iPhone 2.0 lets open source in through back door

iPhone 2.0 lets open source in through back door

Summary: With the first Apple iPhone open source developers were like burglars breaking windows, forcing their software onto the device. Thanks to the Apple iPhone SDK they're more like beggars now. Knock on the back door politely and you might get a beer.

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Beggar wants a beer, from funny.co.ukWith the first Apple iPhone open source developers were like burglars breaking windows, forcing their software onto the device.

Thanks to the Apple iPhone SDK they're more like beggars now. Knock on the back door politely and you might get a beer. (Picture from Funny.co.uk.)

But that's a long way from walking through the front door like an honored guest, Funambol vice president-marketing Hal Steger told ZDNet today.

"They've been less than forthcoming in extending the olive branch directly to us. We're viewing Apple as a proprietary mobile platform. They're still basking in the glow of their success."

The Mac-ambivalence may be behind media response to Funambol's Wireless Sync announcement yesterday. The Washington Post called it a direct competitor to Apple's own MobileMe.

Not really, said Steger. "It's apples and oranges." MobileMe is far more limited, almost a MiniMe next to the synchronization services Funambol is offering.

Apple's attitude will change only when it faces real competition, and Funambol CEO Fabrizio Capobianco writes in his blog that the iPhone 2.0's pricing is designed to forestall that. "Surprise. It is a mass market phone," he enhused.

The low price is based on direct carrier subsidies, just as your "free phone" is subsidized now, as Apple is forced to forego its piece of AT&T's data revenue and the carrier, in turn, raises the price for those contracts.

You can do that when you're the only game in town. When will that change?  "We're tracking the other platforms closely," Steger said, predicting some Android kit will arrive by year-end.

Funambol will be ready. "We are a Switzerland, in that our strategy is to provide solutions for all the leading platforms," Steger concluded. Hopefully that doesn't mean they outplay the Czechs, lose, and get their key man's knee broken.  

 

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Mobility, Open Source, Telcos

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8 comments
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  • Thanks for that link!

    I'm going to look into Funambol. Given Apple's security record and the crippled nature of iPhone 2 when compared to anything other than iPhone 1, I'm staying far, far, far away from their whole platform.
    NonZealot
  • Apple's ephemeral dominance

    Apple's current market dominance is purely based on their fast pace of innovation and tailoring to customer needs.If apple doesn't respond to customers' demands for open source software then they will be vulnerable to competition that will respond.

    IBM's use of Linux provides a great example of this. In the late 90's IBM was having a tough time competing with Sun and Microsoft's server operating systems which dominated market share.Operating systems are incredibly expensive to develop so IBM saw a great opportunity in Linux as a cheap alternative.IBM used the open source system and emerged as the dominant player in the server industry.

    IBM's embrace of the user generated open source allowed them to far surpass their competitors. If Apple fails to recognize the potential in open source software for their iPhone, they may loose their dominance to someone that will embrace open source.In the new web 2.0 world market dominance isn't assured; it is constantly earned and tested.

    See www.wikinomics.com/blog
    Justin P
  • The main problem with your analysis

    is this:

    "If apple doesn't respond to customers' demands for open source
    software..."

    There is no such demand.
    frgough
  • I checked out their website

    They must have had the word free plastered all over their press
    release a dozen times. So I now ask the question I ask of all these
    idiots.

    How do you plan to make money?
    frgough
    • About Funambol

      From the same page: "Funambol provides mobile 2.0 messaging software powered by open source. The company is the leading provider of ad-funded open source push email and PIM sync solutions for the mass market."
      Etch44
    • testy, tesy

      Can't ask a question without contempt oozing through every word, can you?

      Apparently you didn't read the website closely. They get money from advertising.
      tikigawd
  • RE: iPhone 2.0 lets open source in through back door

    More competition needed!
    JackZhao@...
  • RE: iPhone 2.0 lets open source in through back door

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