Originally Posted by jasenj1
Regardless of what Apple does, there will soon be a good sized developer community for these OS X derived products. It will soon be as easy as going to VersionTracker and downloading a package to install new software on the Touch and iPhone. IMHO, that will make these things fly off the shelves.
Missing apps on the Touch? Wait a month or two and they will appear. There's a lot of space there to be filled with icons.
Doubtful. I've been around the block a few times on devices like this, and quality development communities never sustain themselves around closed systems like this. An OS update and Poof! all your development efforts could be wasted. Sure, a few hackers will do some very nice things with this device, BUT without Apple's blessing your user community will be small and the motivation won't be there.
AT&T may force Apple's hand to lock out the third party developers - can't have "wild" software messing with the cell network. But the Touch has no such compulsion. Apple has already shown with the Apple TV that they are willing to turn a blind eye to the hacker community. The Touch brings the same thing with it.
Bah! This has little to do with AT&T. A decent security model can sandbox most any app, as long as the user takes minimal discretion in what to install. If OS X isn't that secure/stable, we shouldn't be using it.
What I'm guessing is more likely is that Jobs sees $$$ in licensing access to developers, much like they have done with games on the other iPods and other video game console companies do. Personally I expect this will be a bad approach for the iPhone/iPod touch, and eventually Apple will have to make an SDK available. "Killer apps" for PDA-like devices have typically come from the ground up, a small developer sees a need and writes the app him/herself. Developers like that would never get an audience with Apple to have a shot at the license (plus they wouldn't have the up-front capital). Apps that come from the big software houses will be re-hashes of uninnovative stuff. Apple would be better off making an SDK available and then charging for premiere spots on their downloads site to vendors.
Of course, my guess at Apple's intentions could be wrong. Apple may be rushing along at finishing up their public SDK, cleaning up code in the iPhone/iPod touch to safely handle 3rd party apps, and this will all show up in Xcode 3 when Leopard is released.
Apple turns a blind eye because there is currently little profit to be lost in most of the hacking/development efforts. They've already sold you the device, maybe other hackers will buy one too. If you break it in the process, they could refuse warranty coverage. How much would they sue you for anyhow?