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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On Neutrality and iPhone SDK

iPhone SDK is already controversial.

I am not sure what to make of Apple's tactics. At some level, I find it unfair that Apple won't allow any competitive software to run on the iPhone; at the same time I wonder why should Apple play the altruist--it has an opportunity here to make money, so make it. Good for Apple, good for Apple's stockholders.

Apple anyway has a history of being closed platform. It is only recently that it moved to Intel, till then the Mac was a big beautiful box. With that kind of background, it is no wonder they guard the iPhone so zealously. However, I wonder if Apple is not missing a trick by blocking Sun's Java VM port for the iPhone. It seems, with the kind of restrictions Apple has put in place for developers using the SDK, that the only kind of software it is willing to allow are pure applications. No software that can even remotely be construed as a framework/enabler-of-other-software is going to be allowed. Smart move, I guess, as far as protecting one's turf goes. A large part of Apple's user base has also been supporters of the open software movement. It is actually very interesting how Apple always comes out smelling of roses in spite of its notorious antipathy towards any kind of competition. It will be interesting to how they react to this very restrictive SDK. I personally don't find anything wrong with monopolistic practices, as long as no coercion is involved; but I am not sure right now.

This kind of tactics has always invited regulators' wrath. Let us see what lies in store for Apple.

Interesting times are ahead, my friends.

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