It's going to be interesting to see if the upcoming mobile phone platform/application war & shakeout will be a repeat of the Apple vs. IBM, or Mac OS vs. Windows wars of the early 80s and early 90s ... ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny and all that, you know...
Apple has done a tremendous job breaking ground in this area, popularizing the technology with great hardware that works ... well mostly works ... they have put tons of effort into conceptualizing and designing the interface, and creating the paradigm that people actually want to use.
...and now that they've done the heavy lifting, along comes the more open-source competitor, flinging open the doors of innovation and competition to take the tidy Apple walled garden and turn it into, well, pretty much what the landscape of PC-based applications has looked like for the past 28 years or so. A loud, rude, complicated, chaotic landscape where everything is much cheaper, does kewl new things that businesses/people need to have in their lives, and that you have to be half-systems engineer yourself to keep all your various hardware & software all playing nicely together.
To stretch the "walled garden" metaphor a little, the IBM-PC space, rather than a tidy garden, more resembles a giant sandbox full of toddlers on meth. Only they're NFL lineman-size. With power tools.
If the past is to be our guide, the Android and Blueprint somewhat open-source projects are going to start off behind Apple, biting off what Apple does. And the developers will be relentless. And the hardware manufacturers will churn out warehouses full of cheap, buggy handsets to run all this on.
And they will gradually erode Apple's lead in the smartphone/app space.
Anyway, here's some interesting quotes from MSNBC:
Since its inception, Android has been tweaked and built upon freely by developers, device designers and wireless carriers who have had complete access to Android’s Software Developer Kit. Basically, Android is whatever users and developers want it to be.
That’s in contrast to Apple’s approach with the iPhone. Nine months ago, Apple created a Software Developer Kit offering application makers the same interface and tools Apple uses to develop iPhone software.
But Apple has closely regulated and monitored every program that is being offered through the company’s online App Store.
Android will “create a new, attractive environment to foster innovation and make it easier to bring new ideas to market, ultimately ensuring consumers a richer, more personalized mobile experience,”