Friday, March 14, 2008

Was the iPhone SDK Deliberately Delayed?

David Chartier over at Infinite Loop suggests that Apple may have held back on delivering the iPhone SDK on time as a tactic to generate buzz. His argument focuses on the idea that unveiling the SDK more than a year after the first official word of the helped keep the iPhone in the headlines during the period between MacWorld Expo in January, and the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

I don’t buy that. I think it was late because it wasn’t quite ready for the light of day before the last day in February. And while there was a considerable amount of attention when word of the SDK first emerged in October, as first reported by none other than yours truly and Olga Kharif, it wasn’t the SDK by itself that generated the headlines this time around.

When Fox Business News called me to be on their morning show on March 6 (video below), what they really wanted to talk about was the growing competitive dynamic between Apple and Research In Motion.

Nor do I don’t think that it’s accurate to say that that the existence of the SDK is “a victory in forcing Apple to bend to requests from users and developers,” as Chartier suggests. I think, that there was a plan to have an iPhone SDK for about as long as there was a plan to have an iPhone. That they weren’t released at the same time has more to do with the complexity involved with launching an entirely new handheld platform from scratch than about generating marketing buzz.

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