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Technology CompaniesAppleShould the iPhone or iPod be open?

Should the iPhone or iPod be open?

Dave Winer: “I don’t believe for a minute that Jobs’s closed-box approach to cell phones is the right one.”

I’d also like to see the iPhone (ant the iPod for that matter) open up to developers. But this is probably easy to predict. After all, my whole work life has grown around and benefited from the open, developer mindset built around PCs and more recently the web.

With the success of the iPod I’ve heard more and more people talk of closed consumer products rather than “general purpose” devices, such as the UMPC. Each has their place. I hope that in the coattails of the iPod’s success it doesn’t drive everyone to close their doors. I firmly believe, that more, faster, richer innovation and market growth is possible with a rich partner network. In the long run though, I don’t think it’ll matter. If the major players close their systems, it’ll have the affect of spawning new, open and shared systems elsewhere.

Loren Heiny (1961 - 2010) was a software developer and author of several computer language textbooks. He graduated from Arizona State University in computer science. His first love was robotics.

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