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  (Source: Apple)

The new FriendBook app may become a hot new social network  (Source: Friendbook)
Apple's new playground opens its gates

After months of work, Apple's App Store for the iPhone/iPod Touch is complete.  For all the criticism for carrier exclusivity, Apple made one key reversal of stance, when after initially trying to clamp down on them, it decided to embrace third-party developers.  As the months passed its enthusiasm grew, as it released software development kits.

Now with the arrival of the new 3G iPhone, which goes on sale Friday, Apple has formed the applications market into a second pillar of its phone business.  Customers of the iPhone -- old and new -- will greet this new venture gladly; gone are the days of a scant few handpicked Apple apps.  Now anyone with a good idea and a bit of software savvy can make their own application.

The store opens Thursday and will offer 500 software applications.  Games, educational programs, mobile commerce, and business productivity are just some of the plethora of software.  Twenty-five percent of the applications are free, including AOL's AIM.  And of the remaining applications, 90 percent are $9.99 or less, making them an easy impulse buy.  With the iPhone looking to one-up usurping rivals like Verizon's Voyager or the various HTC smartphones, the applications store Apple hopes will give the iPhone an edge.

The store has support from major players -- Facebook, MySpace, AOL, eBay, Major League Baseball, Sega and Bank of America among others.  Facebook and MySpace have a new competitor though -- Friendbook (pictured).  This new iPhone-specific social network may become a top new social network.

To download applications, you can simply directly access the store and download on your iPhone/iPod Touch.  Additionally, it is also relatively simple to install applications through iTunes; just update your iTunes to the latest version -- 7.7 -- download the software, and sync it to your iPhone.  In addition to the Apps functionality, the new iTunes version features the Nike+iPod functionality, long rumored, which allows you to track your runs using your iPod and special Nike brand shoes.

Steve Jobs, Apple CEO and founder, is more than pleased with the store.  He states, "The reaction we have gotten so far has been really strong.  The quality and the sophistication of the applications you can write for the iPhone is in a different class."

Having learned his lesson from the failure of Apple computers in the 1990s, which was thanks in part to poor software support, Jobs was determined not to make the same mistake.  Now the new applications store promises to provide fast, easy instant access to software perhaps akin to Valve's software distribution network on the personal computer, but never before on this scale on mobile phones.

The store is projected to generate as much as $1.2B USD in yearly business by 2009.  It will also help to fuel iPhone sales.  While Apple certainly looks poised for success, don't think Apple is profiting much at the expense of its hardworking independent developers.  Apple gives developers a generous 70 percent of sales.  Mr. Jobs insists that the goal is not to make much profit, but rather merely to "sell more iPhones."

The 30/70 profit split was derived from the video games industry, according to Mr. Jobs.  This seems logical as a third of the applications for the iPhone are in fact video games.

The store, however, is being met by a wary eye from some developers.  Some are concerned that their applications -- say web browsers or music services -- might be disallowed by Apple as they would compete with Apple staples such as iTunes.  Thus far, Apple has been rather liberal in its allowances, unlike many phone companies, but this may change.  Mywaves, an ad-sponsored free mobile video service which would compete with iTunes video already has received a bit of a cold shoulder.  Mr. Jobs acknowledged this, but indicated that talks would continue.

Also, while Apple's distribution may be more streamlined than its competitors, its competitors still have more developers and more software despite being more restrictive.  Palm says it has 30,000 software developers writing for its products, while Microsoft boasts that its Windows Mobile OS has 18,000 applications, available on 160 carriers worldwide.

Despite this adversity, the iPhone App store seems likely to succeed, perhaps thanks to Apple's marketing mystique.  Says Gene Munster, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, "Everybody wants to build an iPhone app.  It’s pretty rare you hear things like this. The enthusiasm is surprising."

How serious is the new store?  Matt Murphy, a partner in a fund set up by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is directing a $100M USD fund to invest in iPhone developer startups.  Of 2,000 ideas submitted, his firm is seriously considering backing 100 of them.

Some of the applications it supports are rather exotic.  The iControl Networks proposal will allow homeowners to turn off their lights and alarms and watch security cameras -- all from their iPhone, remotely.

With the variety of options and strong interest and investment capitol the App Store seems poised to make a unique splash in the phone and music player industries.  It marks a new chapter for Apple's style of developer interactions.  And it marks perhaps one of the strongest features of the already popular iPhone, yet.

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By The Irish Patient on 7/10/2008 10:52:47 AM , Rating: 2
The placement of a lower case "i" in front of all things Apple has gotten really, really old for me.

RE: iPuke
By 67STANG on 7/10/2008 11:04:23 AM , Rating: 5
I thought it was an abbreviation for: Made iNChina

RE: iPuke
By kelmon on 7/10/2008 1:08:04 PM , Rating: 3
Old, certainly, but instantly recognisable and therefore worth its weight in gold, as far as marketing of products is concerned. As long as people continue to associate "i" products with Apple, in a good way, then it will continue to be used even if the original intention for its use serves little purpose now. Only a really dumb company would "re-engineer" a brand name if the old one is still beneficial. Those from the UK may remember Royal Mail's ill-fated attempt to rebrand itself as Consignia, a name that meant nothing to people...

RE: iPuke
By chromal on 7/10/2008 2:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
It's somehow slightly more endearing than all the e-Products marketed in the 90s. iThink.

RE: iPuke
By freshmint on 7/10/2008 10:15:49 PM , Rating: 2
MADtv's iRack skit comes to mind

RE: iPuke
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/10/2008 10:26:34 PM , Rating: 3
For me, the i is a welcome warning sign:

"Do not buy this: it's iDiotic".

RE: iPuke
By jonmcc33 on 7/12/2008 1:49:55 AM , Rating: 2
Jason Mick will love this one. It's on which reaches a lot more people than his DT blogs do.

Glitches hamper iPhone launch

- Software problems prevent the phones from being fully activated in-store
- Buyers told to go home and activate phones via their own computers
- However, iTunes servers were hard to reach from home, leaving phones unusable

Jason Mick, are you sure you still want to be Apple's cheerleader after this?

RE: iPuke
By jonmcc33 on 7/13/2008 2:32:44 AM , Rating: 2
Another update on Jason Mick's iPhone 3G, this time from AnandTech itself!

The battery life is expressed in minutes and the results are expectedly not very good...

What a shame, Apple releases yet another poor product.

By Doormat on 7/10/2008 10:47:31 AM , Rating: 2
Apple has published their own game - a Texas Hold'em game. So developers are now competing against Apple too.

(I had spent 3 months developing my own Hold'em game and now pretty much have to shelve it because there is no way a single-developer shop is going to compete with apple on name recognition and I'm pretty much forced to give it away for free)

By biggsjm on 7/10/2008 11:15:43 AM , Rating: 1
QUOTE: "Having learned his lesson from the failure of Apple computers in the 1990s, which was thanks in part to poor software support, Jobs was determined not to make the same mistake."

Um . . . Last I checked, Steve Jobs was at NeXT in the 90s, not at Apple. An before Windows 95 came out, Mac was the dominant Market Share in the Personal Computing arena, outside of Business of course.

I am not sure that it was due to lack of software support as much as it was to a lack of support from Corporate Environments. The lack of software support was simply a result of Apple doing strange things to their development community and having an poor OS strategy for the entire decade. OS X finally changed that, slowly, but surely.

By Oregonian2 on 7/10/2008 1:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
I don't remember the year, but when the Mac first came out it was utter disaster. No apps, especially no killer apps to drive sales. Lots of little play-toy demo'ish apps, but nothing that would drive people en masse to buy one. They had nice technology but nothing do use it for. Apple was in big trouble and in serious danger of going under unless sales could be jumpstarted. That's what he doesn't want to happen again. Back then a third party came out with suite of killer apps for it which saved the Mac and Apple at that point in time. Yes, you guess it, the third party was Microsoft.

By mondo1234 on 7/11/2008 2:21:43 AM , Rating: 2
The mac came out in 1984. It was the only shipping personal computer with 3.5" drives and monchrome VGA and drag-n-drop. It had built in apps which were advanced for the times like MacDraw, MacPaint, and MacWrite which all ran on 128k floppies. They were the killer apps at the time (adjustable fonts and object oriented drawing) but weren't commercial. They set the standards for such programs from MS later. MS was still shipping MS Paint (which is about the same as the Mac version back then) in Windows XP. You are correct that third party apps were few. Bill G threatened to pull Word (a commercial product) from the Mac if Apple didn't cross license Look-n-feel aspects of the Mac. Thats why Apple lost its lawsuit against MS for Win95 because they were already licensed from Apple.

By Fluxion on 7/10/2008 2:32:59 PM , Rating: 4
An before Windows 95 came out, Mac was the dominant Market Share in the Personal Computing arena, outside of Business of course.

Microsoft actually took the lead in market share with Windows 3.1, and had quickly been approaching it with Windows 3.0, both of which, you know, predate Windows 95 by 3 years+.

By DeepBlue1975 on 7/12/2008 12:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
Even ms dos versions enjoyed better marketshare than macs.
For starters, getting a dos based pc was cheaper than any mac out there.

The funny thing is that, some years back, Macs were very interesting from a technological standpoint, they were much more than the box which contained them, having components which were ahead of their pc counterparts.

I never had a mac but I seriously looked at them when they were completely different beasts to PCs.
Now all I see in a Mac is a stupidly high priced PC / laptop, with subpar functionality that gets clearly sacrificed in favor of a flashy, and even sometimes queer design.

By kake on 7/13/2008 9:56:21 AM , Rating: 2
Wordperfect 5.1, the killer DOS app. I can remember magazine reviews comparing it to newer GUI versions suggesting that there were actually advantages to the older 5.1.

By kelmon on 7/10/2008 1:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
It very much depends on whether your version of the game is competitive relative to Apple's. I'd evaluate each (preferably, get someone neutral to do it) and make a plan based on that. In fairness, Apple already made Texas Hold'em for the iPod, so this release shouldn't have come as a surprise. Personally, I'd be more worried about the likes of PopCap and other professional game developers with experience of developing on Apple's iPod.

By Locutus465 on 7/10/2008 10:24:40 AM , Rating: 4
This is something very nice an unique to the iPhone that Windows based smart phones lack... It would in fact be nice to have one portal you can go to to get 3rd party applications for your windows smart phone. As it is you really just have to google for whatever it is you want "ppc chat client", "ppc games" etc and just browse the stores that come up. From there you can make your purchase, download the app and the install from Active Sync, or if you happen to be able to do all this on your phone and the .cab is available you have the convinience of being able to direct install.

Much nicer would be if MS just came up with a Windows Live Mobile store (or something like that) which sold 3rd party apps and had all the freebe's availble right there. Major Kudo's to apple for taking the hint and putting together what sounds like one good service.

By Enoch2001 on 7/10/2008 9:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
Wow - hard to believe all of the negativity in these threads. Are any of you people even using an iPhone?

I just installed the 2.0 firmware, installed several free apps and bought a couple of games - couldn't be happier. It performs as expected and added a tremendous amount of value to my cell phone - all for free.

What's not to like?

RE: Uhhh....
By cs1323 on 7/10/2008 10:37:02 PM , Rating: 2
I personally can't wait to get my hands on the official Firmware 2.0 update (hopefully, first thing tomorrow) to see what these new Apps are all about! =)

By psychobriggsy on 7/10/2008 10:47:24 AM , Rating: 2
Well, you would expect on day one that competiting products of between 5 and 12 years old would have more products available. I think 500 on the first day, with the SDK out in beta form only for a few months is pretty impressive.

I really doubt that Palm has 30,000 active developers right now as well, or in the past couple of years. Might as well count the hundred thousand people who downloaded the iPhone SDK!

Apple has done it all well however, the AppStore is a great thing to have, making it very easy to get your software from a centralised source. Symbian, WinMob, Android and Blackberry all need an equivalent.

$30 Data Plan
By hiscross on 7/10/2008 1:15:43 PM , Rating: 2
I called AT&T and asked if I could sign-up for a just $30 month data plan? They said yes. I don't need the cell portion since my employer provides me a phone. So for $199 +$30 x 24 = $920 for a 3G iPhone. I owned a iPhone for a month and enjoyed the portability of the data plan. The EDGE was slow, but it didn't bother me all that much. With 3G, that issue will be solved (I live in a 3G area).

By sxr7171 on 7/10/2008 1:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
Very creative. Wow an iPhone specific social networking site. Probably the worst place on the internet to be.

"well my iPhone is 23 days old, I like movies and TV, most of all I like my iPhone.

Jason "Apple" Mick
By jonmcc33 on 7/11/2008 1:02:02 AM , Rating: 2
If there's Apple news then you can bet it's from Jason "Apple" Mick! Of course soon to follow is another negative Microsoft/Vista blog too.

Its all about software
By crystal clear on 7/12/2008 7:41:28 AM , Rating: 2
As an onlooker who never buys Apple products ,as their prices are just a rip off,not worth the money you pay for.

I observe the following-

Apple's latest phone isn't really about the U.S. It's about the rest of the world. Apple will sell the iPhone in 22 countries beginning this Friday, July 11th. By the end of the year, Apple is shooting for 70 countries in total.

This for Apple is the first time & a learning experience,they are NOT YET READY for such a worldwide release.

They lack the experience of say Nokia in this field.

I bet their servers are overloaded & cannot handle the load/traffic.

Apple will have to do a major upgrade to its servers,to handle the new incresed traffic.

As I see it - this iPhone is more about software than hardware....its a software platform.

Any new software has the glitches/flaws that over the time are fixed,incl security & compatibility etc.

iPhones success will depend heavily on the software support that Apple will provides.

Software that works-dependable-reliable ......

iPhones are designed on "JOBS" vision of the iPhone-

Great software packaged by elegant harware

All current & future iPhones will have major emphasis on software & less on hardware.

You pay(more) for the software & less for the hardware.

By INSIGHTguy on 7/12/2008 2:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
it's a joke to pretend that mywaves competes with iTUNES. Come on. mywaves got their traction with porn and stolen content. Apple is not about to put that on their site. Lately, mywaves has tried to clean up that past, but Apple's far too classy to get smeared with mywaves.

By Natfly on 7/10/2008 10:45:28 AM , Rating: 1
The 30/70 profit split was derived from the video games industry, according to Mr. Jobs. This seems logical as a third of the applications for the iPhone are in fact video games.

What? Because a third of the applications are games they derive the entire revenue split from the game industry?

First post but
By drunkenmastermind on 7/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: First post but
By drunkenmastermind on 7/10/2008 10:26:30 AM , Rating: 2
I might not even get one at all considering it will cost me (in Japan) $3360 USD locked into a 24 month contract. $3360 U.S.D I think I would rather have a sweet laptop.

RE: First post but
By vapore0n on 7/10/2008 10:39:40 AM , Rating: 2
Why not spend $450USD (ebay V1 iphone) for an unlocked one and be done with it if you really want one?

RE: First post but
By othercents on 7/10/2008 11:24:51 AM , Rating: 2
Why not spend $450USD (ebay V1 iphone) for an unlocked one and be done with it if you really want one?

That's definitely a better choice if you don't want to use the phone as a cell phone and if you don't want to be able to connect to the internet other than using WiFi. Otherwise you will need to get a cell contract and data service which will cost about the same as any other cell contract and data service you could get with any other PDA/Smart phone.

Personally I will be spending $1000 less over the next 24 months than what I am now, if I was to get an iPhone.


RE: First post but
By drunkenmastermind on 7/10/2008 7:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is...I am already locked into a 24 month contract with 12 months to go. So to change over to the iPoo doesn't mean I get to stop paying of the existing phone. Contracts suck ballz because they do in fact suck ballz.

About SMS's to send a 70 charchter message from Japan to New Zealand cost 0.93 USD, this is outrageous! And useless.

RE: First post but
By blaster5k on 7/10/2008 11:26:04 AM , Rating: 2
You do sacrifice some features when you do that and it's not really supported, so if you have problems, you're SOL.

RE: First post but
By jonmcc33 on 7/11/2008 8:03:10 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, because the additional $3 grand is worth the extra features and support. /rolling eyes

That's as stupid as saying that a Mac is worth the 50% price premium over a PC counterpart because of the "experience" that you pay for. The Mac cannot do sexual favors and that's about the only "experience" I'd really pay extra for.

RE: First post but
By kelmon on 7/11/2008 9:23:41 AM , Rating: 3
It might be stupid to you but it's not up to you to value things for others. I specifically use a MacBook Pro because the experience, for me, is better than that from non-Mac laptops. Given that I use this laptop for at least 8-hours per day most days of the week, its ability to not annoy me is valuable over a 3-4 year period, particularly when the price isn't the most important factor to me. Put another way, is it worth paying money for something you don't like just because it's cheaper?

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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