“It may seem hard to believe, but when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world, he was especially proud of the fact that it didn’t really support [third-party] apps,” Mark Rogowsky writes for Forbes. “With the App Store having subsequently taken its place as one of Apple’s most important strategic weapons and having just celebrated its sixth birthday yesterday, it’s fascinating to recall that it nearly never came to pass.”
Rogowsky recalls, “Jobs told developers back in 2007 that they could build software for the iPhone if they wanted, they should just do it inside the web browser. ‘You’ve got everything you need if you know how to write apps using the most modern web standards to write amazing apps for the iPhone today,’ he said. ‘We think we’ve got a very sweet story for you. You can begin building your iPhone apps today.'”
“Those web apps, though, had limitations in terms of performance and functionality. But they were the only game in town so many went ahead and built them, including Facebook and Google. Still, the frustration set in almost immediately and it didn’t take Jobs long to realize he’d been wrong,” Rogowsky writes. “Maybe he’d even known it all along.”
“Whether Jobs was resistant because he felt the idea wasn’t good or because he truly was concerned about how Apple would manage things, the company reversed course within months,” Rogowsky writes. “In October of 2007, it announced it would be building a software development kit (SDK) that would allow for ‘native apps’ that could run with better performance than those browser-based apps Jobs had touted earlier in the year.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.