Charles Arthur, Technology Editor at UK newspaper The Independent, has made the case for Apple opening up the iPodis APIs to third-party developers, effectively turning the iPod into a platform that could run third-party software. Doing do, according to Mr. Arthur, is the only way for Apple to maintain its long-term dominance of the music player market.
In his column on the subject, he quotes an Apple executive who told him that Apple had considered, but rejected, doing just that. From the article:
All Apple has to do is publicise the application programming interfaces its teams use to write programs, such as Breakout, Solitaire, Contacts and Calendar for the iPod. But will it? Not soon. Danika Cleary, the head of worldwide iPod product marketing, told me in London last week that the debate has surfaced repeatedly within Apple. "But our stance is that right now [the iPod is] very simple and it works the same for everyone," she says. "We have decided to keep it closed. And basic."
Why? "Essentially, itis a music player," she says. "We donit want to spoil the experience." Clearly the worry within Apple is that outside programs might mess up the working of the machine - and that Apple would get the blame. Microsoft is familiar with this: Windows is often blamed for glitches that are down to badly written (or just malicious) outside programs.
In the full article, Mr. Arthur goes into detail on why he thinks this is a good idea, why he is not calling for Apple to license out the iPod itself to third party manufacturers, and much more. We recommend it as an interesting read.