The iPhone is here to stay. With over 10 million units sold the product is one of the most successful mobile computing products ever. Nokia and Sony Ericsson may sell a lot more phones but certainly not per model.
What makes the iPhone so special? Well it was first with Apple’s ingenious touch interface which has set the standard for a generation to come. But besides the initial shock of a good UI for mobiles the staying factor for iPhone is the application store. Or should I say Apple’s solution for including developers in the process.
Developers can buy cheap SDKs, build almost what they want and then sell their products for great margins through Apple’s store. This makes quality high, prices low and the incentive for developers volcanic. No matter what other mobile companies are doing they won’ catch up without an enormous amount of software that can sway the public. This is a hard trial for the much anticipated Android platform from google.
There are some successful games for the iPhone already, and expect to see a lot more as developers stop looking at what they can do and go back to designing what will actually be FUN on an iPhone.
The real question in this situation really has to be: why is the iPhone the first arena where this system for development has been put in use and why aren’t other companies (Sony, Nintendo, Nokia, Microsoft) jumping on the chance to produce a similar development chain for other or competing platforms?
Steam isn’t far off. Unity is more or less there, even for the iPhone. Android? Running free without design or visual appeal, NOT a strategy that will work in the modern software world. Let’s hope for the best, I’m downloading an SDK asap.