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Cellphones Businesses Apple

Apple Targeting Business World for the iPhone 338

The New York Times is running a couple of stories about the future of the iPhone in the business world and Apple's plan to maintain control of application development. Now that the iPhone SDK has been released and the "App store" has been demonstrated, Steve Jobs is pushing for the adoption of the iPhone as a standard business tool. In addition, a venture capitalist named John Doerr has launched a $100 million "iFund" to spur development of applications for the iPhone. From the NYTimes: "Mr. Jobs was upfront that there are limitations on what applications can do. He talked about bans on pornography and malicious programs. He also said Apple will not allow any application to be installed on the machine other than through the iTunes store. Nor will applications be permitted that enable an end run around Apple's deals with wireless carriers. Many questions remain unanswered. How much streaming video will Apple allow, because the iPhone is such an interesting video device? Mr. Jobs did say that the application development environment will have a lot of capabilities for video playback. Will Apple allow a service like Last.FM to offer streaming music on the iPhone?"
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Apple Targeting Business World for the iPhone

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  • What Apple is doing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by downix ( 84795 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @09:16AM (#22674204) Homepage
    Right now Apple is proving the market for such a device, and then products like OpenMoko will come in and claim it, using the iPhone as R&D to prove concept but without encumbering themselves as Apple is doing.
  • Apple may be about to drop the ball on this one. With Android looking like a (potentially future) winner, Apple are losing the chance to build up momentum as an open mobile platform for developers to experiment on.

    I understand that they probably have contractual agreements they need to fulfill, and that the deal with ATT may have been a deal with the devil to get the phone out there and break into the market, but it could end up costing them more than they bargained for.
  • When? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Russell2566 ( 1205416 ) * on Friday March 07, 2008 @09:21AM (#22674222) Journal
    When will companies learn to provide us [Consumers | Developer] tools to use that do not have purposeful limitations that are simply the concoction of someone who wants to confine what I can do with their product.

    "Apple will not allow any application to be installed on the machine other than through the iTunes store"

    So how can you be targeting businesses with this product then? What if I want to develop a special in house only product for my sales people to use that I don't want the competition to get ahold of? Why can't the iPhone work like every other piece of hardware I own and run any kind of program/hardware I can stuff in there? I'm on the fence of getting fed-up with Apple...
  • Cold, Steel Grasp... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PC and Sony Fanboy ( 1248258 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @09:21AM (#22674228) Journal
    I love how apple has declared that their 'controls' are actually 'freeing' the phone. Yes, now that you can put apps on the phone, it is a 'more' open platform. But you STILL have to go through apple, and since it is *MY* phone, why can't I do whatever *I* want to it?

    ... oh wait ... I can ... apple just doesn't like it ;)

    This is the same problem sony has with the psp (although, it has some differences as well) - If I want custom firmware on my psp, who is sony to tell me no?

    I don't like where this attitude of control is taking us. Already, you don't buy software, you just buy a license to use it. I DON'T want to have to license my HARDWARE too!
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Friday March 07, 2008 @09:24AM (#22674254)
    ...one of the major questions. Jobs was explicitly asked if VoIP apps would be allowed. Jobs explicitly answered that they would be via WiFi, but not via the carrier connection.

    So I think the question of how much data usage will be "allowed" for heavy use applications is essentially unlimited via WiFi.

    As carriers continue to build out their data networks, as competition continues, and as higher bandwidth (e.g., 3G) iPhones become available (which has already been confirmed by Apple and AT&T several times), then we may see the landscape change for apps that use the carrier's network. It seems right now a common sense approach will be applied.

    But it also seems clear that anything (as long as it's not specifically for porn, illegal, etc.) will be allowed via WiFi.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2008 @09:46AM (#22674420)
    where I work. thank goodness.
  • I'm sure Apple is worried a lot about something that "looks like" a "potential", "future" winner.
    It's good that we agree on this.

    Something else that is probably worrying them is that Android is backed by Google. It looks like google wants this, and they can make Android a success all by themselves. It's no secret Google wants in on the mobile market (I know you know this, but there are others out there who are less informed), and with the kind of innovative aggression they've shown with their other products I'm sure they will get this one.
  • by jbrw ( 520 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @10:13AM (#22674664) Homepage
    It'll be like the market for portable mp3 players all over again!

  • Re:Android (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @10:42AM (#22674990) Homepage
    "Slap Android on a pure touchscreen phone and what do you have?"

    A phone that's not available? That has no supporting infrastructure? No stores that sell it? No support staff ready, willing, and able to help? No iTunes? No backing from any major carrier? And no one, other than a few geeks, who care if it's "open", closed, or just cracked ajar?
  • Re:Android (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ad454 ( 325846 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @10:43AM (#22675014) Journal
    I agree that Apple has decided to cripple the iPhone to the point that even with the SDK, it is useless, especially for business.

    However, Google's Android OS is not and will never be a replacement for the iPhone or any other powerful smartphones, especially those running Windows Mobile. Consider:

    http://code.google.com/android/kb/general.html [google.com]
    Q: Can I write code for Android using C/C++?
    A: Android only supports applications written using the Java programming language at this time.
    Google has decided that developers cannot write powerful native binary applications for Android phone, which is important for high performance cryptographically secure applications. How is Apple any worse than Google which only allows interpreted programs, when since the launch of the iPhone, developers could always write Javascript interpreted programs, and now even some native ones as well through the iStore?

    As a Unix (NetBSD, Linux, & MacOSX) person, I hate to say this, but so far Microsoft is the good guy here, since their smartphones and Windows Mobile devices have the least restrictions for third party applications and developers.

    Another problem with Android is that all of the proposed new phones (none of which have been released yet) for it will only have low-resolution QVGA (240x320) displays, which is literally half of the HVGA (320x480) display of the iPhone which has been available for more than half a year. This will make Android much harder to use for web surfing, office apps, etc. than the iPhone, or even Microsoft Windows Mobile phones, some of which have WVGA (800x480) displays.

    Toshiba G900 [toshiba-europe.com]
    Softbank X01T [softbank.jp]

    Don't get me wrong, I love the look, feel, shape, sleekness, GUI, and interface of the iPhone and iPod touch. It blows everything else away. But as a business tool, Apple has decided too crippled its devices to the point that of being useless, especially when compared the uglier and bulky Windows Mobile phones.
  • by TheLostSamurai ( 1051736 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:03AM (#22675244)
    Not to mention that many (independent)developers will probably offer their apps as open source, which will allow you to compile and load them onto your own phone via the SDK. And even forgetting about that for the moment, there will be a hacked App loader developed within the first week of the June firmware's release anyways.
  • by kimble3 ( 736268 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:33AM (#22675612)
    Actually, I was able to install the SDK on my G4 using only a couple extra manual steps. Because it's not an intel machine it skipped a few critical packages. I merely installed them manually and I was then able to compile some sample applications and run them in the iPhone simulator. You probably won't be able to load your programs onto an iPhone but at least you can do development work using the simulator
  • Google couldn't make Google Video a success so they gave up and bought YouTube, dumping their paid service.
    Or possibly they felt that a superior product already existed. If you recall, when Google bought YouTube, YouTube was in a wee bit of trouble. Great product, great market share, little idea of how to generate revenue from it. Google could have waited them out but decided to buy them instead. I'm guessing it was a business decision, and it certainly bought google a whole bunch of eyes.

    Google does search pretty well. For now, anyway. With all the focus on these non-search related businesses, I wonder how much longer Google's dominance in search will continue.
    Google has non-search related business? Must have missed that happening. All I remember is a whole lot of additional business that either drive more business to search ads, or help make search ads more pertinent to what I'm doing. Like a ton of programmes that require a google login so that your search history (et al) can be monetized with highly targeted ads.

    Anybody else notice that Google doesn't return as many relevant answers as they used to? I now spend a lot more time than I used to tweaking searches to get what I really want and not googletroll sites.
    Well, I have to admit that it is harder to get good results when searching on Google. But Google still beats the pants of everyone else. At least I'm getting tons of ads that are actually useful to me. Has anyone else noticed that the ads seem more targeted to you? More relevant? Do you find yourself clicking on ads more than you used to? Dang, if I had 0.02c everytime someone did that...

    The other businesses that Google gets involved with aren't all rousing successes, even when they're intrinsically related to searching, such as Google Maps. Mapquest still dominates that market, IIRC.
    Who the hell is mapquest?. Seriously, who is mapquest? Never heard of them. And I'm not sure that Google Maps isn't a rousing success. Google Maps is tied to Google Earth, and Google earth generates a ton of eyeballs for Google.

    (Apparently MapQuest is available in a whole bunch of European countries. Places I'd love to visit. Anyone care to comment on how popular MapQuest is in Europe? But you have to pay for some of the services. I don't like paying for stuff, and I'm not alone.)

    Google has a lot of money, but that does not guarantee success. Microsoft has a lot of money too, and they can't even get their search off the ground.
    You just have to bring Microsoft into this. So what if they can't get their new OS off the ground. They have many marvelous success stories behind them, like ... well. Windows 98 was pretty cool. Oh, wait, you said search. My bad...

    Seriously, it's not Google's money, it's their innovative way of thinking. It's the way they understand their customer. And with Android it's something the market REALLY wants. We all talk about digital convergence, and the evolution of the PC. The iPhone could have been the first BIG step in thet direction (and there have been many smaller ones, the iPhone itself, for example). If Android is only partially successful it will be the BIG step. The market want's a portable device that is as open as their PC. iPhone isn't. Android will be.

    Finally, PRODUCT > !PRODUCT, almost every time.
    You're right. But define product. When MS says they have a new product in development I yawn. When Google says they haver a new product in development I sit up and pay attention. The fact that 3/4 of the test analysts I work with know what Android is (and have Androind backgrounds - why I do not know) is an indication of the kind of awareness that has already been generated for Android.
  • Re:The flip side... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:30PM (#22677294)

    I must agree. One of the reasons I never bothered writing an app for my Treo (a timecode calculator in this case) was on account of the copious amounts of "IR Beaming" piracy of titles. I knew only about one in a few hundred users of my program would ever pay me. At least on the iPhone platform, I can be assured that every user has to pay it, thus I can charge a very low price.

    Cell phone companies make a tidy bit of change selling apps to kids on their sidekicks and corporate people who want the Good suite on their mobiles, why would Apple's situation be any different.

The moon is a planet just like the Earth, only it is even deader.