No Third-Party Applications for the iPhone

by Reads (18,187)

Despite Apple’s announcement yesterday of the iPhone, some of the details of this device are still trickling out.

Probably the most significant of these is the revelation that Apple will not allow other companies to release software for this smartphone.

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This news comes from Michael Gartenberg, an analyst for Jupiter Research. According to him, "It’s [the iPhone] not extensible by third parties, only Apple. The means at the moment no RSS readers, no Slingplayers."

This most definitely flies in the face of the expectations raised yesterday, when Apple’s Steve Jobs announced that this device will run OS X, the same operating system used by this company’s desktops and laptops. Jobs also promised that the iPhone will support many of the applications Mac users are familiar with, like the Safari web browser.

This led many to hope that any OS X software would run on the iPhone. Or at least that OS X developers would be able to easily create applications for this smartphone.

Is This a Smartphone?

The inability to run third-party applications has caused some to question whether the iPhone qualifies as a smartphone.

Gartenberg’s answer to this is, "While the iPhone is only extendable by Apple, it is indeed a platform and new applications can be installed. Many carriers lock their smartphones as well and only allow "trusted" applications to be installed."

What Else Is Missing

As this analyst points out, there are other features people have come to expect from smartphones that won’t be offered by the iPhone. Many of these are ones that business users need.

So far, there’s been no mention of support for opening Microsoft Office documents, for example, and Apple has also said nothing about letting iPhone users connect to Microsoft Exchange servers.

Still, Gartenberg is bullish on this device. As he says, "Even with these issues, I still believe Apple is going to be force to reckoned with in this space."

All the iPhone-related comments from Gartenberg are available on his professional blog.

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