Apple "Big Brothers" iPhone Apps

Apple's approach amazes me sometimes. The much anticipated iPhone SDK to open up the iPhone to a world of 3rd party apps has two huge gotcha's:

App distribution only through Apple's App Store, and Apple's ultimate authority to restrict the applications (4 categories defined, plus "unforeseen", right now) you can use.

Apple's closed mindedness still permeates the iPhone. This from the company that produced the "1984 won't be like 1984" big brother commercial. Mind boggling.

There are bright spots though. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announcement of a $100m fund for innovative iPhone apps (apply directly from the Apple site), Apple's embracing business users by adding email sync and wipe features, and the well featured iPhone SDK which builds upon Apple's existing development tools. Is that enough to fend off Google's Android? Well have to see.

But you still have to live with an iPhone chained to AT&T as the only wireless carrier (sorry, no price pressure options for enterprise contracts - thanks, Apple), and Apple's App Store is likely to become as badly designed and managed as the iTunes bloatware we have to deal with to use an iPod. (When is Apple trashing iTunes and starting over with a useable product that doesn't require a manual upgrade ever other time I use it?)

All the iPhone faithful will sing praises about the iPhone SDK and finally having a phone that isn't dead to the world if Apple didn't write the software. But while Apple continues to innovate, there's no sure sign this helps them dominate.

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