Last night marked a unique event in history. The Apple Store in Cambridge MA allowed me to come in through the front door and deliver a keynote to some 200+ people as they hosted the Mobile Monday Boston conference. In spite of the sheer chaos of fitting so many people into such a small store, and the generally poor acoustics of a mall, what the conference lacked in elegance was quickly made up for in quality of content.
I was invited to speak at the SDK party about the long hacking history of the iPhone, and made no bones about putting a stake in the ground as the open source community’s claim to third-party application development as being the first on the scene, since August 2007. In addition to that, I praised Apple for such a remarkable device – the first mobile device that, rather than being some chopped up version of a desktop OS, was a full blown Leopard OS that had been augmented with additional frameworks and tools for interfacing with the iPhone’s proprietary form factor. I spent a little time highlighting the big differences between Apple’s SDK and the tride-and-true Open Source SDK, which uses the authentic low-level APIs that Apple’s applications have shown to use. It’s amazing to think that the open source community has now estimated approximately two million iPhones to be running third-party jailbreak software and the community Installer – that’s 40% of the total iPhone market! Apple can only hope for this same level of penetration into the market, and in fact likely won’t get it unless they also cater to the 1/3rd of the market running unlocked iPhones on other networks (something the Installer does interoperate with). As I said last night, the open source community is dominating, but we welcome our new enterprise friends into iPhone development. It’s about time you got here – it’s been a lonely eight months without you!