Why a “Roadmap”?

| Ted Landau's User Friendly View
The more closely I scrutinize Apple's latest iPhone event invitation, the more I begin to believe that we will not actually see the SDK released next week. And it may be even longer before users have access to SDK software.

For starters, there's the wording: "Please join us to learn about the iPhone software roadmap, including the iPhone SDK." Why use the word "roadmap" at all? Why not simply say: "Please join us to learn about the iPhone SDK" or "Please join us for the unveiling of the iPhone SDK"?

The word "roadmap" suggests a journey. And a journey takes some time. It makes me think that we are going to learn new details about Apple's plans for the SDK next week, rather than actually see the release of the SDK.

Then there's the graphic image of the roadmap itself, which shows a road with markers for "Enterprise" "SDK" and "Software Update" spaced out along the way (in that order). One interpretation of this is that new Enterprise features will be made available (or even just announced) first, followed by the release of the SDK to developers (perhaps a beta version initially), followed by an iPhone software update that (finally!) allows users to obtain the SDK-dependent software.

Within such a framework, the SDK could be out within a few weeks while the Software Update may not become available for another several months.

And yes, this is all just speculation. Perhaps I am over-interpreting the tea-leaves here. A week from now, we'll know for certain.



Posted this on AppleInsider forum Wednesday:  smile

Roadmap means…?

Well, when I hear the word “roadmap” I think “long journey ahead”.

Wonder if the SDK is even close to being ready, and this is an event to placate the developers with promises of what they’ll be able to do… sometime .... in the future… down the road….

Just sounds like everyone won’t get all that they hope for when the SDK first “launches” and will have to wait until we’re “down the road” a bit to deliver full featured apps the way they want to.


Well, I see a measure of speculation about an upcoming press event and I say, “why bother with the crystal ball?”

Why not just wait until the event happens and write something based on an actual events with, like, you know, real facts to work with?

[quote comment=“139”]Why not just wait until the event happens and write something based on an actual events with, like, you know, real facts to work with?

A legitimate question…one to which I could offer several answers. I’ll stick with two:

1. This is a blog…which I consider to be more informal than my columns…and thus the place where this sort of speculation is appropriate. And such speculation is certainly of general interest—or rumor sites, for example, would not exist.

2. It’s part of the news cycle. Heck, look at all the speculation as to whether Obama or Clinton will win next week’s primaries. One could just as well say, why not wait until next week and find out? I doubt that saying that would have much effect, however.

- Ted



Optimistically… the roadmap started with the release of the iPhone and now we are at the other end of the road and beginning a new journey!

I can hope!



My bad.

Being as accustomed to Ted Landau’s User Friendly View as I am, I failed to notice this is the User Friendly Blog. A horse of a different colour. Speculate to your heart’s content.


I think I’m in total agreement here. I wish I didn’t agree though but I was kind of thinking the same thing anyway when I saw that invite. My prediction for the “Enterprise” features, just for the record, is that the “Mail” app will support imap mail and vpn and all that enterprise friendly communication stuff that the iPhone has been getting flack for lately. My opinion is that the iPhone was never meant to be an “enterprise” device and any kind of wording to that effect coming out of the mouth of Apple scares the hell out of me.  Hey Apple! Stay out of that mess! You don’t even want to go there!



Perhaps trying to make inferences from the wording of an Apple special event invitation is like splitting hairs.

Nevertheless, your quote was partial; more completely, it read “Please join us to learn about the iPhone software roadmap, including the iPhone SDK and some exciting new enterprise features.”

They clearly don’t say that SDK will be released in completed form, but even if it were, it’s still just the beginning, right? SDK isn’t for users, it’s a development tool. Once it’s available to developers, they will be able to begin to develop applications that eventually will become available to iPhone users.

To me the real news is that Apple will be talking about enterprise features, something that until now they haven’t said much about. What they have to say about this is far more important imo than whether or not the SDK will be released in it’s final form this week.

My guess is that they will release a beta of SDK, but the real important part is that developers will be able to develop enterprise apps for an enterprise ready iPhone. This will be more lucrative for developers and will spark increased demand for iPhone. A win-win scenario.

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