About a year ago, David Pogue, advanced the argument that the programmibility of the iPhone gave it a distinct competitive advantage over all other mobile phones including ones powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile and Nokias Symbian. One of the key advantages that David cited was the multi-touch UI of iPhone and the ability to harness it uniquely at Apple.
But Apple may have poisoned that advantage in 3 ways. First, it dictates what prices can be charged at its App Store and takes at least 30% of the action for all App Store sales. Second, Apple does not permit Flash apps and is well behind on Java platform updates, two rival technologies for the mobile phone which both have strong tools and substantial mobile phones developer communities. Last, but not least, Apple makes the process of signing up for Apple Mobile development an exercise in serf-subservience …. okay acknowledgement of the greatness and benevolence of Steve Jobs … okay okay the Kim Jong Il of obscurity as to why you have to sign up this way other than any other for indenture to Apple.
Now read here in a report by Infoworlds Neil McCallister, it is an excellent appraisal of the features of the two development environs. Then consider that Flash and Java also have strong development tools that both deliver rich media apps NOW. Then consider the following – is this the prelude to the big RAIA battles upcoming between Flash, Java, and the Microsoft VM??? The battle will be what presentation layer will be used preferentially on most apps because it provides the easiest write once run anywhere approach to development of online and offline apps that can run on any device that uses a CPU chip.
This is an important battle because the vendor that controls the Presentation Layer will have a decided advantage in controlling a broad range of markets and even determining what tools and integration software gets used on Servers and their associated storage/database and messaging/networking layers. Expect a battle Royale with bloody slugfests comparable to any of the latest James Bond movies or Presidential TV campaigns.