Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 20:59 UTC
Apple Now that Apple has unveiled the iPad, people are wondering what the future holds for the iPhone OS platform and the concepts behind it. The iPad comes scarily close to being an actual computer in the more classical sense of the word, and a recent Apple job posting seems to indicated the Cupertino giant is interested in further moving the iPhone OS up the ladder. We ask you: would you be put off or excited about the iPhone OS' restrictive model moving up the stack?
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Depends on the device
by Ravyne on Wed 24th Feb 2010 01:24 UTC
Ravyne
Member since:
2006-01-08

I think there's a distinct difference between a desktop or laptop PC, vs a "consumer device" (eg a gadget) for most people.

The expectation currently exists that PCs ought to do anything I tell them to, run anything I tell them to run, install anything I want them to install, and to be open to non-approved software development.

Similar expectations have not been set for things like phones and portable media devices, set-top boxes, game consoles, and other traditionally closed devices.

The typical consumer is willing to accept this, and from their perspective, things are more open now than they have ever been on these devices -- anyone with a Mac, and some time and know-how can create an iPhone App, after all; approval process notwithstanding.

I think the AppStore model will continue to satisfy typical consumers for devices which fit into traditionally-closed categories, or sufficiently novel categories (eg iPad) simply because there is no incumbant expectation to be overcome.

If they dare try to produce anything which looks too much like a traditionally open category, say a laptop or desktop PC, then the consumer begins to realize that capabilities are being taken away from them, which tends to upset them.

AppleTV is the most likely target for a device moving closer to iPhoneOS-land. It's already closed, runs a stripped-down version of OS-X, and currently runs on hardware that's rather over-powered for what it's intended role is. I'm sure Apple would love to toss an ARM-based SOC with moderate 3D capabilities and video decode in there. It'd probably save them 50% or more on materials and manufacturing, so they could reduce the price and pad out their margins at the same time quite comfortably.

Add in bluTooth and some wireless controllers and you've got a capable (though relatively low-end by todays standards -- maybe comparable to a Dreamcast, PS2, Gamecube or original XBox) game machine, lots of developers ready to port their iPhone Apps, and no need to compete with the big three for shelf-space at wal-mart. Gaming has really been driving the AppStore, and as obblivious as Apple has been in the past about the impact of gaming on their bottom line, I'd be willing to bet that they've come around on that topic.

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