iPhone Developments

A pretty cool video presentation by Steve Jobs et al demonstrating the forthcoming iPhone 2.0 Software including Enterprise tools and the SDK.

I’ve held off the iPhone bandwagon so far. The main reasons were as follows:

  • iPhone cost (£269 + £35/month tariff on O2 with 200 minutes and 200 texts – very stingy).
  • Not enough storage – I would use it as an iPod as well, and 8GB does not cover my music collection.
  • No SDK, so unsupported hacks to run anything which isn’t a web application.
  • No 3G – ubiquitous Wifi is not a reality yet, resulting in slow web browsing… and web applications.
  • (Last, but not least) an existing phone contract that would need to be paid off.

Since its original release though, changes in O2’s pricing structure, a minor iPhone upgrade, and now the announcement of iPhone Software 2.0 have changed the situation significantly.

£35 per month gets you 600mins & 500 texts, in line with other phones. 16GB solves the storage problems for me, the initial extra cost of purchase being negated by the fact that it is useful as an iPod. The SDK opens the door to native iPhone applications which are not limited by the speed of the internet connection. The Apps store allows Apple to control the platform – and you cannot complain about the cost if you wish to release a free application! If you wish to charge, is a 70/30 split fair? Is it possible to make an app for personal use only – do you have to release it to the Apps store in order to get it onto your iPhone… and if so, will this stifle development?

I am still on my old tariff, so I won’t be getting a new phone just yet. If I did, the iPhone is now looking very attractive indeed – the only significant issue for me is its lack of 3G – without this, I’d be very reluctant to buy one. However, I am an optimist, so here are my wishes/hopes for the next hardware revision:

  • 3G – essential. If iPhone v2 has this and nothing else on this list, I am still likely to buy it as my next phone.
  • GPS – becoming commonplace in high-end phones, and with the SDK would allow some very cool applications.
  • More memory? Flash prices are falling and with (hopefully) lots of interesting applications being developed, a little more storage would be nice, though not essential.
  • Video camera? I’d not use it that much, but again a common feature on phones these days and nice to have now and again.

We shall see what happens… I think 3G is almost inevitable.