I was just reading Jibi Jabber over on BlackBerry Cool and one section that really got me to thinking was when he talked about how Apple isn’t allowing third party application support on the iPhone.
With the announcement of iPhone and all the media hype and fanboy lovefests that have come with it, one striking inconsistency has stood out, for me, moreso than the beautiful vector graphics and gorgeous design of the device – the lack – nay, the refusal – of third party applications. This particular stance by forward-thinking Apple suggests that people don’t want choices when it comes to desired functionalities, or it simply states that we simply don’t use our mobile communications devices for much more than mobile communications and a few other basic functions, such as portable entertainment
To make a long story short, Apple isn’t really doing anything that RIM didn’t do on early model BlackBerry devices…
One of the greatest accomplishments that a marketing department of a hardware manufacturer that also makes the software that runs their hardware, i.e., RIM, Apple, Tivo, etc., can accomplish is to, not only get their customers to believe that the don’t need a particular feature not offered on their gear, but, to make the customer think that they didn’t really want that feature in the first place. This is the road that Apple is taking with the iPhone and is exactly the road RIM took with early model BlackBerry devices.
Remember when the BlackBerry first came out? It had a rudimentary PIM, a calendar, and could send and receive email. It couldn’t do one tenth of the crap that a Palm or a Pocket PC could do, however, it did the few things that it did do so well users almost didn’t care about the other stuff that they rarely used and only half worked when they did.
I used to use an iPaq from HP which was the last PDA that I bought that wasn’t a BlackBerry. That device is about 3 years old and can still do a lot more than even the newest BlackBerry 8800. I don’t miss it, however, because my BlackBerry does the things I do most much better than my iPaq. Things that I used to say I couldn’t live without, like Wi-Fi, a touch screen, a ton of third party applications, aren’t even missed.
If the iPhone has enough functionality built in initially consumers who purchase it won’t really miss all the stuff that they would rarely use in the first place. They will be too focused on all the stuff the the iPhone does that they do use. Slowly but surely, however, you will start to see third party applications appear on future versions of the iPhone just like you did on the BlackBerry.