After the acclamation, for Apple opening up its iPhone to outside applications, comes the anxiety.
Developers were expressing concern today at what they saw as a poorly-worded email from Apple that could be read as suggesting many were being left out of the iPhone developer programme for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, at the Emerging Communications Conference at the Computer History Museum on Thursday, I listened as Christopher Allen of iphonewebdev.com reeled off a long list of restrictions by Apple on what it will let developers create for the iPhone.
They included no applications that have executable code, which he said ruled out Java and Flash applications. The guidelines also required an application to terminate for an incoming phone call, making it an unsatisfactory experience for users of something like an instant-messaging client. He speculated on whether developers could include non-Apple media codecs such as DivX and he said it was unclear whether there would be access to the iPhone’s Bluetooth wireless capabilities.
On the positive side, there was Kleiner Perkins’ $100m fund for developers, a 70-30 revenue split between developers and Apple, the iPod touch providing an additional market and Apple’s habit of releasing quarterly upgrades to its firmware, compared to the mobile industry’s attitude of expecting users just to buy a new phone for fresh capabilities.
In nine months, the iPhone has grabbed 28 per cent of the US smartphone market and it is the vehicle for 71 per cent of all US mobile internet usage, he said.
Plenty of reasons then for high anxiety as well as anticipation about getting inside and exploiting this ground-breaking device.