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Why is iPhone such a great development platform?

There is an intense debate going on at Venturebeat as to why developers are preferring Apple iPhone platform over the competing platforms.Here are our thoughts on this debate

Firstly, this is the classic case of a company identifying a specific need in a market, and then launching an offering that successfully fulfills this need. Apple has planned and executed the iPhone strategy to perfection. Others can just watch in awe and try to catch up.

We attribute the success of the iPhone platform to primarily 2 reasons

  1. As most Apple offerings, It just works. As a developer, iPhone is probably the most hassle free platform you can develop on. The platform provides some great tools for development. The device and OS experience is consistent with few strings attached. This is an advantage when the company owns the whole widget

  2. The power to decide has shifted from the ‘Enterprise’ to the ‘Consumer’. Now this is a huge shift. The consumer’s imagination has been fueled by the pathbreaking features the iPhone provides. Such features had never been seen before, and human imagination simply feeds off such innovation.

Elaboration on point number 2, never before had the user been given so much power to decide what apps they had wanted. The onus was on the handset vendor, the carrier and the software vendor. These organizations are large and bureaucratic, stifling innovation. Rest assured, many an app has died a silent death, due to multiple meetings, approvals and sign off required from a zillion stakeholders.

The iPhone is the world’s greatest ‘live’ market research going on, and the feedback is instantaneous.

Now conceptualizing and monetizing an app is as easy as ‘Develop’, ‘Test’, ‘Distribute’ as advertised in the iPhone Developer portal. Many of the apps we develop,are conceptualized by individuals who have come up with a great idea. Match human ingenuity with innovation and the result is brilliance. Most of our clients have zero development experience, but they know how the features of the iPhone can help find a solution to their needs/their industry’s problems.
Now, what do the other platforms have to offer? Well Android is the closest to the iPhone platform and the most developer friendly. The signup and upload process is easier than the iPhone. RIM Appworld is coming up well, but it still has a long way to go. Win Mo and Symbian have the greatest inertia and the longest legacy to manage.

No wonder, most of our clients want us to start with iPhone, and then port the app for Android, Blackberry,Symbian, Win Mo and Palm Web OS , mostly in this order.

Will the others catch up, well it is for time to tell, but we are happy with the innovation that is happening all around!

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Anurag

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