Categories
News

Why Steve Jobs hates the iPhone App Store

Chris Messina has posted a rather interesting perspective on ‘Why Steve Jobs hates the App Store.’

If this is even half interesting to you, pop along and have a read. Chris has laid out the strategy he reckons Jobs would take if he really hated the App Store platform… the stimulating point being that, every point Chris makes has actually already happened.

Chris ends his post by suggesting that Jobs, first looking like Neo from the Matrix, is now looking a lot like Agent Smith.

I particularly appreciate these ending paragraphs:

Steve Jobs hates the App Store for the same reasons I do: development for the iPhone platform is a distraction. It’s taking our eyes off the ball, and ignoring the bigger shift that’s happening beneath our feet. Developing iPhone apps now means postponing a better and more capable web until later, because so much energy is fixated on the cool whiz-bang effects in the iPhone platform that just haven’t been implemented in browsers… yet.

and this one:

We’ll look at this period as a great Dark Age that preceded the real next leap in computing — the age when we moved away from the stale metaphor of applications and moved to a world of ad-hoc connected identity agents living and feeding on a mesh of interwoven open data.

I think you’re right, Chris.

Yesterday a few friends were asking me about whether Apple will continue to dominate the mobile phone industry. I explained my view: Apple has pointed the way ahead. But they’re looking like they’ll continue to always be a bit-player, leaving the mass-market open for the likes of Android.

Apple will continue to punch above their weight for some time; but the mass market will catch up. Nokia’s management will, finally, be removed or reprogrammed. The mobile operators will have a say.

We are in the Dark Age, most definitely. It’s been a necessary step though, it really has. Only a few years ago, the thought of the might of Silicon Valley turning its attention to the mobile/wireless marketplace was a glint in the proverbial milkman’s eye, at least a decade away.

I think we’ll continue to be fixated on the ‘cool whiz-bang effects’ of the iPhone simply because the experience is, in many cases, wondrous.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

19 replies on “Why Steve Jobs hates the iPhone App Store”

Although the title is a bit provocative, the article is right. Apple, Google, etc do see the tectonic shift happening in application development, and more importantly, usage. People spend more and more of their time interacting with applications that do not entirely reside on their device. More often than not, none of the application resides on the device. The challenge will be developing frameworks to cope with the myriad of form factors and input methods.

All I have to say is that if Apple really feels this way, then put up or shut up; if they feel the browser is where it's at then freaking he'll just implement already! They just had one of their milestone moments with the release of 3.0 — so why not wow the world with your amazing new browser tech? Google will get gears for mobile perfected soon, and Apple needs to be right there competing, or Android will simply keep moving further ahead.

My .02 cents (written on my iPhone)

Really, you sound a lot like the anti-iPod pundits of the early days: Apple's iPod was overpriced and would soon be undercut by cheaper MP3 players that were cheaper, had greater capacity, FM tuners and all kinds of features that the iPod did not (and would never) have. Substitute “iPhone” for “iPod” and “Android” for “Rio” (or whatever player was going to eat the iPod's lunch).

Eventually, the iPod beat (crushed, actually) competitors based on price, as Apple smartly rode a sharp design down the economy-of-scale curve, yet kept introducing cool new things at the top of the line. We see that now, as the iPhone has gone from $500 to $200, with the previous generation dropping to $100 new.

And they're still way ahead. In big ways and in many small ways. (Have you seen the Take Back The Beep campaign and how it turns out Apple's ahead of the curve on this, too?)

I know that I do not get cellphone reception most of my business day, so I won't be depending on network-dependent apps any time soon. And of course, these apps — if they actually live off-phone — will tend to be lowest-common-denominator-ugly, as they always have been.

Not to mention that Safari/Webkit's already ahead of the curve in terms of web animation, etc, if that does turn out to be a factor. Apple is learning lessons in the “Cloud computing” realm, and Android is all about development on the phone, not on the network/web.

Don't confuse me for an anti-Apple chap. I'm a big fan. I think they'll always bit a bit-player though — but that's always been their strategy. It'll be that way unless we start seeing $49 iPhone Nanos hitting the market (which would be brilliant)

Sorry, I should have been specific — I meant $49 only. Simply $49. No contracts, no commitments, simply $49 from your local Walgreens.

Chris Messina sounds like a forgotten poet: “..the stale metaphor of applications…” or “…a world of ad-hoc connected identity agents living and feeding on a mesh of interwoven open data.” Google isn't going to rank him highly for his keywords.

On the other hand, the iPhone is a bit-player, although owners will never admit it. Its market penetration is a drop in an ocean of increasingly complex mobile computing devices . (Aha! I can insert lots of adjectives like Messina; Nirvana is around the corner.)

I agree there's more “..whix-bang…” to the thing. The iPhone awakened a curiously lackadaisical mobile industry that measured its success on “buckets of minutes” and a mobile Web offering the local weather and sports scores.

As LG, Samsung, Palm and, yes, Nokia finally get off their behinds and advance the state of mobile computing, the iPhone glitz will fade into oblivion. What Steve Jobs should worry over is the future of Apple's laptops. There's no reason why a netbook tethered to a more basic handset might be the next craze.

I agree, bring on the Android for sure.. I think that before worrying
about web apps they need to start worrying about opening up thier
attitude and platform a bit. Android's major strength is not just it's
multitasking, etc over the iPhone, but the fact that a dev can write
for it without worrying about the crapshoot that is the App Store (as
the recent Google Voice fiasco demonstrates). Android has more
options for devices, a more open environment, and if the gathering
steam continues, almost as much industry support. Really, Apple is
left with a much prettier UI, and a world class marketing department.

Don't get me wrong, I love what my iPhone can do, but I'm getting more
and more interested in Android as certain gaps are filled — if Apple
doesn't step up the innovation, I'll be on an Android handset this
time next year, I can almost guarantee.


Sent from my mobile.

I agree, bring on the Android for sure.. I think that before worrying
about web apps they need to start worrying about opening up thier
attitude and platform a bit. Android's major strength is not just it's
multitasking, etc over the iPhone, but the fact that a dev can write
for it without worrying about the crapshoot that is the App Store (as
the recent Google Voice fiasco demonstrates). Android has more
options for devices, a more open environment, and if the gathering
steam continues, almost as much industry support. Really, Apple is
left with a much prettier UI, and a world class marketing department.

Don't get me wrong, I love what my iPhone can do, but I'm getting more
and more interested in Android as certain gaps are filled — if Apple
doesn't step up the innovation, I'll be on an Android handset this
time next year, I can almost guarantee.


Sent from my mobile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.