Yes, Steve, I do want my phone to be an open platform

I was captivated by the iPhone announcement.  It's a great looking design; I suspect that Apple, being Apple, has probably nailed the actual interaction too, including keyboard.  I was ready to buy one immediately (darn that pesky FCC!).  But then:

"You don't want your phone to be an open platform," says Steve Jobs. 

What?  Yes, I do.  I want to carrry just one personal device that serves me the way I want.  I do not want to be locked in to a "garden of pure ideology" (warning: ironic link) defined by any one company.  I want a free market.

And: "Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up."

That's simply laughable.  If Cingular's network is so fragile that a single poorly coded application can destroy it, they have much bigger problems than needing to lock down the iPhone.  You deal with those issues at the protocol and network levels, not at the clients.

I won't even try to predict whether this is a fatal flaw for the iPhone -- it has a lot of other things going for it, and of course it is a decision which can easily be changed.  But it will determine whether the iPhone is a game-changer or just a cool looking phone.

Doc Searls' take: "Well, it's good either way. Because a closed iPhone is a market opening for Nokia, Motorola and the rest of them."


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