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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How the iPhone SDK is reshaping mobile application development

Develop, Test, Distribute image from Apple Web site, small version

Eugene Signorini, Andrew Jaquith, and I wrote a Yankee Group Decision Note analyzing the Apple iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) announcement last week; clients will probably see it in our published research sometime next week. But despite that note being more than 2,000 words, I'm still finding new insights from other writers on the topic. Today's harvest includes some commentary from Michael Mace, who declares that Apple gets it right. Michael's been on my mobile Web Sites interview list because he's an authority on many aspects of the mobile market and business strategy, and I think his comments on the intersection of mobile apps and the iPhone are particularly interesting:

I think it's likely that web apps will eventually displace most native mobile apps, because the addressable market will be so much larger. But eventually can take a long time, and if anyone can buck the trend it'll be Apple. They have created by far the best overall proposition for mobile developers on any platform in the US or Europe, and I hope they'll do very well for a long time.

Apple is challenging the rest of the mobile industry to compete on its terms. It will be very interesting to see how the other mobile vendors react, Nokia and Microsoft in particular. Nokia seems to be focused on a strategic positioning activity around seeing who can collect the most runtimes, while Apple is solving real developer and user problems. It's a striking contrast.