The iPhone is to the modern mobile world as IE 6 was to the desktop world…

by Mike
Posted February 8th, 2010 at 11:42 am

Say what? To pretty much everyone in world who has seen an iPhone, the iPhone is the pinnacle of mobile computing/smartphones. Till this day, no one has quite copied the ease of use and cohesiveness of the hardware, software, and features. Though the platform isn’t without it’s problems. Most notably, the walled garden that Apple has erected around the iPhone has caused controversy since day 1. The iPhone walled garden has been called many things. A “mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer” by the name of Peter-Paul Koch has surprised me however by whipping up a new comparison…

To Koch, the iPhone is the IE 6 of the modern age. How can anyone compare easily the worst browser still in existence to one of the best smartphones in existence? Koch’s rationalization is pretty lengthy and expletive filled (my how we love a colorful blogger) though goes on to highlight how the entire world bending over backwards to cater to the iPhone is a bad, bad thing. Even worse, as the world moves more and more towards an “iPhone compatible/iPhone app” version of their products and services, those developers and companies are alienating those who do not use an iPhone. And contrary to popular belief, that number is quite large — much larger than the number of actual iPhones users.

One question keeps popping up in my mind: What happens in 5, 10, or more years when Apple and the iPhone platform are no more or drastically different? What happens to all of those iPhone-formatted web pages, special iPhone apps, and other iPhone specific aspects of the internet? It goes to waste. Developers spend countless amounts of time and money developing strictly for the iPhone. Consumers likewise spend copious amounts of money on the same platform.

That is precisely what Koch is hinting at. Just as IE6 gained it’s popularity back in the day, that is, “it was where the money was at”, the iPhone too treads down this path. Developing and catering to a single platform instead of universal standards is a dangerous thing to those not on board with whatever platform is popular at the moment.

The sad part is, the iPhone and all of it’s specially designed apps and services won’t be here forever. Then what?

Guardian UK

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