Okay, now that Apple has released iPhone update 1.1.1 and "broken" all those wonderful little 3rd party apps I just got around to showing my friends I have a question. Is Apple now shooting themselves in the foot? You see, I understand that they need to stop the "hackers" who have unlocked the phone (or at least they need to help AT&T realize a small profit, since Apple already made their money on the phone) but why step on these developers who are building apps that only make the phone more desirable?
So now those same developers (and by definition early adopters) are getting pissed, and talking about it openly. I’m in that camp. Let me back it up a sec…
You see, the iPhone developer community have helped produce a wonderful little application called (marketing-free) Installer.app. Google it. Further, on Sept. 7 they banded together with the other fine folks working on native iPhone applications to ensure an easy path for people looking to extend their phone. Imagine if Blu-Ray and HD DVD got along so well. In any event all was well until last Friday when Apple released software update 1.1.1. Now installer.app doesn’t work. And the natives are restless, many refusing to upgrade. (in fact an informal online poll on Engadget speaks volumes, where only 20% of 9000 people upgraded.)
And here is a clever reader revolt, using Apple’s own marketing words against them:
I contend that Apple is hurting itself now. Not only did they charge early adopters $200 more than folks who waited a few months for the iPhone (then issued the iPology) but now they are hurting the developers who have extended Apple’s platform making it more appealing to the late majority. This is classic Steve Jobs trying to control his invention. What’s funny is that this isn’t the Apple way – they thrive on getting other people to help them sell their stuff. But as I said in earlier posts, we’re witnessing a transformation of Apple from a people-centric computer company to a product-centric consumer electronics company. I, for one, think Apple needs to wake up and see that its early adopters are working hard to make their products more marketable.