Before the introduction of the iPhone, Forstall supported Jobs’s view that Apple didn’t need to create an ecosystem of third-party developers. Back then they figured the device would stand out for combining a phone with an iPod plus a superfast browser. For the most popular activities—watching YouTube videos, for example—Forstall’s team would simply partner with market leaders such as Google (GOOG) to create apps built specifically for the iPhone.
I’ve long assumed that Apple always intended to create an iPhone SDK, but that they didn’t talk about it in 2007 because it wasn’t ready yet. The line about changing their mind and opening it up due to feedback from customers and developers was just rhetoric. Supporting this theory is that Apple emphasized to developers that it was built on Cocoa and other frameworks that they were familiar with. And, secondly, that it was blindingly obvious even then that iPhone OS would be a great app platform and that this would benefit Apple. But what if that really wasn’t the plan?
Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.