What other product besides the holiday release of Cabbage Patch Kids back in the 80’s has had so many people act so nuts? People camping in line on the streets, tech and popular press headlines dominated by the iPhone for months, hackers going to war with Apple, people with signs outside of T-Mobile offering to unlock iPhones, Apple developers fighting back. It’s all so crazy…
…and I love it. I’m so happy to be able to say twenty years from now that I got an iPhone on day one, paid full boat for it, got the $100 refund (grievance money), and grinned while watching WebbAlert on my bus ride home from work each day, amidst the global maelstrom of controversy that surrounded the phone on so many levels. Honestly, it’s more fun than anyone should be allowed to have.
I haven’t hacked my iPhone to install third party applications nor do I plan to for the moment. I feel bad for those who “bricked” their phones as a result of the iPhone 1.1.1 software update but fall more in the camp of, “you knew it was a closed Apple and AT&T platform before you bought it, so if you hacked it and now it doesn’t work, it’s your own darn fault.” That said, I understand there are ways to recover an iBrick and restore the phone back to factory Apple / AT&T settings or even back to it’s hacked state. (Google is your friend here.)
For the developers in the crowd, there are SO many ways to unleash the power of the iPhone with AJAX enabled web applications, or web/desktop PC hybrid applications. IMHO, developers could be far more creative on this front. Cali Lewis highlights one such hybrid application, Signal, in the latest episode of GeekBrief. She even paid $25 for it! Plus, with web based applications, there is the advantage of creating a single application that can be deployed to all mobile devices, not just the iPhone.
My (unsolicited) short-term advice to Apple: create an application that allows users to create home screen icons and link those icons to any website URL. This way, web apps become more integrated into the iPhone and developers are encouraged to create web based versus embedded iPhone applications.
Apple (specifically Steve Jobs) has a track record for listening to user feedback and anticipating the market. I’m confident that the iPhone platform or similar future Apple devices will open up in the future. I advise patience.