Analyst: ‘Apple iPhone is little more than another handset to operators’

“Don’t bet on Apple loosening the shackles off its much-lauded iPhone operating system (OS)–even if it means this could broaden the device’s appeal to developers and mobile device users,” Farihan Bahrin reports for ZDNet Asia under a typically goofy headline, “iPhone OS shackles to stay.”

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, some people still can’t figure out that inviting every cook in the world on down to the worst fast food fry cook is a prescription for spoiled broth, i.e. Windows. Measured control is good. We prefer to have someone in charge; someone who’s obsessive about quality and attention-to-detail, thanks. That’s a major reason why the Mac is superior to Windows and the iPhone with OS X will be superior to all of the other antiquated mobile phones on the market. Get it?

Bahrin continues, “‘Apple has a history of seeking to control its development environment, thus limiting access to the iPhone OS would enable it to maintain this approach,’ Gavin Byrne, research analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail interview. Tony Cripps, Ovum’s service manager for Mobile User Experience, noted in his research study that compared to competing platforms–such as Microsoft’s Windows Mobile–the iPhone’s native programming environment ‘appears to be closed to post-loaded applications and possibly even to third-party pre-loaded applications.'”

MacDailyNews Take: His “research?” Oh, la, la! Puleeze. Apple isn’t talking — trust us — and they certainly aren’t participating in any “research” beyond answering “no comment” regarding iPhone’s OS, licensing, and applications.

Bahrin continues, “Cripps added that this closed-door policy makes the iPhone a poor service platform for mobile network operators. ‘This is way out of step with growing mobile operator demands for consistent, common and widely deployed handset platforms on which to launch new services,’ said Cripps, adding that the iPhone, while clearly a special device from the consumer point of view, is little more than another handset to operators.”

MacDailyNews Take: Ovum purports to be “Advisers on the commercial impact of technology and market changes in telecoms, software and IT services.” Hey, they never promised good advice, did they? Can Cripps really be so blind or is something else at play here?

Bahrin continues, “Although Apple has been hiring more staff to work on the product, the company’s decision to keep the iPhone’s platform close to external parties has won it little fans among application developers and mobile network operators. Informa’s Byrne, however, noted that the Cupertino-based company seemed prepared to make exceptions when it suited them. ‘It would seem likely that Apple [would have to work] with a number of key technology companies such as Google,’ argued Byrne. He added that for certain applications–such as the iPhone’s Google Map function, for example–Apple would have had to collaborate closely with the search giant to optimize the application for the iPhone’s platform.”

“‘Even if [the iPhone] is opened up to third parties, it is difficult to see how the installed base of iPhones can reach the level where it becomes a truly attractive service platform for operator and developer investment,’ Cripps countered,” Bahrin reports. “Apple’s apparent ditching of conventional application paradigms for mobile phones seems ill-advised if the company really wanted the iPhone to be perceived as a smartphone and to take on mobile juggernauts such as Nokia, Microsoft and Motorola.”

MacDailyNews Take: March 14, 2007, 9:12am EDT: iCal’ed Tony Cripps for future reference. They lack of understanding boggles the mind: All Apple does is repeatedly and routinely ditch conventional paradigms, Mr. Cripps (aka Mr. Due for a Rude Awakening).

Bahrin continues, “Some industry observers have suggested that in order for Apple to achieve significant market penetration in the next year, the company should consider licensing the iPhone’s OS to external handset makers. Cripps, however, doubts that manufacturers will buy into this idea, arguing that the lack of flexibility and extensibility in the iPhone’s software platform would potentially limit its use across a broader spectrum of applications and devices.”

MacDailyNews Take: Tony Cripps. Proving not only that it’s possible to talk out of a orifice other than the mouth, but elevating it to an art-form.

Bahrin continues, “Instead of buying Apple’s technology, Cripps predicted, manufacturers will try to emulate the iPhone’s software interface for one-off products using custom platforms based on Linux or Windows CE. ‘It is far from impossible,’ Cripps said.”

Full article here.
Either Cripps doesn’t get it (which is hard to believe considering his line of work) or he doesn’t want to get it. Discuss.*

*Attribution: Coffee Talk with Linda Richman

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  1. “[T]he lack of flexibility and extensibility in the iPhone’s software platform would potentially limit its use across a broader spectrum of applications and devices.”

    Like computers or set top boxes? It’s a version of OS X for pity’s sake. It has huge potential for interaction.

  2. “Apple’s apparent ditching of conventional application paradigms for mobile phones seems ill-advised…

    Why they do it is to produce a NEW paradigm….not to make a me-too product.

    Farihan Bahr wants to be known as a technological dickhead…Cancel or Allow?

  3. The guy either has another agenda or is totally in the dark which is NOT uncommon these days. Personally, I think it is the former of the two. Apple has a few companies running scared these days, and for good reason. Those very same companies have been asleep at the wheel too long. Now they know they can’t catch up and be competitive in a short time frame to save their own skins.

    Most of the aruments Bahrin made to support his conclusions ACTUALLY supported Apple’s way of doing things, just the opposite of Bahrin.

  4. “Technological dickhead”…..LOL.

    Yup, that description is right on. Notice the use of flowery words in his statements. Read it again and it all means nothing, especially when you have a handset that will do more than the current crop. These people are so stuuuuuuupid.

  5. All these analysts seem to be under the impression that if you sell a lot of something it must be automatically good. “people buy lots of mobile phones, therefore the software that they come with must be great, therefore the current model is the only one that will work.” Forget the fact that people aren’t universally praising windows mobile and that people don’t like their mobile phones other than for the convenience of being able to make phone calls whilst mobile. The iPhone may not ultimately succeed but it’s trying something different, to improve a market whose only idea of innovation is to make everything smaller and more fiddly to use.

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