There is no question that the iPhone has been an amazing success and only its At&T appendage has slowed it down from even further adoption. As great as the hardware is, just as much if not more of the credit has to go to the OS. Even after 2 years the iPhone OS is still the reference point of great design and the benchmark that all other mobile OS’s are measured. And yes, I can hear the cries of Android fan boys saying how much better Android is over the iPhone, but lets be honest here, for the average users, there is nothing Android is offering that is that is a quantum leap over the iphone OS.
So now we have the tablet (iPad) and the OS is basically the iPhone OS with I’m sure modifications here and there. BTW, after its out I’m going to give it 2 weeks before its jailbroken. We can also expect a second generation of ipad out in the next year. But what about other devices? Could we imagine the Apple’s iPhone OS on devices from other manufactures?
Nicholas Carlson from Business Insider explored this on his post a few weeks ago. He believes Apple is going down this road based on a post an Apple’s job board: “a talented and inspired manager to lead a team focused on bring-up of iPhone OS on new platforms.”
Ok, seems reasonable, but there are a few issues that come to mind. First; the iPhone OS is pretty dependent on iTunes and the Apple App store. Unless they decouple from the current support environment, anyone wanting to build a device to run this OS will have to play in Apple’s world. Second, Apple already tried this once back in the 90’s and they pulled it back pretty fast. Third, Microsoft is having all kinds of problems with winMob6 and 6.5 not working on 3rd party devices. Window Mobile 7 now has a pretty strict list of hardware requirements before you can run the OS on it.
And finally the cost… Android is free. Why would someone make a device when you can get Android which is closing the gap on the iPhone? Now I’m sure there will be a few manufactures that will build something complimentary with the Apple universe; and then it would make sense; but Apple’s universe is invite only, and its Apple way or the highway… I think I’ll take the highway.