Mark Pilgrim sounds off about the iPhone software ecosystem:
All you independent Mac developers: youâ€™re all sharecroppers, and your rent just went up. Way up.
The funny thing is that no-one was bleating like this when the iPod was released. This highlights to me a lot of confusion on the part of the general populace of technology pundits.
Apple â‰ Mac
It’s like when a local ignoramus asks me whether I’d like to work for “MAC”.
The Macintosh (or Mac) is a product. Apple is a company. It’s only a result of Apple’s stagnancy in the mid 90s that “Apple Mac” has become a phrase in itself. At one time, Apple made the Apple II, the Mac. Later they made Newtons, Pippins, Quicktake Cameras, LaserWriter printers, AppleScan scanners. In the mid-90s Apple dropped everyhing but the Mac and that left them with one revenue stream. And when it failed, Apple nearly failed.
If anything, the iPod and now the iPhone represent a return to Apple’s core business. Apple as a company should have multiple products. They’ve done excellent work re-trenching the Mac. Then they used the ‘faithful’ Mac market as a huge focus group for the iPod knowing that a lot of them would buy simply because of the Apple logo. The fact that MP3 players that worked with the Mac were all shit just ensured success in that micro-niche.
Pilgrim believes that because the iPhone exists that Mac developers, who only exist at Apple’s behest, will have a harder time of things.
Apple is stating that the iPhone, just like the iPod, is a closed platform. They only want applications that don’t look shit to exist on this device. This restriction didn’t stop some enterprising developers from getting Linux and third party applications working on iPod so it’ll not stop enterprising hackers from doing the same on iPhone.
Pilgrim’s general dissatisfaction with the Mac for his needs is well documented and entirely his opinion (even if you think he’s being a shithead about it). I think he’s a little upset that he’s not leading a charge against the establishment with hundreds of hairy geeks supporting him. It’s the same emotion that has your local PC geek telling you why you were stupid for buying a “MAC” and that you should just buy a PC. He’s insecure and needs the group to justify his position, to bolster his ego.
I don’t give a shit about what computer you buy. I just don’t want you to try and force me to use a computer system I’m not interested in.
I’m interested in the iPhone. I want one. Not only because it’s the closest thing to the “Ghost” I was talking about last week but also because it’s the son of Newton. It just looks like it feeds off the UI principles that Newton pioneered.
I just gotta wait.