's lower-end smartphones. Still, it's Windows Mobile based which means it fully welcomes third-party apps.
Palm Treo 750 - Somewhere in between the Blackjack and 8525. Touchscreen, but slower CPU than the 8525 and no WiFi.

AT&T also has the Treo 680, which doesn't do 3G and is using the aging PalmOS, but given a choice between an open-to-developers PalmOS and the iPhone, I'll take PalmOS. I'd rather stay with my old Treo 650 than use an overpriced cripple like the iPhone.

The iPhone has the distinction of being the first phone to be explicitly named as "not approved for business use" by my company. Admittedly, anything not explicitly approved is verboten for accessing email, but the iPhone has the distinction of being the only one explicitly called out as being forbidden.

2010 called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20823599)

... and left a message: "All these phones are yours except the iPhone."

(my Apologies to Arthur C. Clarke)

Sick of the iHype already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20823645)

Does Slashdot have an open API? If so, I'd like to write an applet that silently filters any article containing text that matches "\<i[A-Z][a-z]+\>".

Obligatory Dilbert (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823669)

Applicant: I'd like to program for your phones.
Hiring Manager: Okay, what can you program on?
Applicant: The iPhone.
Hiring Manager: And what else?
Applicant: Nothing, just that.
Hiring Manager: Well, we're only hiring for non-iPhone programmers.
Applicant: Yes, but I currently have a job.
Hiring Manager: Uh huh...
Applicant: And I've got a offer waiting for me at Verizon...
Hiring Manager:WAIT! WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHEN CAN YOU START?

Idea for a Web Site, open-iPhone or wiki-iPhone (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823685)

"Hackers who have explored the workings of the phone say it uses the frameworks and structures that Apple uses on its other platforms to enable development; it just hasn't been documented." Maybe these "Hackers" can tell us more of the inner workings of the iPhone, so as to help us understand more. As for gumming up the AT&T works, maybe Apple's PR department should start random drug testing?

"There is one born every minute." - P.T.Barnum

Get over it (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823719)

Are people just heart broken that Apple locked down the phone so much or what? If you want to support open platforms don't give Apple your money. I don't think it was a secret before the iPhone began sales that it was going to be a closed platform. Just like anything, support what meets your needs/wants.

The Real Reason - by Omission (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823883)

My current working theory is that there is a simple reason, a reason of omission.

Either they plan a new real iNewton in the future with total OSX-oid support, and don't want to undercut that thunder, or they plan a de facto newton-like level of customization on the iPhone/iPod Touch line of products, but are not yet ready to deal with the developer support.

Re:The Real Reason - by Omission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20824255)

Those speculation does not matter to the people that want to modify the iPhone. The iPhone is capable of a lot advanced functionality right now. Apple potentially releasing a "smarter phone" at a later date does not change that.

What I think might be happening. It will cut into the iPod sales. The iPhone price could be lowered even more considering Apple gets a per month or a head hunter fee paid by AT&T for each subscriber, similar to the rest of the cell phone industry with its subsidizing. This would help the iPhone sales over other similar smart phone or multimedia phones but, at the expense of the iPod because now you could have an iPhone replacing an iPod. If that iPhone, even without cell network capability or the phone service, would still be infinetly more robust and useful then a plain old iPod if you could add third party stuff to it. Even after two years if you did get a phone contract, you could still use the iPhone as a decent media player and a small "computer" without Apple getting the monthly kick back from AT&T. This would throw Apples marketing into a very interesting position. Another off the cuff thought but I'd venture a guess that if Apple does eventually support third party applications, it will ensure these applications only work while the phone portion remains activated. They do not want a "better" iPod roaming the streets for the cost of a regular iPod without some form of monthly money coming in for it.

Quite the dilemma... Lower cost to compete with other smart phones via subsidies but keep cost high enough to not cut into iPod sales if and when those subsides stop coming for the device.

I'll piss a lot of people off here and earn a troll mod for this but this theory goes right along with with the non user replaceable battery and the AT&T sim lock as well. I know the battery can be replaced but even $30 might not be worth it to some people if they are still forced to use AT&T and have little to know third party apps any more.

Why doesn't Apple allow 3rd party dev? Summary. (2, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20823949)

The reasons were discussed before the iBricking event, but in summary:

1. Stability. Whenever third party apps are on your device, instability develops. Of course, sometimes the OS is unstable with no third-party apps running at all. Before the 1.1.1 firmware, Safari used to crash all the time. There haven't been a lot of reports about third party iApps being any worse behaved than the built-ins.

2. Support. Support issues are a perennial nightmare for any platform. It was speculated that lots of Apple and AT&T's support time was for applications that weren't native. Anyone have any numbers for this?

3. Development. It could be that the APIs are still in motion. The iBricking may be due to some bad updating; Mac OS X does have problem occasionally.

4. Developer support. Let's face it, lots of apps on other mobile platforms are ugly as all get-out. Apple's only now released human interface guidelines for the iPhone. If it's been this long for the HIG, the real developer docs'll take even more time.

So...there are lots of possible reasons for Apple's stance...before getting to the negatively-tinged personification excuses (control, vindictiveness, etc).

The Question of VoiP (3, Interesting)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824061)

I have read in several places on the web, including in the comments here at /., that the reason the iPhone is closed is to prevent the development and widespread use of a VoiP app.

In light of this article, here is my questions: do VoiP apps exist for these other phones? If so, are such apps widely used? If not, why not?

Has a VoiP app been written for hacked iphones? If not, why not?

I have no experience with either the iphone or unlocked gsm phones that allow third-party development because I'm on Verizon. (They are the only network provider with decent coverage over the vast swathes of non-urban areas that make up the majority of where I need a mobile phone in the US.)

Re:The Question of VoiP (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824317)

In answer to your question: yes, not "widely" but they are used, the quality and consistency isn't good enough and the experience isn't in general seamless yet with a single phone number and auto-switching between VoIP mode and cell mode, yes one has - by TruPhone, who haven't released it yet since they are still working on a GUI for it

WTF? (0, Troll)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824065)

I really don't get it.

I have an iPhone. I love it. and you know what? It does exactly what they said it would do when I bought it . Imagine that?

It's like there's a bunch of little kids that figured out that their new toy could do something it wasn't supposed to be able to do, then got upset when Mommy took it away / made it so they couldn't use it that way.

It would be one thing if Apple hadn't said from the start that there wouldn't be 3rd party apps or an SDK. They also said 1.1.1 would do exactly what it does.

And also ... you don't have to install 1.1.1. If you don't want Apple support (Which is what the upgrade is - support), you don't have to use it. If you want to use the device in the state Apple sold it to you, you are well within your rights to do so. It does everything they advertised it doing when you purchased it.

Comparing it to other phones or other products is moot - this phone wasn't advertised or sold as having or supporting a development platform for 3rd party apps. If you bought the phone wanting that as a feature, you made a mistake. You bought the wrong product.

This is also ignoring the fact that with Safari on the iPhone supporting AJAX, you can do some pretty slick apps via the web.

- Roach

Re:WTF? (1)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824115)

I hacked my iphone for 1 reason.. swaptunes.

I've tried some other 3rd party apps and they're boring after the first 2 minutes, but I cannot live without swaptunes.

I have a music library at home however I download a radio show at work that I listen to while walking after work.

Until I jailbreak'd my iphone and installed swaptunes I still had to carry around my 80gb ipod just for 1 mp3 each day because I couldn't sync to my work pc and my home PC. swaptunes solves that.

Either apple needs to allow the iphone to work like my ipod where I can sync at home and manually drag 1 file into it at work or I'll have to stick with 1.0.2 for a while.

Your comment is correct about not upgrading though.. I don't understand why people upgraded when it was known for a while it would probably break stuff.

Re:WTF? (1)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824517)

I hacked my iphone for 1 reason.. swaptunes.

Yep, and I jail-broke (Jailbreaked?) mine for one reason - ring tones.

I'm not saying that it wasn't cool to be able to do things with the phone that weren't advertised and/or supported. It was. I'm also not saying that there's some features that I wouldn't mind having that currently aren't on the iPhone.

However ... when I bought it, Iknew what fetures it had, and I knew that putting my own ringtones on it wasn't one of them. I assumed that Apple would be selling them at some point because of iTunes, and even though I wasn't thrilled about that I accepted either not having custom ringtones or buying them. If a hack appeared ... also cool, but not something I felt "entitled" to in any way.

It seems that the vocal minority that is whining about 1.1.1 bought an iPhone based on what they thought it should/could do rather than what it was advertised as doing and does. It really isn't Apple's fault that they made a mistake.

I bought my iPhone because the features it had the day I bought it were acceptable - I wouldn't have bought it otherwise. I don't get why people would buy it and then complain that it doesn't do or things that Apple explicitly said it wouldn't.

- Roach

Collateral damage (1)

Chief Typist (110285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824075)

The current situation is a case of collateral damage. They have to lock down the development environment to prevent SIM unlocking. Letting users have a few extra applications is not a concern to Apple -- losing monthly subsidies from AT&T, on the other hand, means lost revenue.

I suspect that there will eventually be a SDK and an Apple approved mechanism to get apps onto the phone (keep users happy and lessens the incentive to jailbreak and unlock.) Probably something like how podcasts are handled in iTunes.

-ch

"Network interference" my butt... (4, Informative)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824125)

To anyone my age, the bogeyman of "network interference" instantly calls to mind Ma Bell and all the reasons she gave why nobody but AT&T could be trusted with an RJ-11 jack.

Actually, it predated the RJ-11 jack.

Here we go:

The New York Times, February 17, 1951, p. 30: Phone Company Upheld In Ban on Hush-a-Phone

The Hush-A-Phone was a simple cup-like acoustic isolation device that snapped onto a telephone handset and provided a measure of privacy and quiet. No wires, no electrical connection. The phone company banned it as a "foreign attachment." In the Times story, the FCC agreed such devices were subject to A. T. & T. control. The punch line:

"Unrestricted use of the device could, in the commission's opinion, result in a general deterioration of the quality of telephone service."

Yes, seriously.

Later, the phone company was to claim that wired connections to third-party devices (answering machines and, later, modems) could not only bring down the network but put their linemen at risk of electrocution. Anyone who wanted to connect a computer had two choices: buy a very pricey "Dataphone"--never sold, of course, but leased by the month--or buy a third-party modem anduse a pricey phone-company-supplied "Data Access Arrangement" device, which was never sold but only leased by the month.

It took decades to get the FCC to agree that it had the regulatory authority to set specifications for third-party interconnects, and to allow them.

I recall an amusing Racal-Vadic advertisement showing "Ma Bell" depicted as a grandmotherly figure, staring out of her window in horror at a huge dump truck pouring hundreds of DAA boxes onto her lawn, now that Racal-Vadic modems no longer needed them.

Well, Duh! iApp coming soon to an online store... (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824227)

near you.

Why doesn't apple want 3rd party apps? Because if john doe can write one in a few weeks then so can their dev teams - and then they can sell it.

Hasn't anyone here realized that people pay more for ringtones than MP3s? For phone backgrounds than some actual computer programs?

So yeah, you can bet apple will be selling apps real soon. Probably for jacked up "omg" prices. Then everyone else will follow suit. Well, except me. I'm not buying an iphone, apple, or any of their other junk. I'll keep my compatibility with the world at large TYVM.

Re:Well, Duh! iApp coming soon to an online store. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824977)

What isn't the iPhone compatible with?

Why do you think open and compatible are the same thing?

People pay more for ringtones because it has more value to them. Value is not measured by the length of a piece of music.

Your selling apps theory really doesn't hold much water based on their history. You may be right, but your point was convoluted and your whole post came off as a reason to puff you chest at 'those people'.

and the 'TYVM' makes you look like an ass.

It's because they "Think Different"-ly (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824335)

It would seem that since Apple generally seems to go out of their way to think differently, they also seem to apply their different-ness to everything they branch out into. So it doesn't matter if the way mobile phones have always been this that or the other.... that unlocking phones has always been a consumer right and has never been a problem when it came to updates, upgrades or support for third-party-anything.

Their different-thought will continue to cause problems and waves until they either exit the market, which I think they should, or adapt their stuff to work the way other people do it and to meet consumer expectations.

From any tree of the garden/ (1)

dmahurin (2128) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824519)

"From any tree of the garden you may eat freely"

"All these worlds are yours, except Europa."

Hack all phones, except the iPhone.

Experimental (2, Interesting)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824585)

iPhone is a big experiment for Apple. Clearly, there is a lot of potential for iPhone software and services beyond what you get with it right now.

I expect Apple prefers to keep it closed while it settles down and they see how it all pans out, to have time to see where best to take it next, and to develop and sell the new services themselves without losing out to some fleeter third-party developer.

Consumers may have a lot to gain from an open iPhone, but I don't see that Apple does right now.

That's just one reason though. If it were fully open and documented, the first thing people would do is throw VOIP & IM onto it, which would piss off AT&T.

His Name Is Steve (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824637)

vindictiveness or obsessive interest in control

Best mini-bio I've read yet on Steve. Goes right back to the days of the original, sealed, Macintosh box.

A glaring problem (1)

Edy52285 (727242) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824765)

I don't like it one bit, but with not much tweaking, it would seem to me an iPod touch could be rigged to run a service like skype. WiFi or not, it would still be an incredible thing to have, essentially it would be a WiFi iPhone.. or. WiFiPhone. That said i don't think the touch has a mic, but i heard a rumor it had hidden bluetooth capability. In any case.. i can understand why they might want to discourage too much innovation on a device that has so much potential.

Aside from the extremely high potential that people will use services other than the ones apple might have contractually agreed to enforce exclusivity on, if too much is done by Joe Hacker then they wont have much to tout for the iPhone 2.

The same argument again? (2, Insightful)

epp_b (944299) | more than 6 years ago | (#20824877)

"Apple's reasoning for keeping the iPhone a closed platform is that they don't want to 'potentially gum up the provider's network'.
Oh, c'mon, they're still using that BS argument? AT&T -- where you know this statement is really coming from; like Apple could give a rip about AT&T's network -- was arguing this same malarkey decades ago before their ban on third-party phones and phone equipment was struck down. And - *gasp* - what a surprise: the PSTN network still works without a hitch today!
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