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iPhone Not Running OS X 476

Posted by kdawson
from the but-but-steve-said-it-was dept.
rochlin writes "We know that Steve Jobs has said the iPhone won't accept third-party apps. The iPhone looks to be running on a Samsung provided ARM core processor. That means it's not running on an Intel (or PPC) core. That means it's not running OS X in any meaningful sense (Apple can brand toilet paper as running OS X if they like). Darwin, the BSD based operating system that underlies what Apple has previously been calling OS X, does not run on ARM processors. The Darwin / Apple Public Source licensing agreement says the source would have to be made available if it is modified and sold (paraphrased; read it yourself). A Cingular rep has said the iPhone version of the OS source will not be made available. It will be closed, like the iPod OS and not like Darwin. So if it ain't Darwin, it ain't OS X (in any meaningful way). An InfoWorld article on an FBR Research report breaks down iPhone component providers and lists Samsung as the chip maker for the main application / video cpu. So, that leaves the question... What OS is this phone really running? Not Linux or the source would need to be open."
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iPhone Not Running OS X

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  • by Timesprout (579035) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:28PM (#17594642)
    Its running Vista. Thats why its not available for a few months, Apple are waiting for the first service pack to be released.
    • by bonch (38532) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:18PM (#17595292)
      That means it's not running OS X in any meaningful sense (Apple can brand toilet paper as running OS X if they like).

      How does it mean it's not running OS X in any meaningful sense? I'd say having Cocoa/AppKit (and therefore an Objective-C runtime), Core Animation, and other OS X technologies constitutes being OS X.

      So if it ain't Darwin, it ain't OS X (in any meaningful way)

      Again, what is with this "meaningful" crap? Objective-C, Cocoa, AppKit, and the like are OS X. OS X is the NextStep-derived stuff running on top of Darwin. It can most certainly be OS X without Darwin. In fact, it might be Apple's first steps toward moving off of Mach sometime in the future.
      • by galimore (461274) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @07:28PM (#17596760)
        Agreed...

        The keynote very specifically listed:

        Syncing, Networking, Multi-tasking, Low power, Security, Video, Cocoa, Core Animation, Graphics, and Audio...

        Some of the above is very "duh", but having Cocoa, and Core Animation are two things that I would consider to be part of OS X... so even if the thing doesn't run the Darwin kernel, if it's compatible at the application layer I'd consider it OS X enough. ;)

        Seems like people are splitting hairs here...

        Maybe Apple is misleading us, maybe not... Hard to say with a closed platform.
      • by Millenniumman (924859) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @08:09PM (#17597196)
        It could still be Darwin. Apple is the copyright holder, and can do whatever they want with their copyright (unless it conflicts with someone else's, but most of Darwin is BSD).
        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:04AM (#17601570) Journal
          Back when Darwin was part of OPENSTEP, it ran on:
          1. i486
          2. SPARC
          3. Motorola 68K
          4. PA-RISC
          After Apple bought it, they ported it to PowerPC. It hardly seems a strech to expect that they could port it to a fifth platform, especially one they designed themselves. And, as you mentioned, they have no more obligation to release the source than they did for OPENSTEP; it's their code, they can do with it what they wish. The license agreement is a binding agreement between the copyright holders and people who want the code, not between the copyright holder and themselves.
      • by samkass (174571) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @08:49PM (#17597572) Homepage Journal
        I'm not sure why you bothered to reply to this article; it's so utterly wrong in so many ways. First of all, Apple holds the copyright to Darwin and can use it however they want. Just because they license it to YOU under a license that requires YOU to share code you modify, Apple is not bound by that license. Secondly, it would be silly for Apple NOT to leverage some of the Mac OS, but it would be just as silly for them to port the entire desktop OS. I think of this as about the same as saying the XBox OS is Windows 2000. It shares many APIs, it's branched from the same codebase, but it's targeted and maintained for a completely different goal.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Close but no cigar, it's iVista.
    • by smackenzie (912024) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:36PM (#17595510)
      Looks like it really is a scaled-down version of Mac OS X. From Macworld Expo:

      The iPhone is running an optimised but full version of OS X that weighs in at "considerably less" than half a GB, according to Apple vice president of worldwide iPod marketing Greg Joswiak.

      Joswiak confirmed that the operating system sits in the flash memory of the device and that Apple will "provide updates to the operating system like we do today."

      Joswiak claimed that the reduced size of the operating system was a result of expertise of the team at Apple, rather than cutting out functionality or removing core technologies. "Remember that OS X on a Mac features a lot of applications that we don't have to ship on the iPhone," he added.

      http://www.macworld.co.uk/ipod-itunes/news/index.c fm?newsid=16927 [macworld.co.uk]
      • by dafing (753481) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @06:34PM (#17596080) Journal
        Jobs+Wozniak=Joswiak?
      • by zephc (225327) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @06:40PM (#17596140)
        It's pretty easy to figure out what they probably did: a port of XNU sitting under the most/all the higher level frameworks, and little of the BSD layer except the APIs. And like Joswiak said, thy can cut out a LOT of stuff without crippling the OS or APIs. A sizable chunk of /System and /System/Library can be cut out because it contains support for things not needed on a phone/ipod/internet device, then of course pretty much all of /Applications and that leaves you with a slim, but real, OS X.
      • I can create a 600meg bootable cdr OSX today, theres a program that does it for you.

        And after that its easy to trim things down.

        Getting it fast is another story, though it was decent on 600mhz PPCs, being a smaller screen it should be easy, especially with 99% of
        services not running/installed like printer/ samba / sshd etc.
      • by smackenzie (912024) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @07:38PM (#17596874)
        1. Here are the iPhone components according to FRB Research via arstechnica [arstechnica.com]:

        - Samsung Electronics for the CPU/Video processing
        - Marvell for the 802.11 chipset
        - Infineon Technologies for baseband communications
        - Broadcomm Corp. for the touch screen controllers
        - Cambridge Silicon Radio for the Bluetooth chipset

        2. Darwin is an open source core based on FreeBSD according to Apple, Inc. [apple.com].

        3. Here is freebsd on ARM processors (intel-based). ARM FreeBSD [freebsd.org].

        4. Why is it tough to believe that Apple would simply recompile necessary components of Darwin on the ARM processors and then include and compile the necessary (and only the necessary!) mid level libraries? Many existing apps would work with only minor modifications (to take into account the new control scheme) and a recompile.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by creimer (824291)
      Yes, let the truth be known. Apple stole back from Microsoft what Mircosoft stole from Apple that Apple stole from Xerox PARC. What goes around comes around. Take a guess what's going to be in Zune OS 2.0?
  • by xenocide2 (231786) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:29PM (#17594654) Homepage
    Surely Apple's free to do what they want with their source code, unless it OSX is substantially based on code from elsewhere.
  • by russotto (537200) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:31PM (#17594690) Journal
    Last things first: Apple doesn't have to abide by the APSL with respect to their own code.

    Second, if it's "OS X" on PPC, and "OS X" on Intel, why wouldn't it be "OS X" on ARM? It could well come from the very same code base, simply an unreleased branch.
    • by Jonny Ringo (444580) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:36PM (#17594744)
      Well, it just wouldn't be on ARM in a "meaningful way". :)
    • by mnmn (145599) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:37PM (#17594750) Homepage
      OSX/Darwin are based on FreeBSD. Samsung does produce ARM9 chips which have an integrated MMU, which FreeBSD requires.

      I really don't think its quite a stretch to have OSX on an ARM9 chip. GCC will compile BSD for ARM9.

      What I wont buy is the full set of Cocoa, Aqua and other graphic-heavy API in its full glory on the iPhone. The device probably uses Darwin compiled for ARM9 with mobile-Cocoa and mobile-Aqua (and others).
      • by Score Whore (32328) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:42PM (#17594834)
        Darwin/OSX is based on the FreeBSD userland. The kernel is based on Mach. Regardless of whether either one requires an MMU or a nuclear reactor in order to run keep in mind that it's software. Which means that clever types and go in and make some changes and maybe take away a requirement or add a feature. Gosh kids these days.
      • by timeOday (582209)
        Who cares whether it runs OS-X on it or not? Since it's locked down, it really doesn't matter what it's like to develop for - there will be no 3rd party apps.

        Going on a tangent here, but I've been extremely frustrated by the failure of Java to provide a write-once-run-anywhere environment for PDAs. Turns out J2ME doesn't even support AWT, you must use a completely separate GUI API (MIDP), which is a pathetic piece of junk. Imagine a widget set without buttons!

        Smartphones and PDAs are so frustrating, a

        • by quigonn (80360)
          Imagine a widget set without buttons!

          You do have buttons. On your phone!

          On a more serious sidenote, MIDP was designed at a time when mobile devices were still pretty low level, and future development in user interfaces wasn't exactly planned in.
    • by kripkenstein (913150) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:38PM (#17594772) Homepage
      Last things first: Apple doesn't have to abide by the APSL with respect to their own code.

      True. And whatever code in OS X that isn't theirs is, if I am not mistaken, BSD-licensed, so that is no problem either.

      Why would Apple create a new OS from scratch? This is probably a port of OS X to ARM (or whatever processer is used), designed for a small memory footprint and so forth.
    • by Arker (91948)
      I agree, the submitter exhibited clearly faulty logic in his deduction that it would not be running XNU.

      Also, I have to say, after the announcement that the phones will be locked down and prohibit third party apps, all stories about the iPhone ceased to be 'News for Nerds' or 'Stuff that matters.' At least until the story about how to hack around the locks appears...

        Too bad we can't moderate the stories offtopic.
    • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:40PM (#17595550)
      Second, if it's "OS X" on PPC, and "OS X" on Intel, why wouldn't it be "OS X" on ARM?
      Because that wouldn't jive with the competitor-funded Apple-haters desperately trying to tear down the iPhone in the last few days.
  • by defy god (822637) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:34PM (#17594710)
    I think you are a bit confused. The license holders, in this case Apple, have the right to license out their works to people in an agreement that defines what the licensees can do with Apple's product. The "Darwin / Apple Public Source licensing agreement" you quote is just this, Apple's agreement with whoever wants to use it. Apple, being the owners of the Mac OS X, can do whatever they'd like with Mac OS X because they own the rights. We, on the other hand, are only licensing it.
    • by arth1 (260657)
      I think you are a bit confused yourself. Apple only hold the rights to the small parts of OS X that they developed themselves. The majority of OS X (including the kernel) is based on BSD, GNU and other Open Source code that never originated within Apple. If they are to reuse any of that for the Apple iPhone, they would have to release the source code.

      --
      *Art
      • by pavon (30274) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:47PM (#17594904)
        No the parent is right. There is very little GPL or otherwise copyleft code shipped with OS X, and what is there is all userland stuff that really doesn't need to be on a phone. The vast majority of the stuff that Apple/NeXT didn't write is licensed under BSD-like terms, and therefore allows them to do whatever they want with it.
      • The majority of OS X (including the kernel) is based on BSD, GNU and other Open Source code that never originated within Apple.

        BSD does not require that modified source code be released. AFAIK, there is no GNU software in the mainline distribution of OS X. The only significant piece of GNU software that I'm aware of is the optional GCC compiler. Since Apple is unlikely to ship GCC on their iPhone, they're almost certainly free and clear.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jlarocco (851450)

        I think you are a bit confused yourself. Apple only hold the rights to the small parts of OS X that they developed themselves. The majority of OS X (including the kernel) is based on BSD, GNU and other Open Source code that never originated within Apple. If they are to reuse any of that for the Apple iPhone, they would have to release the source code.

        No, if I'm not mistaken, OSX is based largely on FreeBSD. The BSD license doesn't require the source code to be released. In fact, I could grab the FreeB

        • by killjoe (766577)
          "Not smart, but allowed by the license, and 100% legal. The only caveat is that somewhere I would have to state that I'm using BSD copyrighted code."

          Why isn't it smart? Presuming you can add some value it's always smart to profit from free labor.

          IIRC they also took the advertising clause away so you don't even have to tell anybody about it.

      • by CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:14PM (#17595230) Journal
        psssst! BSD isn't licenced under the GPL. The name of the license BSD is under escapes me right now, but I'm pretty sure it isn't GPL (or any other license you were thinking of which requires releasing source code). (end sarcasam).
  • so what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:34PM (#17594718)
    So it's not running OSX. Who cares? Why does it have to be running some variant of a desktop OS anyway? There are plenty of embedded OSes to choose from...
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      There are plenty of embedded OSes to choose from...

      Exactly. As long as it's not Windows Mobile, s'all good...

      -b.

    • Re:so what? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:37PM (#17595522)
      But it is running a variant of OS X. The very fact it has Cocoa and Core Animation means it has Objective-C and AppKit (and not only that, but a version derived from Leopard) and probably some stripped-down version of Darwin.

      I've been seeing these kinds of comments a lot lately. Why is it hard for some people to accept that this is a mobile version of OS X?
  • First, if it was really OSX, why would they need Google's help to implement Google Maps? It would just run.
    Second, the interface is obviously significantly different.
    Third, it's hard to believe a handheld would have the resources to run OSX.
    Finally, if it was really OSX, then any OSX app would run on it (in theory).

    I suspect it's "OS X" like my PDA runs "Windows".
    • by nacturation (646836) <nacturation@@@gmail...com> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:52PM (#17594966) Journal

      First, if it was really OSX, why would they need Google's help to implement Google Maps?
      It's possible that the "Google helped with maps" line is more of a marketing move than any real technical requirement. It benefits Apple to say that Google backs their phone. It benefits Google to say that Apple chose them over any other map supplier. A good win/win even if it turns out to be a little white lie.
       
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by rsargent (533171)
        I assume Apple worked with Google in order to integrate Google Maps with the phone more tightly than would be possible with a generic web application. If you watch Steve's demo, you'll see him do a Maps search for Starbucks and then click (actually I guess touch) the result to make a (prank) call to one nearby. Very cool!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cuzco (998069)
      The Google map portion of the iPhone demo showed off the double-tap and "pinch zoom" if I recall correctly. These scaling methods may have required some tweaks on Google's end. One thing that was clear from the demo is that Google Maps had it's own button on the home screen so there could also be some handshaking/connection code specific to the iPhone.
    • > First, if it was really OSX, why would they need Google's help to implement Google Maps?
      > It would just run.

      But it wouldn't be integrated into the phone functionality, which was what Jobs demonstrated at the keynote.

      > Second, the interface is obviously significantly different.

      Yes.

      > Third, it's hard to believe a handheld would have the resources to run OSX.

      The handheld is more powerful than the desktops that ran NeXTStep with no problem in its time.

      > Finally, if it was really OSX, then any O
    • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:44PM (#17595588)
      Wow, there's nothing in your post that proves it's not OS X. A new interface and the fact Apple isn't letting third-parties run on it magically means it's not OS X? Just because you believe it doesn't have the resources to run an embedded version of OS X? And when did Steve Jobs ever say they needed Google's "help" to implement the maps feature? They simply worked with them, which is a market-speak way of saying they partnered up in the search features of the iPhone.

      It's OS X. Deal with it, people.
  • Well, considering... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bin_jammin (684517) <Binjammin@gmail.com> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:40PM (#17594808)
    it's a microkernel, why not just drop aqua onto whatever kernel they feel like? If it's not a gpl or other open licensed kernel, there's no requirement to publish code, and Apple still retains the right to call it OSX. Unless I am missing something, It's always been called OSX running on BSD, I'm assuming this means the look and feel of the GUI, the window manager, the kernel, and several other things are what make up an operating system. In the case of a kernel swap it might not be UNIX or BSD any longer, but won't it still be OSX?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gillham (161958)
      Have you guys *READ* the BSD license? It has never forced source code to be published. In fact this is the fundamental issue between the BSD license and GPL camps. I am shocked and dismayed to see how many uneducated comments have been made in this thread about the BSD license requiring source code to be published.

      Regarding the question of "Can it really be OSX running on the iPhone?", it seems pretty obvious to me. If the iPhone is indeed an ARM chip, then I would *assume* Apple has ported Darwin to th
  • What ?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by warrior_s (881715)
    The iPhone looks to be running on a Samsung provided ARM core processor

    Well what makes you think that???? seriously just a job posting on apple.com [apple.com] is not enough to say that.
  • OSX != Mac OSX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by robbieduncan (87240) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:43PM (#17594856) Homepage
    I think you are confusing OSX with Mac OSX. Mac OSX is the OS that Apple sell and put on their computers. At no point in the Keynote or after has anyone said that the iPhone runs Mac OSX. They have simply said that it runs OSX. To my mind this means that it is running a subset of Mac OSX. At the very least the iPhone OSX appears to be missing Carbon (no loss to me), the Finder and other "built in" apps and quite possibly Quicktime. Whilst Steve said it had Cocoa that normally just refferrs to the main Kits: Foundation and the App Kit. This does not include PDFKit, QTKit and so on.

    Whether is's based off Darwin or not is hard to say. At a certain level that does not matter. What would matter if Apple decide to open up to third part developers is the APIs that are available. There may be a small subset that want POSIX on their phone but for actual application development Cocoa with some custom PhoneKit is probably all that is important.
    • by dabraun (626287)
      As if there was ever a public understanding that there was a differnence between "OSX" and "Mac OSX"? What other OSX do you think people would know about?

      This is clearly running "OSX" to just about the same extent that PocketPCs are running "Windows" - except that Microsoft never pretended that they were running the "full desktop OS" - it was always well known that they were based on WinCE (which was the actual brand used for several years before being renamed to Windows Mobile).

      Jobs clearly implied that t
    • by liangzai (837960)
      Quicktime and PDFKit are required to run Safari, so it should be part of the package. Besides, the whole iPod enchilada is based on Quicktime, so I can't see how you figure it is not included.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by shawnce (146129) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:45PM (#17594874) Homepage
    1) Apple isn't affected by the APSL in this way. The APSL affects 3rd parties that contribute, use or modify the source that Apple makes available. It doesn't require Apple to make source or changes to source available.

    2) Mac OS X is portable. It already runs on x86, x86-64, ppc, and ppc64. It looks like Apple has it running on ARM ISA (not sure exactly which) given statements by Apple.

    Exactly which aspects of XNU, IOKit, BSD layer, user-land frameworks, etc. that make up "OS X" are running on the iPhone is unknown (Cocoa has been stated to exist by Apple, which implies a handful of other frameworks also exist). It is also possible that something other then XNU is being used... but I doubt that... much more likely it is has been slimmed down to exactly what the iPhone needs.
    • 2) Mac OS X is portable. It already runs on x86, x86-64, ppc, and ppc64.

      And its base (NeXTStep) ran on Motorola 68xxx to start with, and IIRC, SPARC and whatever HP had inside its old HP-UX workstations.

      OS X appears to be quite demonstrably portable... not much short of NetBSD appears to be more portable.

  • by Goth Biker Babe (311502) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:50PM (#17594936) Homepage Journal
    Even if there isn't an ARM version of the kernel, and who's to say there isn't. Apple do not have to follow their own licence. That doesn't preclude the rest of the operating system being standard OS-X libraries compiled for ARM. The video iPod is also ARM and some time ago Apple were advertising for a quicktime expert with ARM experience which suggests that at least quicktime has been ported to ARM. If you can have Linux on an AMD-64 and an ARM 7 why not OS-X?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:53PM (#17594970)
    Seriously don't people use google anymore? It's a search engine one can use to verify things before postting their moronic assumptions on slashdot. Samsung licensed the PowerPC core from IBM and this is probably a use for that:

    Google for: Samsung IBM PowerPC

    Here:

    http://www.pennwellblogs.com/sst/eds_threads/2006/ 10/061006-samsung-may-sneak-ibm-back-into.php [pennwellblogs.com]

    "Last year, Samsung announced that it had licensed the PowerPC-core IP from IBM for inclusion in SoC designs." (last year=2005)

    Here is stuff showing that Samsung would have experience building it:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/11/07/ibm_outsou rces_powerpc_production/ [theregister.co.uk]

  • Is anyone seriously surprised by this? Surely no-one had expected that the phone would be running the same operating system that runs on macs?
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``Surely no-one had expected that the phone would be running the same operating system that runs on macs?''

      On the other hand, I guess that, other than the user interface, it could be done. Mac OS X (at least Panther) has been known to run on 400 MHz G3s with 128 MB RAM, and take up a few GB of disk space. I imagine that kind of performance is available in mobile phones now. With the modified UI, it's probably less CPU and memory hungry, and I guess a lot of apps have been removed, too, cutting the disk spac
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      Suprised? Probably not. Upset and angered? Most definitely.

      When Jobs said 'it runs OSX' every programmer in the world went 'Ooooh'. When it was announced that their apps would never be allowed to run on it, it was like he spit on each and every one of us. If it turns out that it's NOT OSX at all, not even a 'lite' version like MS did with Wince, Jobs might as well have kicked us in the nads.

      It's a personal insult to programmers. That's why the outrage.

      As for 'sure no-one expected' ... Why not? Linux
      • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
        ``Linux runs on everything from embedded devices to mainframes. Why couldn't OSX?''

        Because Linux is just the kernel, and this is one situation where that really makes all the difference in the world. Mac OS X is a package consisting of a few GB worth of apps. Linux is just the kernel, and, in a wider sense _any_ operating system built on that. That includes Debian with all 15 CDs of packages, but also LOAF, which fits on a single diskette. There really isn't a single "Linux operating system". There are Linu
        • by Aladrin (926209)
          Okay, I agree that using 'Linux' was a bad example.

          Nobody expects the phone to be able to run every Mac OSX app exactly as a desktop would. Yes, I expect it will have Carbon, but some less-cpu/gpu-intensive version that is suited to the weaker processor. I expect it to be just like the desktop version, but not as graphically advanced and lacking many of the apps you expect on a desktop. I don't expect a full word processor, spreadsheet, or other such apps, as they are not nearly as useful on a phone and
        • No one. Absolutely no one thinks linux is "just a kernel". Even the kernel coders who build it don't think it's just a kernel. You know how I know this? Because every one of them talks about it as if it actually runs. Linux-just-the-kernel doesn't do anything. Nothing at all. It is totally incapable of booting itself. It is totally incapable of creating the required filesystems. Even when given a pass on the chicken-and-egg problem (ie. grub, mkfs, fdisk, etc.) Linux is only capable of running for a few sec
  • Of course it is OS X (Score:5, Informative)

    by NekoXP (67564) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @04:55PM (#17594992) Homepage
    Apple own and hold copyright on Darwin, they released their own code under APSL for YOU to use and YOU to give modifications back (i.e. this is their license protection for you making a commercial OS X clone)

    They can do whatever THEY like to it and never release the source, just like any GPL code author is free (under the terms of the GPL, even) to relicense their code for any party they see fit (BSD, APSL, whatever). It is up to the author and the copyright holder, if they are even in fact different people. Apple are both!

    So OS X doesn't run on ARM? Why not? Because OpenDarwin doesn't? This whole article is horseshit speculation and a completely random nonsense of misunderstanding how software licensing works, who wrote and owns Darwin (Apple!) and the technical aspects involved (they've been working on the iPhone for the better part of a year and a half.. that's plenty of time to do a port to a new processor, especially given how abstracted the Darwin kernel is, XNU Apple additions and so on)
  • by LordKaT (619540)
    I think the submitter found 12 different ways to say "the iPhone is not running OSX"
    • And yet none of them are actually valid. It could very well be OSX at the core. Just because a particular Linux device doesn't have an X server doesn't mean it's not running Linux "in any meaningful sense".
  • by P. Niss (635300) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:05PM (#17595122)

    Any chance we could, like, wait for the iPhone to be, you know, actually released before we make definitive statements on what OS it is or isn't running? Right now, the only people who have any idea what OS is really running on the iPhone are the people who worked on it; I'm taking a wild guess here that you're not one of them.

    Sure, I understand it's going to be a long six months with nothing but speculation to keep us warm at night. But let's keep in mind that, until we get our hands on the iPhone, it's speculation only, not knowledge.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:17PM (#17595278)
    Just search for "iPhone" in jobs.apple.com:

    Bluetooth/Wifi SW Engineer - iPhone

    [...]
            MacOS X / IOKit driver development experience
            Mach IPC and/or Mach Server design experience
    [...]
            Solid understanding of embedded hardware platforms (ARM processors, SDIO, UARTs, etc

    (http://jobs.apple.com/index.ajs?BID=1&method=mExt ernal.showJob&RID=4241&CurrentPage=1)
  • Stripped down OS X (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:20PM (#17595318)
    I'm friends with some of the people on the iPhone team. Before I knew about the iPhone, i constantly heard about radical ways to strip down OS X to make it run meaner and leaner and make sure it runs on "limited hardware". I assumed they were working on some sort of PVR or something, but clearly I was wrong. I'm fairly sure that lots of the code written is in CoreFoundation and they ARE using Mac OS X frameworks (stripped down to have only the functionality they need) - but the kernel may something completely new.
  • by Foerstner (931398) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:24PM (#17595376)
    "The Darwin / Apple Public Source licensing agreement says the source would have to be made available if it is modified and sold (paraphrased; read it yourself). A Cingular rep has said the iPhone version of the OS source will not be made available. It will be closed, like the iPod OS and not like Darwin. So if it ain't Darwin, it ain't OS X (in any meaningful way). An InfoWorld article on an FBR Research report breaks down iPhone component providers and lists Samsung as the chip maker for the main application / video cpu. So, that leaves the question... What OS is this phone really running? Not Linux or the source would need to be open."

    We know that Windows CE does not use the NT kernel. This means that it is not using the same kernel as Windows XP and Windows Server. That means that WIndows CE is not Windows in any any meaningful sense. (Microsoft could brand toilet paper as running Windows if they like.) The NT kernel, the Mach-like microkernel that underlies what Microsoft has been calling Windows since the end of DOS, does not run on mobile phones or PocketPCs. The Microsoft Windows EULA is totally proprietary, and its source is carefully controlled. A Verizon Wireless rep said he had no idea what I was talking about. The WinCE source code is closed, like that of the Zune or XBox, and not like Linux. Now, Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! So, obviously, the iPhone is not running Windows CE, and must therefore be running Mac OS X 10.7 "Sabretooth."
  • by planetfinder (879742) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:27PM (#17595414)
    The following is taken verbatim from the NY Times interview article

    "These are devices that need to work, and you can't do that if you load any software on them," he said. "That doesn't mean there's not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn't mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment."

    So he's saying that Apple and possibly others might write software for the iPhone. From what Jobs said
    you can see that the emphasis will be on control to ensure that all Apps are very robust so that the phone
    works reliably.
  • It's Apple's code they can compile it for another processor if they wish and they don't have to publish the source. Darwin has always been the under pinnings of Mac OSX and no-one has kept it a secret or implied anything else. To put MacOSX onto a mobile means being able to leave out a lot of desktop related material which would leave it small enough to run run on a handheld.

    The original comments are badly researched by someone with no historical perspective on MacOSX/OPENSTEP/NeXTSTEP/BSD

  • by brass1 (30288) <SlrwKQpLrq1FM&what,net> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:35PM (#17595498) Homepage
    At it's lowest level, the Mac OS X kernel (XNU) is based on Mach 3.0 with a BSD "personality" to provide (mostly) POSIX kernel APIs and helpful functionality such as a network stack. The OS X userland is mostly ported from FreeBSD and NetBSD. On top of that is Cocoa, Carbon, Java and all of the other APIs normally used for application development.

    As an interesting note is how Jobs described the OS the phone uses. He said "OS X." Normally Apple refers to their desktop operating system as "Mac OS X." That tells us a few things about what's really going on inside the phone.

    My educated would be: the phone does run the Mach part of XNU, likely runs at least parts of the BSD subsystem and the I/O Kit device driver interface. Apple has also said that the iPhone supports PDF. This leads me to guess that parts of WindowServer and CoreGraphics are there. The references to Widgets support this as well. Widgets also tell us something else: WebKit is available. Calling the browser Safari supports this.

    So, it's not the Mac OS X that runs on this laptop, but it would appear that enough of the existing OS X technology is there to call it OS X. Though, all of this is total speculation the product isn't on sale so it really can't be analyzed.

    Finely, I'm still not entirely sure the no third-party apps bit is a forever thing. We don't know anything but what they've said, but I'll wait until Apple's World Wide Developer Conference (which interestingly is usually just about the time the iPhone ships) before I'll pass judgement on that.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    From http://jobs.apple.com/index.ajs?BID=1&method=mExte rnal.showJob&RID=4241&CurrentPage=1 [apple.com]

    The iPhone team is seeking a highly motivated Embedded SW Engineer to develop
    middleware and low-level drivers for Bluetooth and Wifi enabled products
    • MacOS X / IOKit driver development experience
    • Mach IPC and/or Mach Server design experience
    • Solid understanding of embedded hardware platforms (ARM processors, SDIO, UARTs, etc)
  • Just funny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by edwardpickman (965122) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:48PM (#17595642)
    A lot of people are claiming to know what an iPhone really is like inspite of not having seen one or even known of their existence before a couple of days ago.

    It may be a striped version of OSX but it obviously is a version of OSX since it has some very OSX features like Core Animation which doesn't even show until Leopard. Even things like Widgets are OSX. They've been working on the phone for years so I'd assume they adapted the OS to the chip they are using. Using even a notebook processor would be silly. The power requirements would limit you to one five minute phone call per charge.

    What really seems to be pissing everyone off is it's a computer under the hood and Apple isn't open sourcing it. Apple has always been big on protecting their hardware and I'm guessing that's why they aren't providing the code. It's meant to be a phone at this stage and they don't want to deal with all the hassles of people screwing up their phones trying to get Pong to run on it. Also that has to be the crown jewel for virus writers so why help them? I'm sure they'll open it up to development eventually but it's likely to be years and only when it starts crossing the line into becoming a full on portable computer. It's a staggering smart phone, deal with it.
  • by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @05:52PM (#17595674)
    Even if they used a Linux kernel, then piled there own locked down apps on top,
    what difference would that make? It is still a closed development model of a black box system.

    They are trying to sell a very high end phone that is completely closed to add-on apps.
    That worked for the mp3 player, but the functionality of an mp3 player is expected to be limited.

    Apple has chosen to live and die with a closed box model.

  • All wrong... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RossyB (28685) <ross@@@burtonini...com> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @06:04PM (#17595798) Homepage
    Is there anything in that post which is correct? So what is OS X doens't have a known ARM port, the BSDs run on ARM so porting it would be trivial. Also, Apple own the source so can do anything, including making a private branch. The iPhone could be using a low power PPC chip.

    I've been waiting for clue to finally disappear from /., and it appears that 2007 is the year it happens.
  • by Zaknafein500 (303608) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @06:59PM (#17596412) Homepage
    This should at least be marked as an editorial, and an extraordinarily poorly written one at that. Something so inflamatory and infantile shouldn't have made it to the front page in the first place.
  • by tgibbs (83782) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @07:09PM (#17596496)
    Darwin, the BSD based operating system that underlies what Apple has previously been calling OS X, does not run on ARM processors. The Darwin / Apple Public Source licensing agreement says the source would have to be made available if it is modified and sold (paraphrased; read it yourself).


    I suppose that might be an argument IF Apple were currently selling the iPhone. But they are not. So assuming that the iPhone runs a version of OS X as Apple has said (and there is no reason to doubt it), Apple still has several months to meet the terms of the agreement.
  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @07:22PM (#17596674)
    an embedded OSX isn't really OSX. Just as embedded Linux isn't really linux and Windows CE isn't really Windows. It's mostly a matter of branding.
  • I call Bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lars T. (470328) <Lars.Traeger@goog l e m a i l . com> on Saturday January 13, 2007 @07:25PM (#17596712) Journal
    rochlin seems to not have read the license in any meaningful sense. His argument seems to be based on (2.2c) of the APSL
    2.2 Modified Code. You may modify Covered Code and use, reproduce, display, perform, internally distribute within Your organization, and Externally Deploy Your Modifications and Covered Code, for commercial or non-commercial purposes, provided that in each instance You also meet all of these conditions:

    (a) You must satisfy all the conditions of Section 2.1 with respect to the Source Code of the Covered Code;

    (b) You must duplicate, to the extent it does not already exist, the notice in Exhibit A in each file of the Source Code of all Your Modifications, and cause the modified files to carry prominent notices stating that You changed the files and the date of any change; and

    (c) If You Externally Deploy Your Modifications, You must make Source Code of all Your Externally Deployed Modifications either available to those to whom You have Externally Deployed Your Modifications, or publicly available. Source Code of Your Externally Deployed Modifications must be released under the terms set forth in this License, including the license grants set forth in Section 3 below, for as long as you Externally Deploy the Covered Code or twelve (12) months from the date of initial External Deployment, whichever is longer. You should preferably distribute the Source Code of Your Externally Deployed Modifications electronically (e.g. download from a web site).

    Where the hell does it say anybody (including Apple) has to release source code before "External Deployment"?
  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:49AM (#17600542)
    1. Apple is the copyright holder and are not bound by the license.
    2. Apple is free to modify their own code to run on ARM and not release the source.
    3. You /.ers don't seem to grasp that these licenses apply to third-parties contributing changes to the project and not the copyright holders.

  • by rochlin (248444) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:10AM (#17600646) Homepage
    Several people posted good info that invalidates my original posting. 1. Samsung is a licensee/subcontractor to IBM for the production of PowerPC chips. (And IBM lists some versions that are low power and appear to be up to the task of running the iPhone). So there is no reason to suppose the iPhone is running ARM. It's a lot more common to run phones on ARM cores, but PPC can do it. A power PC core would make it much more likely that the iPhone is running on some variation of a Darwin based OS X. 2. Apple doesn't have to make any Darwin based operating system open if they don't want to. Their license restricts everyone else. So there was no material basis for my Suggestion that the iPhone isn't running OS X. It might not be, but my reasons were mostly wrong.

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