Chris O’Brien of the San Jose Mercury News often writes extremely interesting tech stories from Silicon Valley and today’s newspaper carried a page-1 story about Apple’s iPhone apps, as told to O’Brien by former senior director of worldwide product marketing for Apple’s iPhone Bob Borchers. It’s a story that’s highly relevant to the EDA360 story because it underscores the need for flexible product planning and development in the System Realization phase and because it focuses on apps, which have a significant role in determining product functionality in the EDA360 world.
The story quotes Borchers as saying that Apple’s original plan for the iPhone was that the iPhone apps would largely be Web apps running within the Safari browser. Didn’t happen that way. Developers quickly determined that their apps would run faster and could deliver more features as native apps. At first, “savvy” developers had to jailbreak their iPhones to develop native apps because Apple was striving to deliver a stable phone platform that wouldn’t crash during a phone call because of an errant app. But the developer movement won out by popular demand and Apple relented, making it easier for app developers to create native apps.
The positive results are pretty obvious. Apple opened the App Store in June, 2008. Three months later, iPhone customers had downloaded 100 million apps. As of this writing, there appear to be more than 400,000 apps available for the iPhone. The amount of platform customization possible with so many apps boggles the mind. No one company can envision or develop this kind of flexibility for a platform but one company can certainly develop a platform that permits such customization. The iPhone is the concrete example.
You can read O’Brien’s full story here.