Here we go: Apple vs. RIM

“The invite to the media event next week suggests that Apple has figured out how it wants to tap demand from all those corporate types that wish their employer would support the iPhone,” Peter Burrows writes for BusinessWeek.

“The iPhone—essentially a Mac in a tiny, keyboard-less package—is more of a general purpose computer than is the Blackberry,” Burrows writes. “Who knows what new apps corporate programmers will come up with to exploit the iPhones’ many talents?”

“Anyhoo, this invite clearly rings the bell on a new fight that will be worth watching: Apple v. RIM,” Burrows writes.

Full article here.

Tom Krazit writes for CNET, “We’re quickly closing in on the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the iPhone, one that could signal just how far Apple can take its maiden voyage into the smartphone world.”

Apple “can allow unfettered access to the iPhone to anyone, it can allow anyone to develop applications for the iPhone but only those applications that have been digitally signed by Apple or a certification authority can be installed on the iPhone, or it can be the sole arbiter over who can create applications and what can be installed on the iPhone. There are also shades of gray within those scenarios, which leads to a lot of speculation on what exactly Apple has in mind,” Krazit writes.

In his open letter announcing the iPhone SDK, “Jobs hinted that Apple was considering an application development model used by other members of the smartphone community, notably Nokia. This model would require any application bound for an iPhone to carry a digital certificate that would verify whether the application was created to meet certain standards for security and reliability. In this system, if you tried to install an application on the iPhone, the iPhone’s OS X operating system would check for that digital certificate and either allow or prohibit the application from being installed,” Krazit writes.

“Symbian, the world’s largest smartphone operating system developer owned in large part by Nokia, offers application developers three options (click for PDF) based on different factors such as cost, proliferation, and access to core operating system technology,” Krazit writes. “…Expect Apple to implement some sort of digital-signature requirement on iPhone applications. This would be for two reasons: to control the quality of applications that run on the iPhone, and to allow AT&T a chance to approve or deny applications that might compete or hinder its own services.”

Krazit asks, “And what of the iPod Touch? Will there be two separate SDKs, one more restrictive model for the iPhone that addresses the concerns of wireless carriers, and one more open one that’s designed for the Wi-Fi-capable iPod Touch?”

More in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” (It’s got what plants crave!) for the heads up.]

21 Comments

  1. it’s obvious that iPhone has only begun the race. Apple’s wide open opportunity to rule this realm is only beginning. Controlling the apps is a good idea from my perspective. Quality and security is far more important than the ability for anyone to install. Go Apple! ( maybe my stock will start recovering?)

    -Pi

  2. Apple playing Gatekeeper over iPhone applications has never really bothered me. If it ensures that my phone will keep working properly, then that’s a small price to pay. And let’s be honest, it’s been jailbreaked to death anyway, so people who want to install unsigned applications will certainly be able to (at their own risk, of course).

  3. Just listened to Tim Cook, COO of Apple, and he referred to the SDK for both the iPhone and Touch, as if it were one and the same. Additionally, he stated that the apps will only be limited by your imagination.

  4. Controlling quality is good, but you could make the same case for any platform. Why not say no one can install unsigned freeware or open source apps on their Macs, to protect its quality? Give me a break.

    What it’s really about is AT&T;. Like Verizon, et al., they can’t make decent apps, and so they are bound to force theirs on customers to the exclusion of better-designed alternatives that make them no money.

  5. It would make no sense to have two separate SDKs. Where applications are concerned, we want iPhone/iPod Touch to be a single target platform to attract the most interest from developers.

    And if we look at Dashboard apps as a precedent, there were only a few dozen offerings when Tiger was released. Today there are probably thousands. We can expect apps for iPhone and Touch to follow a similar trajectory.

  6. a) “can allow unfettered access to the iPhone to anyone”

    This is the way I would go. Treat the iPhone as if it were a mac.

    b) “it can allow anyone to develop applications for the iPhone but only those applications that have been digitally signed by Apple or a certification authority can be installed on the iPhone”

    I could live with this, but I like the first option way more. Apple would do this to try and fight viruses? I don’t see any viruses showing up for the OS X, and if the iPhone OS is based on OS X… To keep AT&T;and other carriers happy? They don’t have a right to complain about anything. They’re already making a lot of money from the iPhone, and should consider themselves lucky. Actually, It would suck a lot if Apple tried too hard to keep AT&T;and co. happy.

    c) “or it can be the sole arbiter over who can create applications and what can be installed on the iPhone.”

    This could suck. A lot. It would still be better than what we’ve got now, but it wouldn’t be treating the iPhone as if it were a real computer. There’s a possibility we wouldn’t see a lot of cool apps, because AT&T;would feel uncomfortable with them for some reason. If AT&T;says they’re afraid certain types of apps would affect their services, Jobs should tell them it’s their problem and that customers can do what they want with the phone/network they’re paying so much for

    “There are also shades of gray within those scenarios,”

    No, not really

    a) Very good
    b) Acceptable
    c) Not Good. Not treating the iPhone as a serious computer.

    “which leads to a lot of speculation on what exactly Apple has in mind,” Krazit writes.”

    Hopefully a)

    “Expect Apple to implement some sort of digital-signature requirement on iPhone applications.”

    I hope not. I hope Apple tells AT&T;to shut up and consider themselves lucky. The iPhone is more important than any carrier.

    “This would be for two reasons: to control the quality of applications that run on the iPhone”

    What kind of message would that be sending? Again, Apple doesn’t do this for their Macs so why should they do it for the iPhone? It would be like saying the iPhone isn’t stable or
    secure enough to be trusted with the user. The iPhone is supposed to be a minicomputer.

    “and to allow AT&T;a chance to approve or deny applications that might compete or hinder its own services.”

    I suspect that if Apple does follow this course of action it would be because of AT&T;. But Jobs should still tell the carriers to screw themselves. Since when does Apple allow others to dictate what they do with their products?

  7. @ Military Police:

    I agree about ATT, but Apple also treads a fine line re their consumers and business purchasers. Mobile phone purchasers are MUCH more fickle than PC purchasers. One piece of bad reputation for the iPhone that is not even Apple’s fault (i.e. app developer) and people may stay away.

    ATT and O2 have just opened the doors to business accounts. This will succeed either way, even just as an easy phone, but for it to be REALLY successful and potentially get the Mac into the enterprise, the iPhone needs to work within the corporate rules for a while.

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