AfterDawn: Tech news

Apple iPhone is not a Smartphone

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 27 Jan 2007 18:33 User comments (11)

Apple iPhone is not a Smartphone According to wireless industry analyst firm ABI Research, Apple's iPhone does not fit the criteria to be described as a Smartphone, due to some limits imposed by Apple on the device. The problem is the phone's closed Operating System, which is against the possible inclusion of third-party applications. ABI defines a Smartphone as "a cellular handset using an open, commercial operating system that supports third-party applications."
When it was revealed the iPhone was running OS X, it led to speculation that the device could be used for all kinds of consumer-conceived functionality. However, Steve Jobs crushed those hopes when he revealed that the device is definitely closed to third party applications, despite its OS X roots.

"You don't want your phone to be an open platform...Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up," Jobs told Newsweek. ABI described a feature phone as being controlled by the operator, device manufacturer, and/or carrier, whereas Smartphones "are supported by a third-party ecosystem".

"We must conclude at this point that, based on our current definition, the iPhone is not a smartphone; it is a very high-end feature phone." said ABI principal mobile broadband analyst Philip Solis. He admitted that feature phones do have third party applications, "but these are relatively weak and limited applications that work with the middleware such as Java and BREW. Applications designed for smartphones can be written to access core functionality from the OS itself, and are therefore usually more powerful and efficient. The competition in an open environment also yields more cutting edge, rich applications."


Previous Next  

11 user comments

128.1.2007 2:13

Very odd decision indeed from Apple. I couldn't imagine myself using a phone without 3rd party applications, such as iDesk ( ) or Putty ( ). Sorry Apple. Close, but no cigar.

228.1.2007 6:54

doesn't matter, it'll be hacked to do so.

328.1.2007 8:06

Hummm... sounds almost like the ZUNE! Some definite possibilitys but then some stupid shortcoming by teh creater keeps it from fufilling its potential! That westcoast network crash thing is stupid! there are other smartphones on there network! Apple just didnt want someone to get a hold of the software that decodes there music!

428.1.2007 12:33

@ripxrush Aha that sounds more like it. Cover their arses.

528.1.2007 18:58

I don't see why people would want 3rd party apps on their phone. Its a phone and has limited memory anyway. I say stick to what apps the phone has and if u want more use the PC to move it around.

628.1.2007 19:09

Great idea! Now i have to cary around a cellphone/ipod & a pda! woohoo! there goes another $400, If u wanted "just a cell phone" u would not be getting the apple phone that plays music! You would be getting just a phone, that is why i got the Treo, i listen to music, have e-mail, GPS, Datebook, PHONE, & there are MANY other 3rd party software apps for it! I love the thing! & i havent heard of ANY network "Crashes" due to any other Smart Phone!

729.1.2007 7:52

No word processor, what a piece of crap and DEFINITELY not revolutionary as the idiots in the media have quoted. Ripxrush – you can get a full featured phone if that’s what you’re really looking for MS makes one of them but I’d go with one of the others out there.

829.1.2007 14:02

Oh, i know i an older Treo 650 Phone it does all that i need! I was saying that just for the sake of argument!

91.2.2007 14:25

this is so apple can make more charging people to use signed coded programs.. and for such an expensive price w/ contract. what wrong with apple fundamentalists and their must-have attitude with anything with an apple on it?

104.2.2007 17:19

Ok, so let me get this right... it's not a smart phone because you can't downlaod 3rd party apps that alot of time don't even work on "real" smart phones? Even though every app on the iphone works perfectly. And you think that apple will not make more downloadable apps for this phone? Hmmm maybe Apple and cingular want to have a phone that actually works the way they say it does. In my opinion they are right. This is NOT a smart phone. It's a SMARTER phone.

115.2.2007 3:52

its not a smart phone its a stupid phone. they chage you an insane amount with contract, and then force you to buy their worthless apps and let you do what they want not what you want. f*** jobs and his stick up his a$$

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive