Home Steve Jobs: iPhone Ain’t Opening Up

Steve Jobs: iPhone Ain’t Opening Up

OK so Jobs didn’t use the word “ain’t”. But in a Newsweek
with Steven
, Jobs put the kibosh on any talk about the iPhone opening up its
platform for third party developers:

‚ÄúYou don‚Äôt want your phone to be an open platform,‚Ä? meaning that
anyone can write applications for it and potentially gum up the provider’s
network, says Jobs. “You need it to work when you need it to work. Cingular
doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because some
application messed up.‚Ä?

Perhaps the most revealing quote is about the issue of mobile walled gardens
and how Jobs and Apple first approached

‚ÄúWe talked to several of them and educated ourselves,‚Ä? he says.
He finally decided to deal with AT&T’s Cingular network. “[They] were
willing to take a really big gamble on us. We decided what the phone is. We
decided what software would be on the phone. And so we could make the product
we wanted.

(emphasis ours)

The bolded bits really sum up Apple’s philosophy. Their products are closed
up tight, so that nobody can meddle with them. People weren’t allowed to touch
the OS in Macintosh back in ’84 and nowadays they can’t even change the battery
in an iPod. The iPhone will be another product that locks out developers and any
meddling from users. As Nick Carr put
: “In Jobs’s world, users are users, creators are creators, and never
the twain shall meet.”

And really, from a commercial and even artistic sense, Apple’s philosophy is
a proven winner. So why change a winning formula? Of course all us web 2.0
zealots will continue to pine for an open platform, because we know that some
great innovation would happen over the long run that way. But it ain’t gonna

And actually this is Microsoft’s best opportunity to get ahead in their
battle with Apple over digital media – continue to provide the platforms for
external developers and content providers that Apple doesn’t, and see what
flowers. Michael Gartenberg points
that Cingular already allows this, with Windows Mobile and Palm OS
applications on smartphones.

Still, it’s hard to bet against Jobs and the iPhone – it’s just such a great

Pic: Chris Heuer

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.