Microsoft & Nokia CEOh-Snap: iPhone Should Be More Open! AT&T: Then Why Keep Copying It?

UPDATED: Daring Fireball nails it. Closed or open, the smartphone industry was stagnating before the iPhone...

ORIGINAL: Steve Ballmer is the gift that just keeps on grief'ing! Proven wrong about the iPhone already, both the Microsoft CEO and his counterpart at Nokia, Olli-Pekka Kallasvu both decided to take fairly transparent jabs at Apple, who once again didn't even bother to attend the show. CNet (via MacRumors) has the gory details.

Said Kallasvu (taking a break from iCloning the iPhone App Store):

Apple's vertically integrated model, where its hardware and software are tightly controlled by the company, further fragmented the market. And he added that what is truly needed is more openness in developing applications.

Said Ballmer, (who's been getting his own fair share of grief this week over WinPho 6.5):

"I agree that no single company can create all the hardware and software. Openness is central because it's the foundation of choice."

One disgruntled European expressed displeasure at all the iPhone talk, asking why it deserved attention when it had only a tiny sub-percentage of the market.

Responded AT&T Mobility chief Ralph de la Vega:

"Because the other 99.5 percent of the industry is trying to copy the iPhone."

It wasn't all hugs and kisses from AT&T, though, even with the iPhone providing life support to their bottom line. Jabbed de la Vega:

"The iPhone is a great success, but it would be even better if the applications were interoperable,"

Um, yeah, because then people might actually want to buy those other, less innovative, non-iPhone you have stockpiled in your warehouse?

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Microsoft & Nokia CEOh-Snap: iPhone Should Be More Open! AT&T: Then Why Keep Copying It?

15 Comments

They aren't saying it isn't innovative, dude. They're saying it isn't open.
As in, lock down the SDK and declare jailbreaking a crime.
As in, only people with a Mac can develop for it.
As in, carrier exclusivity and threatening of fire and brimstone for imitators.
Lastly, AT&T is encouraging interoperability in this post, which implies that they want Apple to be more open.
Read the article next time before you try to post hate.

Then Mr Ballmer, I suggest you go first:
Open your Exchange email platform to make it more interoperable.
Why did none of YOUR apps work on the Treo 700 as it came out and tried to eclipse my Palm Treo 700? Or am I the only one who has a memory going back more than two years...
How's about the fact that most of your own apps don't even run across the yet-to-be-fully-understood MULTIPLE mobile OSs. Where was Excel on my Q?
Seriously dude...

That middle part of my last comment makes no sense.
I meant, why didn't the MS Treo 700 run my Palm Treo 700 apps if interoperabilty has been Microsoft's big concern?

One wonders just how much of Apples restrictive lock down practices would go away if Congress make it against the law to carrier-lock a cell phone. (As it is in Italy and a few other places).
Most of it seems aimed at protecting the Carriers and media providers. But now that DRM is slowly on the way out, what other possible reason other than Carrier demands remain for the restrictive nature of Apple?
How many would pay full price for an iPhone to be free from a carrier restriction (assuming there was a choice of compatible networks)?
How much cheaper would carrier plans be if they did not have to recover the cost of the device?

LOL @ “Because the other 99.5 percent of the industry is trying to copy the iPhone.”
That's the perfect response to that question.

The rest of the industry is copying the iPhone in terms of features, market strategy etc.
I don't think they are trying to copy the restrictive nature of the device.
As for Jason's response, what MSFT did 2 years ago is not relevant compared to what they are doing now. The .NET Compact Framework gives you quite a bit of flexibility. It just isn't as appealing as there's no gold rush.

@Tim:
We're lovers, not haters, and if you can't tell a post with a big honking Ballmer tongue blue screened all over it isn't intended to be prankish, well, then... don't know what else to do for ya :)
And a "gold rush" is the least of .NET's unappeal :p
(The rest of the industry would love to copy the iPhone's lock in. Big business loves lock in. They just don't have the ecosystem and iPod market behind them -- don't be fooled into thinking anyone out there is truly non-Evil).

I dont think everyone is trying to copy the iphone, that 99.5% figure is a huge exageration! I am sure we would have seen many court cases had that been true, I have heard of apple wanting to go after only palm for an unreleased product, maybe there are a few more that apple wants to chase but 99.5%, huh ;)

@ Rene,
It's become quite obvious what your true feelings regarding Apple's competitors are. You certainly aren't lovers. Ballmer was not "proven wrong" about the iPhone's lack of success at a $500 price point. He was right. This article is off base as well. I like to come here for my iPhone news, but the hate and untruths spouted about Palm and MS make it hard. This is mostly a good site, just grow up a little.

@Nickel,
LOL! Awesome satire. "Obvious", "true" "off base" "hate" "untruths" "spouted". Very nice!
Well played, sir!
(I don't care a wit about companies, just products. A couple years ago, I was Microsoft from console to desktop to phone, now I'm mostly Apple. If Microsoft pulls out a Win8, WinPho 7, Xbox 720 fully-integrated trifecta, maybe I'll switch back in a couple years -- but they'll have to earn their love).
Even more ironic -- I was with WMExperts when they bought their Xperia X1a. Any guesses how expensive that phone was? How successful in the US compared to the iPhone 2G? Ballmer needs to spend less time talking about Apple, and more time finding a product picker to take the reins at Microsoft... ;)

Rene, a bit less fanboyism would be nice...
Yes, they are copying the Iphone in alot of ways,...however, they make very good points...Apple is being stupid in alot of issues, and that is not alowing the iphone to truly show its potential

I agree with antonio. If companies can build upon the good work in iphone, let them. Good products at right prices will be appreciated by the customers whethers they are copies or not. That frightens apple, i agree with them if they choose to protect their IP though. Theres no easy out for apple here unfortunately, it will have too prove it can hold on its own and bring better products than the copycats. If the copycats do it better than apple, so be it!

@ Rene
"LOL! Awesome satire. “Obvious”, “true” “off base” “hate” “untruths” “spouted”. Very nice! Well played, sir!"
I like your site a lot but calm down on being so defensive, downright rude to people. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, right? That's why you host this site—to get opinions and have a dialog, no?

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