iPhone SDK

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I finally got myself an iPhone - and am loving it. It’s great how I can now sync my calendars, and address book to my phone without having to worry at all about having six clones of each event on my calendar (which of course, makes it rather difficult to tell what I’m actually meant to be doing that day). However, a topic that has come up a couple of times in discussion with a few friends is that of the iPhone SDK. I feel that the big question here is, “Do Apple have enough incentive to make a fully featured iPhone SDK?”.

With a friend moving to work at a VoIP start-up that deals with having a client on mobiles that allows SIP calls to be made, the big discussion we have been having is whether the iPhone SDK will allow a VoIP client to be implemented on it. My initial feeling on this is, no - not initially. It’s been documented in a number of places that Apple are taking call revenue from the networks on each iPhone that is sold. If this is true, then it would be against Apple’s interest to actually allow a functional SIP implementation make it onto non-hacked iPhones - since they’re going to lose money if users start making their calls via SIP rather than via the cell networks (this assumes that Apple get revenue based on all calls - not just based on the actual contract worth).

However, I can’t say that I’m sure of this - Apple may only be taking their cut from the revenue that is generated from the subscription fee on each iPhone - rather than the additional calls, and in this case, they might feel that allowing users to utilise VoIP when they’re in a hotspot area would be another cool feature that the iPhone can offer. They might also feel that a lot of the iPhone users aren’t savvy enough to be using SIP very often - I guess something like Skype from hotspots (or iChat for voice, or Google Talk…) might be more popular with the less tech-savvy userbase. It’s hard to call really.

Alternatively, Apple might just wait until the networks stop paying them revenue, and roll the SDK with better network support then, increasing sales on a device that they’re no longer making such revenue on.

Either way, the iPhone really just slots in where a phone should, it works with wireless and a mobile-data mechanism without having to think about it at all (although I’d like an 802.1X implementation). Calendar data syncs, Mail accounts sync, my Music syncs, my contacts sync - it integrates with my (primarily Apple based) digital life very well.

I’m impressed with my iPhone - roll on the SDK so that I can start making it do even funkier things!