A plea to Steve

Not that it will be delivered, but I just sent an email to Steve Jobs:

Steve (or his assistant, secretary, mail reader, etc.),

I have been a devout Apple fanatic for years. I was just about to give up on Apple when you came back. I used the IIe, Classic, LC, Quadra, Powermac, PowerPC, and now Intel Macbook Pro and iMac.

My wife and I both have iPhones. I waited in line 10 hours to get them and was still thrilled when you reduced the price of the iPhone to $399 because I was one of the first people to have one. I love the device too… it’s a magnificent breakthrough in technology. I even switched to AT&T months before the iPhone launch (shortly after the MacWorld Keynote) to be ready when it hit.

HOWEVER… There are many things lacking on the iPhone. No to-do list application, voice notes, sketch pad, games, finder, SSH, text editor, chat, etc. I was excited to hear that it was very easy to develop for the iPhone despite the lack of an SDK on Apple’s part. I was sure the overly-simplistic security on the initial iPhones was intentional, possibly an omen of a forthcoming SDK.

I also understand your frustration with hackers trying to unlock the iPhone to take to other carriers. I am happy with AT&T, and understand the relationship you have with them. Both of you spent a lot of money, time and resources developing the iPhone and the two go together (for the time being). I completely understand your obligation (both contractual and otherwise) to keep the iPhone carrier-locked.

But here’s what I DON’T understand. Why, are you going out of your way to thwart third-party software development? The iPhone is a great device, but it can be a REVOLUTIONARY device. Apple can’t possibly release all the applications users will want. Why limit yourselves and your customers by stifling creativity? Hasn’t Apple always been about thinking “different?”

Please Steve, let the software developers in like you have with OSX. They can make the iPhone what it has the potential to be. Just look at the innovation in AppTapp Installer (Installer.app) and the applications already available. It’s amazing what underground hackers and software developers have done with their spare time! They even got GPS-like location service to work on the iPhone, with no GPS!

Just imagine what they could do with a full-featured SDK to work with!

Yours truly,

Brandon Eley
beley@mac.com

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