Ian Betteridge raises a good point regarding Apple’s absolute control over what will be distributed through the iPhone App Store:
While Apple has a relatively low market share and there’s plenty
of choice of platform, the control that Apple has over the third
party application market really doesn’t matter. If a really cool
application appears that Apple refuses to sanction, its developers
can just up-sticks and move to S60, or Java, or (if they’re nuts)
Windows Mobile and reach an equally large audience.
But what happens if Apple’s market share grows to the point where
it has a monopoly — 70-, 80- or even 90% market share? That might
take ten years, but it’s certainly not beyond the realms of
possibility, and it’s certainly something that Apple would like to
I agree that the current App Store model simply wouldn’t scale — at least legally — to that sort of market share. But I think (a) it’s the sort of problem that’s good to have; and (b) I question whether the handheld market will ever settle around one monopoly software platform the way desktop PCs did.