Monday, August 4, 2008

iPhone Platform and App Store Beta 2

The title may be misleading as what is going on with the iTunes App Store for the iPhone has rippling effects on the rest of the wireless market. These days on the mobile war front, where Apple leads, so goes the market.

But you're asking, "the app store has been online for weeks. Beta?"

If you're up stalking the iPhone and Mac press since mid-week last week, Apple developed a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality with Netshare, a tethering app for the iPhone. Not long after it was posted (I think to everyone's great surprise and joy), it as removed with no explanation. Then on Friday afternoon, it was rereleased to the app store only to have it removed mere hours later, again, we were graced with the customary Apple silence.

Include this with the crashes, seemingly unpolished GPS application (turn-by-turn app coming), and app-push capability, we believe there is a good deal of evidence that the strategy for the iPhone platform and the accompanying elements like the app store is far being set in stone and users may be part of a greater experiment.

But is this uncharacteristic of Apple? Yes, in recent memories, we have nothing but praises for the transition from PowerPC to Intel, the great OS X, Macs, and the iPods. However, when the OS X was first released to the public, there was widespread issues regarding functionalities and stabilities of the operating system as well.

No company including Apple will come out and say we're still working out the details. It would be a PR nightmare even with Jobs' reality distortion field on at maximum. But a bit of communication from Apple would help alleviate a lot of anxiety and speculations (such as the financial and Mac communities did when Jobs appeared at WWDC looking thin and sick). The blog instituted to help explain to users the situation with the MobileMe transition, albeit late, was a good first step.

We like to see more of it. These are all lessons that Microsoft, Nokia, RIM, and Android can learn from. Thanks again, Apple, for leading the way. Just do better yourself.

Note: Even with the iPhone where it is today as I've described it, I'm not giving it up for anything else. I've tried other smartphones and they have their own strengths which in itself is to be applauded. But nothing comes close to iPhone's own strength. It comes down to a matter of personal preferences and needs.

Also, Onxo believes, with the iPhone and other future Apple mobile devices, we're seeing a new and different class mobile device and platform than what we're used to seeing in the other smartphones or laptops. We don't know if it'll be good or great or how Apple's peers will try perceive and compete with it. We don't what Apple has in mind for this new platform. We do know one thing: it makes calls.

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