From a Walled Garden to 1984
Everybody, hailed the iPhone as the savior to set developers and mobile businesses free from the walled gardens of traditional carriers. At first, Apple instantly gifted developers with easy access to a mobile audience that bypassed having to deal with carriers. The ancient lumbering beasts that are Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile were out of the picture. Now we didn’t have to worry about being “on deck” or pre-installed onto phones to reach a mobile audience. All we had to do was submit our application to Apple and within a couple weeks, BOOM, someone with an iPhone would have your application.
Sadly, we all knew that we were climbing out of the walled garden only to land straight into 1984.
The problem is that Apple doesn’t need to explain why it removed Google Voice, NetShare, Podcaster, or Sling from the App Store. Developers can try to abandon the platform, but there are plenty of others to take their place. Developers and businesses can’t just turn a blind eye to the 30-40 million (depending on who you ask) iPhone install base. To put that number into perspective, when you factor in iPod Touches, it rivals one of the best handheld selling devices of all time, Nintendo DS, in yearly sales.
I’m going to predict that Apple doesn’t have to back down from it’s position any time soon and there will be nary a mention of abandoning ship from everybody attending the sold out iPhoneDevCamp this weekend.