“I don’t own an iPhone, and I don’t think I ever will. That may come as a surprise to anyone acquainted with my long history of owning and liking Apple (AAPL) products,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek.

“It’s not that I don’t think it’s an extraordinary device. Having tried it, I think it represents a fundamental step forward in what a mobile phone can be. And it sure looks like it’s going to be imitated six ways to Sunday,” Hesseldahl writes.

“But what I can’t take is how Apple is keeping the iPhone from evolving in a manner consistent with its corporate heritage. Over the years I’ve owned many wireless devices, including a Treo, three or four BlackBerrys, and tested my share of phones running Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and the Symbian OS, majority owned by Nokia,” Hesseldahl writes.

“In almost every case, I’ve had an important option I wouldn’t get on the iPhone: installing third-party software,” Hesseldahl writes.

“Apple insiders argue privately that the iPhone is a new device. In time, they say, maybe the development policy could change, though none say definitively that it ever will… So I’m not going to buy an iPhone. And until Apple commits to changing this ridiculous policy, I don’t think you should either.”

Full article here.

All this bloviating about iPhone and third-party apps has an excellent chance of looking rather silly in hindsight. Regardless, if you want to stick with a second-rate (or worse) smartphone and their baby Web browsers, horrible interfaces, minuscule low-res screens, styluses and/or sloppy uni-touch screens and/or forty tiny plastic buttons, incomprehensible menus, and buried and/or unusable features in order to somehow force Apple to begin offering third-party “Made for iPhone” apps via the iTunes Store before they’re ready to do so, then go for it.

Third-party apps or not: You can have our iPhones when you pry them from our cold dead hands.