85,000 reasons why Apple's iPhone isn't going to be disrupted

There’s nothing geeks love more than to argue mobile phone platforms. Here’s Matt Blaisdell saying that apps weren’t key to iPhone’s success. That’s true, but now that Apple has apps the world has changed and challengers to the iPhone will find it very tough.

Here’s why: everyone is using a different set of 20 apps. Trillions of combinations. You can see this on Appsfire’s VIP list (my iPhone apps are listed there, along with a number of others). None of us have the same set of apps.

So, to get me off of the iPhone you are going to have to duplicate all my apps (and I’ve gotten several more since doing this list a couple of weeks ago).

Here, let’s play a game. Let’s say that a Chinese manufacturer ships an Android phone that makes me hot and bothered. Something, say, that’s half the thickness of the iPhone, has a screen that’s sharper, and the battery lasts twice as long, oh, and let’s just say it costs $50 less than buying an iPhone.

Would it get me to switch away from my iPhone? Probably not, truth be told. (I do have a second SIM, though, waiting, just in case that I use to test phones).

Why not?

Because I’ve grown addicted to Tweetie. So, now you’ll have to build an app, or get a third-party developer to build an app that works better. Let’s say you do that.

But do you have my favorite game? Tap Tap Revenge?

Do you have Facebook? Do you have Photoshop? Just today NASDAQ came out with a cool new app. Do you have that? And so on and so forth.

Every app is lockin.

I’m not going to be switching anytime soon, and neither are you.

So, what the other manufacturers are hoping is that enough users remain ignorant of all the uses of the apps and that they get enough of them built either by themselves (not gonna happen) or by developers outside the company before Apple just locks in everyone.

Joe Wilcox, on Twitter, says that iPhone users are “beyond reason.”

No, Joe, I just want my Kindle app on Android before I’ll switch. I have lots of books that I’ve invested in that I can read on my iPHone.

Or, I want my TripIt app on Android or Nokia before I’ll switch. My entire flight information is stuck inside there.

Or, I want to watch Leo Laporte’s show this afternoon (or more accurately, listen to it on my Prius thanks to UStream’s app).

Or I want to use Yelp’s app to find a great restaurant.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

If you get me all those, and all the other 85,000 apps, but on a device that is sexier and more fun to use (and more productive) then I’ll definitely be reasonable and switch.

Until then I have 85,000 reasons to be unreasonable. Oh, did you see this app called “RedLaser?” You point your phone at barcodes, and it gives you information about the products you are looking at, including what the price is on Amazon.com. Very cool.

Now I’m sure you’ll say you have an app like RedLaser on your device, right? (I’ve seen similar on Nokia devices, for instance) But do you have all the others I use?

Yes, I’m unreasonable. Let me know when I can stop being unreasonable! :-)

Oh, and I met the guy who runs the iPhone app team (he asked to remain anonymous) and he told me his team approves hundreds of new apps every day. So, that’s HUNDREDS of new reasons every day that I will remain unreasonable. Sorry to Nokia, Palm, Microsoft, RIM, and all the other players.

Comments

  1. The Iphone is a closed system, a walled garden. That's 1 reason but big enough to beat all the other 85k. Not short-term, but eventually it will.

  2. I'd like to believe you. But Android hasn't yet put it all together and every day time is running out to get developers to care. And Apple is pretty damn open for a walled garden. That wall is, what, four inches high? Do developers even care beyond being bugged that it takes three weeks to get their apps approved?

    1. Time isn’t “running out.” That’s ridiculous. Your entire premise is based on the unproven assumption that all 20 of your precious apps have no equivalent on other platforms. In reality, it probably boils down to one or two make-or-break apps that some people won’t want to part with – but if those apps are THAT good, the developer will no doubt make a version for Android, too. Sorry, Scoble, your post is a bit off the mark.

  3. I'm still not buying that you “have 85,000 reasons…” Robert, you can't even fit 85,000 apps on your iPhone if you wanted to. You have some small subset of reasons – and you imagine everyone else has a different subset (though all the apps you list – Facebook, Kindle, Yelp, etc. sound like the same reasons an awful lot of people would list. Lets face it – thousands – possibly tens of thousands of the apps out there are lame wannabe copycats that no on is really using – or that a few are using but would be happy switching to one of the numerous equivalents…) I've tried out or played with several hundred apps – but in the end, I rely on about 15 or so – and I KNOW there are reasonable alternatives for most of them on other platforms. So honestly, I could switch from my iPhone to an Android or some such…

    But I'm really not AGAINST the iPhone – I've got one, and I love it. But to say I have 85,000 reasons I won't switch? – be serious! ;)

  4. I'm still not buying that you “have 85,000 reasons…” Robert, you can't even fit 85,000 apps on your iPhone if you wanted to. You have some small subset of reasons – and you imagine everyone else has a different subset (though all the apps you list – Facebook, Kindle, Yelp, etc. sound like the same reasons an awful lot of people would list. Lets face it – thousands – possibly tens of thousands of the apps out there are lame wannabe copycats that no on is really using – or that a few are using but would be happy switching to one of the numerous equivalents…) I've tried out or played with several hundred apps – but in the end, I rely on about 15 or so – and I KNOW there are reasonable alternatives for most of them on other platforms. So honestly, I could switch from my iPhone to an Android or some such…

    But I'm really not AGAINST the iPhone – I've got one, and I love it. But to say I have 85,000 reasons I won't switch? – be serious! ;)

    1. Not to single out Antonella, but to ALL of the “others will do stuff and catch-up in 3/6/9/12/whatever months” crowd: do we imagine that, for that entire time, Apple will be sitting on their thumbs?!

      By the time Android, Nokia, Palm or whoever comes up with their thing to fill the gap, Apple will have pushed the bar to the NEXT level.

      Actually, Google’s the sort of company that COULD pull it off a major innovation, but it’s not clear that they want to try to control the mobile market. Nokia? Palm? RIM? All fine companies, but not exactly any history of “taking the world by storm”…

  5. You are right. The other handset manufacturers have been caught completely flat footed and will never catch up. Also if you look at the Android deployment, there is every sign of fragmentation as each Android handset will likely require slight variations on each app developed for the Android platform. I will add one more reason for Apple to maintain an edge. It is quite simple actually. Apple will continue to out innovate its competitors. Once Nokia, Android, et.al start to catch up on apps, Apple will be on to something else.

    1. “there is every sign of fragmentation as each Android handset will likely require slight variations on each app developed for the Android platform”

      Care to back up this bogus claim?

  6. This sounds like those claims that Microsoft could cut 20% of the features out of Excel. Not true. Which features can be cut? Every app is important to someone.

  7. The iPhone Platform has been adopted only by the early adopters, the middle of the bell curve is not locked in yet. If Android can get enough critical mass of applications soon enough, they will be able to compete for the middle of the bell curve, and Apple will have merely performed the pioneering work…

    1. Thats a really uninformed statement. How you come up with that given the number that have sold around the world and the ecosystem that has developed around it is beyond me.

  8. Only by early adopter? Then there are one hell of a lot of early adopters.
    Most of the people I know with iPhones would never be described as early adopters.

  9. Well yes, that's a huge advantage for the iphone today. I don't like it, but i bought an ipod touch just for the apps. However, with mobile hardware getting more power month after month and html5 getting into browsers, it won't take long (i'd guess 2 or 3 years) before developers stop coding plataform specific apps (which sucks, frankly) and move everything to browser, like it's happening now with desktop apps. Then, if Apple don't change their wallet garden mindset and don't start delivering better hardware (compared to other top smartphones, the iphone hardware is a piece of sh**), their supremacy won't last.

  10. Well isn't this similar to saying there are tens of millions of reasons why Firefox “shouldn't” be disrupted, with all its extensions. But some Chrome does come out and make people at least think about the switch. There is always a turn off with any thing and there will be someone to exploit it.

    With iPhone there isn't any yet, but 85000 reasons? I don't think so.

  11. I had a very long reply written, but I decided it wasn't worth it.

    No platform is perfect. We each choose our hardware and software tools based on how it meets our needs and the particular set of problems and benefits that they give. Often these choices are not based on necessarily pragmatic things in the eyes of others — on one extreme, look at Richard Stallman for a fine example.

    For me, the tools I use are Linux on my desktop and an Android phone in my pocket. They may not be as “sexy” as the things sold by Apple, but I would still take them any day over the Apple line of products. I spent six months trying to use a Mac Book Pro as my primary computing environment and gladly gave it up and went back to Linux when the particular job that gave me it was finished. Day to day, my Linux desktop is so much easier for me to run and to use. None of the so-called “benefits” of an Apple device or operating system did anything for me, as any modern Linux “just works” right out of the box on the hardware I have and with tools like the apt system and a very large package repository, Ubuntu is much easier to maintain, keep up to date and secure — for *all* of my software, not just the core software.

    Sure the Android may be behind and not have 85,000 apps. Perhaps some of the handsets released are not as sexy as the iPhone. And you are effectively tied to Google for many things. But those are a set of trade-offs I would rather take. I don't have to use iTunes (which I can't use — don't have a Mac or run Windows) to manage my phone. I can write applications that do whatever the APIs allow and as long as it isn't pornographic, illegal, or offensive (as determined by the Android user community), I can put things in the Android store. If it isn't accepted there, I can still distribute my app via my own website and anyone who wants to can install my app — without jailbreaking their phone, as long as I don't depend on root capabilities.

    And I have many great applications that may or may not be available on the iPhone:
    - Pandora
    - Facebook
    - Google Voice
    - Amazon MP3 store — purchase and download music right on the phone
    - Foursquare
    - Shop Savy (does exactly what you described, including showing you stores locally and what prices they charge, and prices at many online stores. This was released when Android was released)
    - Shazam
    - Sherpa

    I'm sure there are more. Yes, some of the apps that Robert mentioned I would love. I hope that they eventually come to the Android. In the end, it doesn't matter to me who “wins”. I doubt Linux on the desktop will ever “win”. But it is the right choice for me and my family. Even though there might be a few cool games or applications on Windows or OS X, there are too many tradeoffs to not keep me on Linux. Same thing with my Android. It can only get better. I'm not reliant on just one handset maker or carrier to keep the platform alive. I doubt my next phone will be an HTC phone — it might be from Motorola, Samsung, or maybe someone new. It can only get better from here. As a developer, I'm starting to put my time into Android. It makes more sense for me, even if the iPhone is a larger user base right now.

    1. Travis, you are hardly a typical user if you’re heavy into Linux. So, you’re not representative, sorry.

  12. Totally agree with you there. I've had all 3 iPhones over the last 3 years, and I've also owned the G1 Android. I sold my G1 after 2 months. It just didnt cut it against the iPhone.

    iPhone has some of the best apps available, and I don't think the Android apps could ever compete. Bring us an Android which has all the apps from the App Store and the slickness of the iPhone and maybe i'll consider getting one. But until then i remain an iPhone junkie…. time to visit the App Store

  13. Robert, there's an app called Pandora's Box which will list all of the apps EACH DAY for which there had been a price charged but the developer decided to make it free instead. Why? Probably not because the developers feel they have just too much money already – more likely because they weren't selling, and the developer decided to see if they can at least give it away.

    But mainly, Robert, you're arguing against the possibility of change. This sounds to me like the old argument that no social network could catch up with or replace Myspace. etc. You need to be careful with predictions like that. ;) The iPhone is the runaway leader right now – but to suggest that that can never change because “someone, somewhere cares about each of 85,000 apps – as though they could never be duplicated on another platform – well, let's see… ;)

    1. Well said. Aside from the obvious issue of the AT&T network being one of the iPhone’s biggest Achilles’ heels, the other major trump card this article seems to ignore (odd since it’s about the apps) is that the Droid apps are all FREE. You know, just like the open-source updates that one can download to change any non-hardware limited features you don’t like? Free.

      Big difference.

  14. Yeah there are lots of app, but most aren’t something that’d stop me from moving to Android. I’d miss Simplenote…but even then I see 3banana on Android which looks about as good. Ask any user how many iPhone apps they open more than once a day and those “85,000″ apps tend to dwindle down into apps that are also found on Android.

    Once Android is put on hardware that beats the iPhone (which it looks like Droid does; seriously Apple: 480 x 320?)…I’m done with the iPhone. Keep in mind that this is from an OS X user and lover. Oh, and I want Google Voice integration…tell me where there’s an “app for that.”

  15. I guess I don’t agree with you Scoble.

    Would you apply this same mentality to a desktop OS? How many applications are there for windows compared to what there is for OSX, yet you clearly have switched to being primarily a Mac person.

    Are you saying that Windows will never be conqured by anyone else since there are so many apps for windows, does it mean that Apple is dead because they don’t have the apps?

    The reason you like the phone is because it’s a good phone, not because of the apps. The apps come because it’s a good phone and because it’s the “in” thing to do right now.

    There will always be a point where something better comes along and replaces what was once considered the best “product” ever. It’s always worked that way and it always will.

    Right now the only direction the Iphone can go is up so it makes them look even better, the Iphone’s day will come when it’s not the cool thing to have.

    1. Windows is a desktop and server OS. The iPhone is a mobile device. One of these things is not like the other.

      1. It doesn’t matter if their not the same, it’s the same type of situation. Desktop offers applications, phones offer applications, both are OSes, both have dominance over others in the same field.

        Scoble argues that apps are going to keep the iphone from losing share, apps exist on desktop OS, again it’s exactly the same thing just different hardware.

  16. You miss the point. iPhone has a small marketshare of the overall phone market. Android or any other challenger doesn’t need to convert iPhone users who are in love with their particular apps. All they need to do is gain more new users than the iPhone. Which current projections show that they will. Simply because iPhone is 1) Single phone, 2) Single carrier and 3) Not open.

  17. funny, apple asked them to do this at first, before releasing the iphone SDK.

    users, like you, bawked, and now we have 85k apps.

    ellison said this 20 years ago and it still hasn't come true. don't hold your breath.

  18. Robert, if Android 2.0 does the job from an ease of use and platform perspective, and if it gets credible phones sporting the OS (e.g. droid), then the applications will not be a barrier to its success. It will do just fine and will easily move millions of units.

    There are still many more people without an iPhone than with an iPhone, and Apple's exclusivity with AT&T is keeping out far too many in the U.S. from getting an iPhone. These folks will get an Android phone in a heartbeat if the hardware and software is comparable to an iPhone and the data network is *better* than AT&T. The main application developers will quickly follow suite and port to run on Android, because it will present them with access to a large and available market.

    btw – it is not about “disrupting” the iPhone, so much as the ability of another mobile platform to get to significant market share. There is certainly room for another credible mobile platform to emerge, it's just that the vendors who could do this have not executed well. Windows mobile is too old in terms of UI and platform, and not interesting; BlackBerry is too arcane as an application platform (or at least has that perception); and the Pre is at a disadvantage because there is only one hardware maker and one carrier behind it.

    Google seems to be capitalizing on this green-field opportunity by getting multiple hardware makers and carriers onto their platform. If they bring the goods with 2.0 then the app developers will follow. They may not take share from Apple, but I think that they will gain a very large portion of a rapidly growing market.

    Also, did you notice that Google not only makes a mobile OS, but is also the maker of some of the top mobile applications? (google maps, google voice, search, reader,…). In this context they may quickly become to smartphones what Microsoft was to personal computers. The leading OEM OS provider and a major provider of productivity applications… (when I say “quickly” I'm talking about a 2 year timeframe). It's a very powerful dual franchise strategy.

    I'm thinking we'll see the Apple vs. Microsoft showdown of the 80's and early 90's repeated on cellphones between Apple and Google.

  19. Robert – *EXACTLY* — as we discussed a few weeks ago..if any of your readers wants to see the app libraries of not just a few VIPs but actually thousands of users they can go to Appolicious and this link: http://www.appolicious.com/users.

    One other interesting other conclusion if you think about it — every other device is going to need to be supporting thousands of apps — as many as possible. That means developers will be facing the same issue on every other successful platform as they do on the iPhone — tremendous downward price pressure, tough to get adoption, etc. So even that criticism cannot hold. And the apps are getting much better imo and will continue to do so! Go $aapl

  20. The iPhone and iPod Touch form a platform with over 50 million early adopters.

    With China and Korea added to the fold, by next year, there will be close to 100 million early adopters for the platform.

    By 2012, the iPhone and iPod Touch platform will overtake the Nintendo DS and Sony Playstation Portable together with 150 million early adopters. By then, there will be 200,000 apps.

    We will have to wait a long time for the competition to catch up.

  21. The iPhone and iPod Touch form a platform with over 50 million early adopters.

    With China and Korea added to the fold, by next year, there will be close to 100 million early adopters for the platform.

    By 2012, the iPhone and iPod Touch platform will overtake the Nintendo DS and Sony Playstation Portable together with 150 million early adopters. By then, there will be 200,000 apps.

    We will have to wait a long time for the competition to catch up.

  22. The iPhone and iPod Touch form a platform with over 50 million early adopters.

    With China and Korea added to the fold, by next year, there will be close to 100 million early adopters for the platform.

    By 2012, the iPhone and iPod Touch platform will overtake the Nintendo DS and Sony Playstation Portable together with 150 million early adopters. By then, there will be 200,000 apps.

    We will have to wait a long time for the competition to catch up.

  23. I know many people with 150 apps on their iPhone.

    The problem is choosing which apps to leave out when they add another one.

    Realize that iPhone users don't erase apps. They don't have to when there are 180 spaces on their iPhone. Thus they will end up keeping 150+ on every iPhone.

  24. I know many people with 150 apps on their iPhone.

    The problem is choosing which apps to leave out when they add another one.

    Realize that iPhone users don't erase apps. They don't have to when there are 180 spaces on their iPhone. Thus they will end up keeping 150+ on every iPhone.

  25. I know many people with 150 apps on their iPhone.

    The problem is choosing which apps to leave out when they add another one.

    Realize that iPhone users don't erase apps. They don't have to when there are 180 spaces on their iPhone. Thus they will end up keeping 150+ on every iPhone.

  26. I know many people with 150 apps on their iPhone.

    The problem is choosing which apps to leave out when they add another one.

    Realize that iPhone users don't erase apps. They don't have to when there are 180 spaces on their iPhone. Thus they will end up keeping 150+ on every iPhone.

  27. The app store is a barrier to switching to a new phone. I switched from the blackberry to the iphone but would not switch again because of the app support. Although I think the 85K app claim is an overstatement. I've tried over 150 apps but now only use a few like NeuroMobile, some news readers and a few others. Many of the other apps are junk or just don't stand the test of time. I wish we had some data on usage of the 85K apps.

  28. Um, Pandora, Facebook, Amazon, Foursquare, Shazam are all on iPhone. Google Voice has a limited version via the Web. Not sure about Sherpa, though, since I don't know what that does.

    But I'm glad there are people like you. Sounds just like the Unix guys in college who used to tell me that no one will need mice or windows (small w). We need some people who think differently because that's where great ideas sometimes come from.

    Seriously I am very likely to get an Android next year because I sense a lot happening on that platform. It doesn't have an awesome device yet, though, and until it does it will not capture most of our attention.

  29. Sorry, that's wrong. iPhone has most of the market share of people who want a device that does more than a phone. Talk to Google about the stats. No one is even close in web usage. And mindshare DOES matter and will CONTINUE to matter a LOT MORE than “marketshare.” Remember, DEC used to have the market share too.

  30. Sorry, that's wrong. iPhone has most of the market share of people who want a device that does more than a phone. Talk to Google about the stats. No one is even close in web usage. And mindshare DOES matter and will CONTINUE to matter a LOT MORE than “marketshare.” Remember, DEC used to have the market share too.

  31. There are millions of books and only a small percentage of them are good and even a smaller percentage of those are on your shelf. Doesn't mean there aren't millions of books.

    1. Again, if the book is THAT good, the publisher will find a way to make it available to the broadest possible audience. Same with apps. If it’s a hit on the iPhone, there’s no reason it wouldn’t be a hit on Android, too. Thus the devs will port it over… In short, your argument doesn’t hold any water at all.

  32. There are millions of books and only a small percentage of them are good and even a smaller percentage of those are on your shelf. Doesn't mean there aren't millions of books.

  33. Until a couple of weeks ago I’d probably agreed with you. But then my employer asked us to pick a mobile phone for business related calls and I chose an HTC Magic with Android because we’re geeks and always love to play with new gadgets.

    I tell you what. Once my contract with T-Mobile DE finishes I’d be very surprised if I’d renew it and get a new iPhone. For one, T-Mobile DE is the total opposite of cool. Don’t know why of all possible carriers Apple (they ARE perceived as a cool company here) picked them to be the sole vendor of the iPhone in Germany but it simply does not fit. T-Mobile gives us the short end of the stick every time. It’s just silly.

    The other reason is that Android is a very good system. First off, I don’t have to manipulate the HTC Magic in any way to get all the functionality provided in a given firmware. Contrary to what I have to do as someone who purchased the original iPhone 1.5 years ago. MMS, Bluetooth Audio, Bluetooth multiplayer etc. Do I want to have this? Of course but there’s no way to get this without Jailbreak and downloading several Enablers from Cydia.
    Do I want to use Bluetooth to connect a GPS receiver to this phone and use it for navigation, geocaching etc? Yes I can but only with a Jailbreak and a certain driver software which gives me this functionality.

    Now to the app side: There are equivalents to iPhone apps that I use except for one: There’s no LinkedIn app which is a shame. But else? Browsers? Check. Instant Messenger clients? Check. Wikipedia apps? Check. Facebook? Check. Twitter? Check. Weatherbug? Check. Augmented Reality browsers? Check. Red Laser like apps? Check. (And I’m sure Layar and woabi.de existed before similar apps were possible for the iPhone..)
    The instant messenger apps are even better for me on Android since on the iPhone all seem to go through intermediary servers which drives our admins crazy when they see me using our XMPP server with IM+ for instance. With a similar app for Android this is no issue since it connects directly from the phone to our server.

    Some other hardware reasons for why I prefer the Android phone now: The battery is replaceable, on a long haul trip I can carry several charged ones with me and use them one after an other. Also it seems that all Android phones are equipped with a very good autofocus camera, GPS, and a compass. As a developer this must be fantastic as you can sell your apps utilizing these hardware features to all Android users and not just to rich kids who can purchase the newest iPhone every year.

  34. While there is certainly an overall market maturity curve, it seems to me there's also a maturity curve for each platform/device. Although smart phones as a group may be headed for the middle of their bell curve, the iPhone is much further along its platform-specific curve than is Android (and closer to being in sync with the smart phone market curve). At this point, Android adoption would have to reach warp speed to catch and pass the iPhone. My best guess is that Android will, not surprisingly, be the “Linux of smart phones”: admired and adopted by a loyal user community, but also a small community; I don't think anyone is going to get rich on Android, maybe not even Google.

  35. I don't have exact figures, but I believe that Blackberry's share is right up there in the same neighborhood as iPhone +/-. Your statement “iPhone has most of the market share of people who want a device that does more than a phone.” may be factually correct, but it is not such a strong domination of the smart-phone market as your emphatic assertion makes it sound.

    Also, I would not use DEC to make the argument for iPhone dominance. DEC was a vertically integrated stack (Hardware, OS, and key apps like RDB) from one vendor, who also had a thriving eco-system of 3rd party apps developers. I remember how DEC was absolutely killed when Unix came on the scene with multiple hardware vendors supporting Unix, and key enterprise vendors like Oracle supporting apps on both DEC and Unix, which made it easier for enterprises to migrate away from DEC. At some level one could say that it was the 3rd party application vendors who greased the skids for the mass migration away from DEC.

    For the record, I happen to be an iPhone user and I like it a lot.

    I just see that Apple is providing Google with a tremendous opening to become a player. At minimum they would need to ditch the AT&T exclusive if they want to prevent Android from getting a material slice of the market.

    As I said earlier, the app vendors will follow suite, especially if Verizon, Sprint, and T-mobile start mass featuring very credible Android phones as their flagship products. It certainly looks like this is Verizon's plan, and it makes sense because these carriers have watched AT&T eat their lunch over the past two years…

    In the end we all win, because competition is a wonderful thing!

  36. This sounds much like the Microsoft Windows model. So much applications which are hard to copy on all different platforms like Linux and Apple.

  37. I wonder how many of the people arguing against this point are among the same group who used to say Macs sucked because they didn't have any good apps?

  38. I think you are perfectly correct, but that the situation is slightly more complicated than you think.

    First, iPhone has by no means tapped into the entire potential of the market, the majority of people out there are not locked in by apps, and will be happy to try one of the many android-powered devices coming out.

    Second, the apps is exactly why I, beeing a developer, believe android will be a long-run win. I can’t wait to stop working on iPhone apps, I and know many iPhone app developers that feel the same way. Frankly, Apple are douchebags to us developers. The development tools for iPhone are a joke compared to what google offers for Android (I know, beacause I’ve built apps for both). Objective-c is more cumbersome and error-prone than java that Android uses, meaning shorter development time on Android and in effect lower cost to market. The list goes on.

    What it comes down to is what you are saying in your article – whether it’s too late or not. iPhone is not gonna go away, and I think we’ll see som healthy competition for a good while. But there is plenty of space for more modern phones on the market, and several major manufacturers are switching to Android.

  39. Actually, you can put more apps on your iPhone than the number viewable on the home screens. I currently have 308 apps on mine. I used to pick and choose and only load as many as I could see, but now that iTunes will allow you to arrange the order in which app icons appear on your home screens as well as letting you use Spotlight searching on your iPhone to find the hidden apps that didn't make the cut on one of your home screens. With the 3G, there seemed to be a performance hit if I kept a bunch of apps installed. With my 3GS, I have all 308 apps installed and the only performance difference is when it comes time to restart my phone.

  40. The other lock-in, which got me from day one, is that the iPhone syncs perfectly with my iTunes library. Heck, I put up with the Motorola ROKR and RAZR with built-in iTunes until the iPhone came out.

    Also what a few people are missing here is that it’s not the number of apps that are available, it’s a huge combination of factors that go with that.

    For example, I have a significant amount of money invested in apps on the iPhone, switching platforms means re-investing in new apps…if they even exist.

    I’m always amazed at how often I’m thinking about something, and discovering that, yes, there is an app for that…and that’s often the solution to the issue at hand. A great example of this was when I was at a party and we were arguing about what we thought an object was in the night sky. The host of the party went to his computer, a couple of other people pulled out phones and started Googling, and I went to the app store and downloaded an app that showed what you could see in the sky based on your GPS location. I got the right answer first this way.

    With this many apps available, there are bound to be apps that may only be killer for a small subset of people, but sometimes all it takes is one.

  41. Mobile strategy – iPhone should factor but certainly not dominate.

    Apple’s push into the mobile market has been interesting – some say a game change – they have certainly shaken the market up, but have they really delivered the results? If only they had sold as many devices as column inches that they have achieved.

    There seems to have been a global obsession with the iPhone. From the moment of first launch back in the summer of 2007 the iPhone has been headling, the fixation still continues today. Apple has yet again demonstrated that it is a remarkable media machine. The iPhone receives a disproportionate amount of attention from the media, mobile industry and businesses alike.

    Rather than being an explosive entrance the iPhone has seen a very steady growth to date and is likely to continue to do so. The iPhone today has very low single digit penetration in every market that it is sold. Since launch we believe that globally Apple has sold in the region of 34 million devices. If you are to factor in devices upgrades it could be safe to suggest that 2/3rd of those devices are active, or just over 20 million. In the UK that would mean less than 1 million active devices. Apple is a very small player.

    An interesting element is that iPhone users make up a high percentage volume of mobile Internet activity. A sign of where the market is going. The masses will become prolific users of mobile Internet services. A stimulant the increasing number of devices that provide simple access the mobile Internet and lower costs associated to mobile data consumption. The majority are unlikely to be iPhone users, they will be owners of devices from one of the top five handset manufacturers.

    Talk mobile to those looking to develop a mobile presence they all seem fixated with developing an iPhone application as a priority. This is equivalent to the Blackberry effect from three to four years ago. Despite the disproportional cost, those developing applications had to deliver Blackberry variants as a priority as that was the device the Executives typically used. The iPhone is a showcase opportunity, to demonstrate what can be done and gain engagement. It is not a mass market play. For those looking to develop a mobile strategy the iPhone should factor but certainly not dominate.

    http://www.indigo102.com/archives/824

  42. I like this article a lot Robert. I think your argument particularly holds for the type of people of who don't read tech blogs i.e. the majority of iphone owners.

    It is easier for geeks to say they would switch as soon as something “better” comes along on Android or whatever else because they are more willing to invest the time looking for an alternative to the apps they use on their iphone.

    Your argument particularly resonates with me because I like Chrome but cannot switch to it as my only browser because I love feedly on Firefox. Having said that over time, undoubtedly the most successful apps will increasingly be found on other mobile platforms. Shazam for instance is now pushing to be on as many platforms as it possibly can be.

    App lock in is certainly another reason why the rest of the mobile market is severely playing catch up and will be for a little while yet. What does go in the rest of the markets favour is that iphone users are really still early adopters in the smart phone market, there is a vast untapped mobile market worldwide that is yet to switch to smart phones. It those people that the other mobile manufacturers should be targeting not iphone users like you and me.

  43. I agree that Apps are a lock-in but with the mobile web still in it's infancy eventually web apps will evolve to be available as a standard across all handsets surely!

  44. We can't just write the Iphone off as a walled garden and assume the Apps can't be used on other devices. We should be focusing on building better tools and processes for developers to port their apps from the Iphone to other devices and OS's. Over time we can slowly break down the walls.

  45. IF they are not iFart apps, most apps are worthless copies of other apps. I can get an automatic system to make an iphone app for $5 on certain websites, a useless app that basically lists some random blogs RSS feed or something worthless like that. That should not count as an app, because in fact this app produces thousands of copy apps which are all basically one app.

  46. Apple has sure delivered the results. It all depends on what “market” you are talking about.
    In the “smartphone” market, Apple is dominating and game-changing like no other phone before.
    As a niche player, Apple's iPhone has as MORE PROFIT as Nokia.

    Apple does NOT generally play the “market share” game. That game is played by bottom feeders like Nokia and Dell. Look where that has gotten them. Yes – to the bottom.

    Apple just makes THE BEST product with the HIGHEST profit. Those 91,000+ Apps are just one huge feature that makes the iPhone the best phone.

    The iPhone has certainly made an explosive entrance in the smartphone market. From Zero 2 years ago, it has completely overtaken Windows Mobile in marketshare.

    When taken together with the iPod Touch as the OS X Mobile Platform, the iPhone, with over 50-million sold, is the fastest selling mobile platform device. It is selling FASTER than the Nintendo DS.

    Despite being a small player, iPhone users take up much of the mobile internet activity – 50 + %. This certainly shows how other phones suck as internet devices. Despite the larger number of other devices that can access the internet, the user of those devices don't use their internet browser. Only on the iPhone is this useful.

    Apple may be a small player, but it certainly is the tail that wags the entire dog.

  47. No. Web Apps suck. Just ask Pre users.

    Users want native Apps. Just ask Google – the number-one almighty web-app creator – who complained about Apple not yet approving its own native apps for the iPhone. How hypocritical and humiliating this has been for Google.

  48. Too true Scobes. I think folks who don’t use an iPhone don’t ‘get it’, about the Apps. Whatever big A did with the phones, these can be replicated (accelero, dynamic brightness, etc etc). It’s the APPS that gave ‘em a leg up big time, back when nobody was really looking.

  49. Hmmm… Remember the PalmPilot? Apps and all? Didn’t get many users locked for very long, despite the fanatical following. Let’s be honest with ourselves: few of these apps are essential to us iPhone users (we were living well without them before, thank you) and we are all prone to new fads. I believe that the iPhone will not be displaced by another phone hoping to be better than Apple at this game, but rather by a new technology or a new paradigm. And I am ready to bet (reasonably) that this is not going to take that long. Let’s double check tomorrow. That’s in 5 years.

  50. The same for me…To have and use an iPhone is a kind of luxury that a lot of people can benefit for; a kind of democratic luxury which allow time saving, stressless life…So why change ??

  51. 1. Android phones will be sold for $100 UNLOCKED. How come? Well that's simply cause 25 manufacturers are making Android phones, and in fact it only costs $100 to manufacture one of these 3.5″ smartphones.

    2. You will never see real VOIP apps on the iphone cause Apple and AT&T and other iphone carriers around the world are corrupt and they hate VOIP. The carriers feel VOIP is their worse enemy. You won't even see fake VOIP apps like Google Voice on the iphone.

    Android will have real SIP, Skype and other real VOIP apps. Which means that with a $100 Android phone, no need to EVER pay for voice and sms.

    3. Android does multi-tasking which matters. You want your phone to ring on incoming VOIP calls you want it to do sounds on incoming IM, RSS, and any other pings and updates from any other number of really useful apps. The iphone does none of that cause it's just not made right.

    Finally, Sales of Android phones is accelerating. Iphone sales are definitely slowing.

    Next year iphone sales will be nill and Android will dominate.

  52. I believe that was the way Microsoft made its monopoly. I really don’t like Windows OS, in fact, I live thanks to so may problems with microsoft products. But even with all those issues, people are afraid to switch because they are used to windows applications. Big companies doesn’t switch because they invested millions in training, support contracts and licensing.
    I have about 15 paid applications, and I don’t plan to lose those because a new fancy phone.
    The different is that even before the App store, the iphone was already the best phone and it’s getting better and better every day (from my point of view, I respect those who prefer another brand). So even if other company came out with the same amount of applications, I will stay with the iPhone because they are the one that are changing all the industry.

    Even if half of that are crappy applications, the half of 85,000 is 42,500 applications, that way more that any other app store in the world. so if you excuse is that half of the applications are crappy ones, what about the other half? Please, just say you prefer other brands, or you are stuck with other phone, or you just never saw a real iphone in your life and that is ok, but don’t try to convince other people pick your choices.

  53. This was the same point I wanted to make. Firefox has had a great impact on the browser-world, but still hasn't overtaken the most convenient option (IE on PC/Safari on Mac) and is being followed by a much lighter option (Chrome).

    But you (Scoble) also note that apps aren't the only factor in the iPhone's success, which clearly has the exclusivity feel, the slick interface, and entirely coolness of it going for it, not to mention it doing stuff that people want, like phoning, browsing, listening to music, GPS, etc. Apps are in there somewhere, but they certainly aren't the first reason why people buy the phone.

  54. Haha – Scobleizer you´re right. It´s like when the emperor Joseph II explains to Mozart that his new compossion has”…. too many notes” and Mozart replies “Which ones, majesty ?”

    Nice post by the way (I think you´re right)

  55. Love the Appfire link for discovery of new apps, although I see a lot of overlap with my own. I agree that I'm much more likely to switch networks (if given the option) then switch platforms. But there are plenty of non-iPhone users out there looking to upgrade that will seriously consider Android options, including those wishing to migrate from Windows Mobile or BlackBerry.

  56. Diego Sana did´nt pay attention when Apple said to program web apps (or he was whining about how stupid it an idea that was ?)

  57. Wrong. I loved my iPhone, had it for six months and had several apps I loved, but I dropped it in a heartbeat when my employer offered a crappy 8830 Blackberry at no cost.

    Bottom line, the apps are nice, but NONE of them are “lock-ins” that can be unlocked with better, cheaper, and/or faster tech.

  58. Anybody who says that half the apps are iFart apps have no idea what they're talking about. These are typically scared fools who are belittling what they don't understand. Just take a look at the apps located at http://www.sunlightlabs.com/contests/appsforame… — this is a list of IMPORTANT apps which are focused on making us become more involved citizens. These apps can actually help us achieve a REAL democracy in America.

  59. Just as a point of interest, in its last quarter Dell made $472 million profit. While that's not anywhere near as good as Apple, it's a long way from “the bottom”.

  60. Right, the iPhone has a huge head start with apps. even tho Android will eventually offer equivalent versions of all the same popular apps, it will be a year behind until its installed base can catch up – and it's starting about 60 million units behind (counting the Touch too).

    not only does “app inertia” lock iPhone owners in, there is also the larger Mac ecosystem that surrounds it. certainly iTunes, maybe AppleTV and MobileMe (all Windows compatible). for Mac users there are also the iLife conveniences. once you have all this working – and it works good – starting over with another setup just doesn't make sense.

    should note there is also a Google “cloud” ecosystem. most of which works with the iPhone well (but not Voice). all of it should work great with Android. so if you are thoroughly Googled, Android will lock you in there.

  61. Those 30 or so “important” apps are available on Android as well, or if they are important enough can easily be made available.

    1. But they AREN’T being made available and that’s the point! Are you going to do it? Well then who is?

  62. How about when 'Droid hardware gets fast enough and someone writes a wrapper/emulator for iPhone Objective C apps? I'm thinking of the old 3dfx 'Glide' wrapper or any of the many video game console emulators…all you really need is the will and enough CPU horsepower.

    I personally do not like Apple's walled garden or their heavy hand, but I'm in total agreement with Scoble on the apps – they are why I will have a very hard time leaving the iPhone for one of the sexy new 'Droid phones over the next year or two…

  63. “Anyone who says that half the apps are “ifart” apps might not know what they're talking about.”

    Or they're exagerating to underline their point. The problem with bundles of vaguely similar apps all selling for silly prices is that it makes it harder to find the great ones, and the “race to the bottom” of pricing might put developers off writing “substantial” apps because they know the plethora of cheap thrills will put people off paying full price for other apps.

    Imagine finding a needle in a haystack. Difficult right? – now if I give you 100 haystacks you might have a lot of needles but you also have a whole lot of hay to sort through to find them. And in both the case of the app store and my haystacks, you have to sort through the hay pretty carefully to find the needles.

    I love my iPhone, I like the app store, but it seems to me at times that by having an app store model and combining it with admission policies that allow “ifart” level apps through while doing things like rejecting some (but not all) dictionaries because they contain profanity (or in the context of a dictionary, are comprehensive works that actually do what they claim) Apple have actually managed to achieve the worst of both worlds.

  64. Who said anything about representative? I'm pretty sure Robert is not representative of the typical user either, but for different reasons.

    So automatically my opinion doesn't count? Would you say my wife's opinion doesn't count because she uses Linux too? (She knows nothing about the command line, couldn't install it herself — or Windows for that matter, but once it is set up she prefers it)

    Then you need to count out a lot of iPhone users I know, because they heavily use Linux as well and are system administrators and developers.

    I hope I didn't say anywhere in my post that just because someone uses a Mac, your opinion on this matter doesn't count. I was just sharing my opinion on how I prefer Android.

  65. Thank you.

    I realize people need to make the choices on what works best for them. For some people, that just might be a Blackberry. Others it might be the iPhone. But please don't count Android out. :)

    A good friend once asked me why I was using a particular piece of software to accomplish a particular task. I actually couldn't think of why I was using it over the alternatives other than “just because”. So I re-evaluated it and found something that was a better fit that actually had the features I needed. So, why do people use the platform they use? Is it because it is the shiniest one? Or do they have reasons like Scoble has listed for him? If so, good. I have my own as well for using Android.

  66. 2 things to think about – first, there are more than enough potential customers that either don’t have an iphone, don’t like their iPhone, or aren’t locked into their apps enough to not switch to make the platform a success.

    second, of the 85k apps, there are most likely only about 100 that are deal breakers. The rest of the list are either crap, dupes, or advertising masquerading as apps -(design and order a pizza -really?)

    And of the 100″ can’t live withouts”, even at this early stage there is either an Android version or suitable equivalents for 40 of them.

    The iPhone doesn’t have to be killed for Android to succeed, Apple lives quite nicely with their sub 10% of the computer market. And android will have a much larger share than that.

    We’ll see in 18 months what you’re using.

  67. true, the apps really do make the iphone worthwhile, for google to compete they would need to have a market place similar to itunes with 200,000,000+ proven buyers, that is what i find attractive about launching an iphone app, you are tapping into a market that has already proven that it’s willing to pay for iphone apps

  68. I sure am not counting Android out. In fact, I predict and hope that Android and the iPhone OS are the forerunners in this shifting mobile OS landscape. I really do not trust MSFT's corporate culture anymore. I believe they have long lost their way as a great company – neglected the consumer (screwed them even by killing Netscape, not updating IE after they killed Netscape until Mozilla managed to evolve). Worst of all, they neglected their shareholders. Android is part of Google and I like their innovative culture.

  69. Robert, what Google stats are you talking about? Do you mean what percent of mobile browsing is done on an iPhone? I think that's 30-40% — but that doesn't mean that the iPhone is the consumer choice or leader amongst all smart phones. It means that the Safari on the iPhone is the leader among mobile browsers.

    It's impressive, but I think that we need a more complete glimpse of mobile usage. Which handset sends the most email messages? Which sends the most links? Which sends the most text messages? Which logs the most internet access time by apps?

    I bet that BlackBerry, which is the #1 and #3 smart phone by sales, probably out ranks the iPhone by far on key uses. Heck, I bet the Sidekick probably beats out the iPhone for certain uses.

    For me, what makes the iPhone appealing is the multi-touch OS, Safari for iPhone, and internet apps. What makes the iPhone unappealing is AT&T (BlackBerry friends on AT&T suffer dropped calls, lost voice mails, slow email almost as much as iPhone complainers), and the software keypad.

    But I'm a smart phone user already (BlackBerry from corporate work), and so Matthew's point is valid: most of the world is using a non-smart phone and those people can be swayed to rival handsets and carriers for tons of reasons. Most customers buying their first smart phone are not obsessing about the apps. They're worried more about the basic phone features and the basic smart phone and camera phone features.

    85,000 apps is a lot of research for a first time buyer to find something you currently cannot live without.. that you're already living without.

  70. I think there are enough people who don't have iPhones for Android based phones to thrive. However, I think Robert has a point. iPhone users with an investment in apps are not going to suddenly dump all that and switch. At least not without a way to move all my data with me.

  71. First let me introduce myself, I am mobile user, have used and tested almost all smartphone making brands including some worldwide unknown ones, i am iPhone and HTC user at the moment.

    iPhone is a cute toy indeed (the power lies in unix core) it works fast it is comfortable i like it a lot too, but i will just say it once – Dont underestimate Microsoft (and all windows mobile powered devices) and Google (android powered devices). You will ask why, and i will explain: Microsoft now has Marketplace and gaining more developers there, also they have something more in their sleeves – Windows Mobile 7 which will be the mobile OS of 2010; Google with their OS made impressive progress for a short time if they continiue this way they may be the dominant mobile OS in few years. I am just skipping Simbyan (IMO far from touchscreen friendly in evry asspect) WebOS (cute but still needs time to develop on it) and Blackberry OS(the one of the most useless OS on the smartphone market) because they do nothing impressive which can attract the smartphone users to their OS.

    So the point of my post is that you are not correct to judge all other mobile OS players this way because IMO iphone will loose users in the next couple of years.

  72. how long till someone clones the iPhone API? What about porting MonoTouch to Android?

    Software lockin is an unstable strategy and is eminitly disruptable. It took Apple 18 months to build an app ecosystem, or there abouts? And they made (and continue) to make app developers do the Objective-C thing, which is probably earning them no great love.

    We shall see…

  73. Or if one of these other phone companies came up with a browsing experience more capable than any out there, you may not need apps anymore at all.

  74. Sounds like Apple fans sounded when Windows had whole categories of apps that the Mac didn't have. Oh, it doesn't matter, you'd say, but you knew you were on thin ice.

  75. Wow, not only have you made a substantially misinformed comment, but you've completely discredited VentureDeal (you really should take that out of your name if you want to protect your business). In 2007, there were a lot of early adopters. By summer 2008, iPhone was already becoming mainstream (more mainstream than any smartphone in the US at least, where most smartphone users USED TO BE business users. The iPhone has turned that on its nose. These days, I go out with friends, and half of them are using iPhones (the tech savvy and their spouses, and now in some cases, their children). Maybe it caught you by surprise, because certainly the rise of the iPhone has been meteoric compared to PCs, or Windows.

    Today, you still see most of the early adopters on iPhones and those willing to make a few sacrafices (primarily in ap availability) using Android or WebOS–In fact, I am a major early adopter, but no way would I trade my main device for one of the others, because I rely on a variety of aps (and they do change–because…there's ALWAYS “ANOTHER ap for that”.

    Credibility ruined buddy.

    Interesting article, Robert. Still want to read more about the Prius gadgetry.

  76. I'd love to see Google play for real here. But they're taking a psuedo MS approach on this thing and need to lead it more if they really want it to succeed. For example, how about a really rewarding ap development program? Certainly, there are 10s of 1,000s if not more sw engineers out there who would die for a chance to impress Google. The model will have to change somewhat, because no one is going to duplicate the iphone/itunes/app store thing overnight. However, this industry can probably on take one real game changer every 10 years or so (the mainstream users certainly can only digest so much).

    Google has done some good stuff (and a lot of sucky, unfinished stuff), even though they have the resources to take this on with probably another 5 big categories. But they need to be in it 200%. Not sure they're there yet.

    Good news is we have Google/Android and Palm is still here to give it another go. Having lived with the limited Mac sw offerings for years (before that changed) I could certainly support an underdog, if they can make up for those other things in more compelling ways. However, nothing in the Android or WebOS camp has compelled me to even consider yet, and I am waiting.

  77. Scoble, Google is actively shaking the tree as we speak, and apps (and stocks) are falling. TomTom and Garmin bite the wood as Google released Google Navigation for Android 2.0, and god knows how long its gonna take before this appears (if ever) on the iPhone to drive away those GPS software makers. So right now, iPhone became 50-100-200$ more expensive for GPS-requiring folk than an Android phone. And this is a beginning of a trend. Most apps for iPhone already have alternatives for Android. BUT what's available to Android (keyboard replacements, contact app replacements, Home UI replacements) can't be dreamed by even the most avid jailbroken app developers. The bottom line is – yes, people who've invested money in App Store will feel the need to stay and use what they paid for, but eventually what they are missing out outweights that investment (unless investment is in the 5-digit segment, then its just sad).

  78. Oh wow. Excellent point about GPS apps now costing $50/$100 more on iPhone, and compared to Android's native Google Nav app, they suck on top of that.

    Ouch. Take that, Apple. Sorry, but I'm not seeing 85,000 reasons at all. I see only a few:

    1) iPhone experience is superior (so far)
    2) Minor investment in a small handful of apps ($2.99 on average is not enough to keep people from switching, though).
    3) iTunes library compatibility

    Android can (and will) easily compete with iPhone in all of those areas though. There is simply no way that apps create “lock-in.”

  79. So called “iTunes compatibility” isn't so far off for Android OS phones. Double Twist (http://www.doubletwist.com) will serve as a mediator between your iTunes and your non-iDevices, both syncing normal/smart playlists to any type of device (Androis phones, Symbian, Windows Mobile, PSP, PS3, so on and so forth), and will convert Video so that your videos (including videos from watch folders) get automatically transcoded to the exact device's screen resolution and installed. I expect torrent-to-device transcoding bitTorrent client Vuze to allow torrent-to-Android real time transcoding and uploading in soon versions, as it supports iPhone and PSP MPEG-4 pretty well.

  80. the iPhone is without changing everthing, the Photoshop app looks crazy. I've event stopped playing my xbox to play iPhone games.

  81. I'm not convinced that iPhone dominates its market yet. I think in about ten days it's going to have its first real competition. Real, that is, from my own personal point of view. Droid appears to have what I'd want. I might already have an iPhone, but for a number of sticking points, just one of which is carrier lock-in. I simply don't want ATT. And up to this point I have been dragging my feet about getting any phone which does much more than calls. I'm pretty sure there's a significant number like me, and /maybe/ Droid will convince us. Predictions made right now are quite the gamble.

  82. Consider this from TechCrunch: The Problem With iPhone Killers… http://bit.ly/TUoKv – Android is a problem for WinMob and Symbian, not iPhone.
    With only a fraction of the global handphone population owning smartphones, and with only a fraction of the WORLD population owning phones, I think there's enough of a market to support a few good competitors.

  83. You are probably right that people become attached to the apps they have invested in on the iPhone. Except you wrongly assume that these developers wont be making exact copies for any other App store. Whats better than having a successful app on the iPhone? Having the exact same success by developing a copy for Android, Blackberry Maemo, etc ! And with all the push behind Android right now plus the exclusivity of the iPhone price range(we not just talking US here) compared to the cheaper cost of upcoming smartphones , its just a little more time beofre htere will be enough eyes on that Android market to attract enough attention. I have compared the Apple iPhone and Android so many times to buying a car: Imagine going to buy a car, but the only option you have is the colour(yes, colour with a “u”) , oh and you cant open the bonnet and you only use one brand of gas.

    Total lack of choice. Why would anyone want this? iPhone users, it is time to move on…

  84. I switched from Android and the crappy G1 to iPhone and ate the cost because it had the apps I needed and use on a daily basis.
    I have faith that Android 2 and beyond will be there eventually… but the developement on android apps has been slow, very slow. The G1 sucked so hard…. the new Droid deal looks cool but that OS and the apps on it have a lot of growing up to do before I'd consider it again.
    My story: http://rynoweb.com/android-to-iphone/

  85. I do agree that the only thing that makes the iPhone attractive vs other OS like Symbian, Androïd or Windows mobile are its 80K++ apps. However, let's be honest: how many of those apps are REALLY useful to help you be productive when you're away from your desktop/laptop? 10? 15? Honestly, 15 apps are well enough to let you edit a document, don't get lost (GPS), listen to some music/watch movies (why would I need 6 different Internet radio apps?!), sync your contacts, access your PC remotely, turn your cellphone into a hot spot for your PC/Mac, stay in touch with your online community, call using VoIP, keep an eye on the weather, read RSS, send/receive emails… and actually use your phone to give calls!

    And OS like Symbian, Androïd, Windows Mobile, RIM and Maemo devices also provide those necessary apps for free!

    And the best of all: at the end of the day you'll discover that you can do plenty of things with the time you'll have spend installing, testing and finally deleting some of those hundred new iPhone apps. Isn't that wonderful?

  86. Actually:

    DEC was done in by the IBM AS/400 as well as a horrible 32bit to 64bit transition that vaporized most applications that ran using COBOL. The AS/400 had over 6000 business applications when debuted in 1981. DEC may have survived in the engineering department, but for back office applications like payroll and warehousing the AS/400 reigned supreme until the rise of Windows NT.

    The iPhone or any other platform lives and dies based on the applications that are available. This weekend I helped my 61 year old father buy an iPhone 3GS after 7 years of Nokia smart phones because of one single application that was available for the iPhone and he wanted for when he was flying his private plane.

    When major insurance companies make applications for an Android instead of the iPhone, I will worry about Apple's iPhone application dominance. Until then, every time my father shows one of his flying buddies what he can do with his phone now; there will be that much more draw to the iPhone and away from the current flavor of the day.

    Folke Sonin

  87. Actually:

    I bought a Mac mini and learned Objective-C (Which is a strict superset of C and a lot like SmallTalk) just to write iPhone applications. Total cost out of pocket was under 700$ and most of that was the computer. To do anything with Nokia or Microsoft was thousands of dollars. I plan on using the revenue from my iPhone applications to pay off my house. I am being empowered by Apple's iPhone and see absolutely no reason at the present time to try and write any applications for Android 2.0