Touching the Third Screen
We've already seen analyst suggestions that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is paying Apple a $200 or so activation fee for each phone the Mac vendor sells direct. (See AT&T's iPhone Deal Bountiful for Apple.) I have to wonder exactly what cut development partners will get of the revenue sharing agreements floating around the iPhone.
I imagine that some are willing to take less for a presence on the hippest device in the universe right now -- particularly on the touch screen -- although the improved Web access will likely make it easier for users to break down the "walled garden" around wireless content and download their own third-party applications from the Internet.
To that end, I think it fair to ponder how the iPhone could change the landscape for developers working in the wireless applications and content niche. We could be flippant and say that it opens the market up to another niche -- that of Apple developers -- but, frankly, wireless wonks need to have their ranks swelled if the mobile Web is to be more than a flash-in-the-pan.
Simeon Simeonov, partner at Polaris Venture Partners , noted in his blog recently how Apple has opened up the iPhone to third-party developers. Simeonov's interest in many of his mobile posts is seeing mobile content and application development become more Web development so that thousands more talented people can get involved.
It will be interesting to see if the iPhone is a harbinger of a new wave of mobile development -- and, perhaps, mildly ironic for AT&T to be paying so much money towards a possible Trojan horse that will help to break down its "walled garden" of wireless content.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung