Widgets vs. Apps
Carl Ford of Crossfire Media argues that Widgets will prevail over Apps in the long run.
[....] Taking the Iphone in perspective we are dealing with a little over 20 million units sold while the Web connects 1.6 billion people about one-third of which do so via a wireless device. So the Widgets have a very fertile marketplace that already exists. And as LTE and WiMAX (News - Alert) get deployed the 4G evolution will make widgets the right model. The real question will be will the OS manufacturers deliver drivers that make it possible for widgets to take advantage of the devices specific characteristics. Can we get the java light model for device independent apps. If they do then Google, Linux, Symbian and Windows may be the home of the kewl stuff after all.
I understand what the author is attempting to say, but for now the market is driven by the hardware and the unique services offered such as iPhone apps.
The technology issues aside (for most there might not be a difference between widgets and apps), the big issue is distribution. Apple has a competitive advantage in distribution no matter what the product might be called - widgets or apps.
But the iPhone OS is a Mac OS X derivative for which Apple can provide a far more robust development environment than the competitors will provide offering some kind of “Java Lite” implementation for widgets.
Besides, the author misses a big point if he ignores the iPod touch and future iPhone OS-based products. No matter the global numbers, Apple delivers the Apple customer which is a vastly different clientele yielding far more in terms of sales potential than most phone or Web users. AT&T gladly knows the difference.