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January 9, 2007

Macworld: Closed system for iPhone

Posted by Mark Watanabe at 4:54 PM

More from Glenn Fleishman:

SAN FRANCISCO -- The one fly in the ointment for the iPhone is that while it runs Apple's Mac OS X operating system, it's a closed platform.

Windows Mobile and Palm OS smartphones have a third-party ecosystem of software developers, and Apple said it's not talking about whether or what else might be allowed to run on the phone.

Cingular Wireless, Apple's partner on the iPhone, would likely guard jealously against voice over IP
(VoIP) software such as Skype or Vonage running on the platform to cannibalize its voice revenue. On the other hand, the new AT&T, 100 percent owner of Cingular, has millions of DSL customers with Wi-Fi networks in their home, and AT&T FreedomLink has thousands of locations nationwide, including several major airports, Sea-Tac among them.

AT&T as a parent company could "leverage its synergy," as the marketing types say, and offer converged VoIP calling that would allow calls on an iPhone to be placed on an unlimited basis -- similar to T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home without seamless roaming between Wi-Fi and cell -- from home networks and from AT&T controlled hotspots.

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