Robert Scoble is not (always) an idiot


Steve Jobs isn’t an idiot.

So, what do I think will happen? Oh, I can see the Steve Jobs keynote in 2008 right now. “We’ve sold eight million iPhones, more than we expected” and “remember how I said iPhone apps needed to be done with JavaScript and HTML? Well, we heard from all of you that you wanted to play games on so we added Flash. And we’ve been working on our own iPhone applications for more than a year now and we’re sharing the developer tools we use internally.”

Here’s the Macalope’s view. Apple (read: “Steve Jobs”) is a company that likes to tightly control its message. Admittedly, this hasn’t always been handled perfectly (see: “Who the hell let Stan Sigman go on and on and on at Macworld SF, 2007?”), but there is some kind of logical disconnect going on here. Either Jobs left the “iPhone SDK, to be or not to be?” decision up to his underlings and spoke out of turn at All Things Digital and then had to put some lipstick on the pig, or there’s still another shoe to drop.

The Macalope — and Scoble, apparently — are in the “other shoe” camp.

  • i have to disagree…

    scoble is ALWAYS an idiot.

    but even a blind squirrel can occasionaly find a nut.

  • Bergamot:

    I tend to agree with him on the “one year” timeframe.

    Plenty of time to get the kinks out, and give people a chance to get used to how an iPhone app is supposed to look and feel, but soon enough that they can claim it was their plan all along.

  • Mike:

    Hmmm…but the Macalope also said that .Mac would become free, and SJ said at All Things Digital that .Mac would see a major overhaul, and neither of those things have happened…. :-/

  • If you think about it, the iPhone has a disturbing parallel to the original Macintosh: the majority of on-board applications are from Apple, and the development kit is available only to select partners. Let’s hope when it finally does go public, Apple doesn’t pull another MPW ($200 for a watered-down Bourne shell clone, ouch).

  • artMonster:

    As for .Mac, nothing is free, so unless Apple switches to generating revenue through Google ads to justify not only development costs, but operational expense, .Mac will be fee based. Jobs acknowledged that .Mac needs to be, and will be, improved upon. I expect that we will see major changes in functionality with that service. Jobs clearly stated at All Things Digital that this was down the road, the fact that he even brought it up shows it is certainly on his radar screen. He alluded to quite a number of things that are in the works. A number of people, pundits and users, as well as some developers, seem to be missing an imagination gene. They have a pretty good lock on griping and shortsightedness. But that’s why Job’s is running things at Apple and they are not.

  • Rick:

    .Mac is going to be the cloud on which Apple tries to build it’s new castle. Then all of us mac pixies can live happily ever after as we access the stuff we own from anywhere.

  • bud:

    You know, you have to consider this entire widgets deal in Tiger was part of the iPhone plan as well. Pretty obvious, but not enough bloggerslashpundits mention it.

  • There seems to be a recurring theme after every one of Jobs’ keynotes: There’s more to this than meets the eye. With Apple, there is always another shoe waiting to drop. However, unlike many other tech companies, Apple does not lay out it’s entire 5 year plan for all to pick over. Rather, Jobs & Co. carefully select which information goes out, occasionally dropping bread crumb hints along the way. From what has been shown, and what is known of the underlying iPhone tech, producing an iPhone SDK for mass consumption should be fairly straight forward. Most of the libraries and API’s should be the same as what is available for Desktop/Server OS X. Also, as the iPhone is a platform, there would be a lot more planned for it than anyone is letting on to. Otherwise, it becomes just another throwaway gadget to be replaced in a year, which isn’t good for Apple or Apple/iPhone developers. Whether or not anything sees the light of day is another story. I think we all remember the 3 GHz G5 promise.

  • charles:

    How about iPhone + .Mac. This goes in the direction of Web apps, but now Apple does not just make money on the client, but can also make some on the server side. Particularly if they gear the SDK towards .Mac as much as possible.

  • yet another steve:

    For the record, the original Mac once released had a complete SDK… and the famous evangelists out there trying to get people to use it. I don’t know if it was publicly available yet, but it was quite available to software developers. It was a bitch to develop for but that was because of inadequate tools (which got better), documentation (which got a lot better) and the fact that no one had programmed like that before.

    When people refer to the original mac as “closed” they mean as a HARDWARE environment. All you had was serial and localtalk ports. Ohhhh the hoops people jumped through just to make a compatible hard drive.

    Apple intended its initial apps as demos more than anything else.

    The initial mac was a wildly open environment compared to the initial iPhone. The big thing is, Apple always viewed the mac as a platform–at least for software. I still see no evidence that Apple views iPhone as a platform rather than just a device.

  • Yeah, the iphone is very similar to the mac. I think that the kinks will be worked out of it over the next year or w/e

    but scoble is almost always an idiot!

  • Ian:

    I think Scoble is 95% idiot !

    I do own an iphone and it has to be one of the best phones I have ever owned, it does have bugs but than again what phone doesn’t have bugs… Its still a work in progress but like everyone is saying should be cleared up in about a year or so.


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