Epic No to Vista Themese

That's what some are taking away from the analyst briefings we linked to last week. Apple would have only one hardware platform, but different versions of the software for different SKUs of the iPhone.

Sigh. It's hard enough to convince people that software isn't just math, and math isn't free, without dodgy OS stripping schemes artificially creating crippled, low-end versions. Apple thus far has known this -- Mac OS X comes in only two versions, client and server. Likewise, they tend to have their free/cheap regular software like iPhoto, and pro apps like Aperture.

Could we see a "pro" version of the iPhone OS? Perhaps, but while the guts of the device would likely stay the same for compatibility and component cost reasons, it's hard to see no hardware differentiation like more storage, better camera, tweaked casing. After all, that's what Apple's historically done with MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

If Apple did go with pure software differentiation, might also make for yet another interesting chapter in the Jailbreak cat-and-mouse game...

Apple believing their software differentiates the iPhone from OTHER smartphones is something they've made a point of making a point about since launch (and likely what they meant again this time). But differentiating within the iPhone platform? Well, we just hope they're leaning towards iPhone Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. Because, you know, people just loved that about Windows Vista.