Unlike most people, I’m pretty satisfied with AT&T in my area. I get great reception pretty much everywhere, and since moving away from Sprint, I’ve had a wonderful selection of “smart phones” to choose from – the main reason we left Sprint to begin with. While I don’t like that I’d have to pay double duty to tether my iPhone to my laptop – after all it would be extremely convenient to do – I accept it as the terms of the agreement between Apple and AT&T. I accept that being on the bleeding edge means that you get financially cut, but being a developer for the same hardware, makes it a lot more palatable. For me it’s a cost of doing business, and that allows me to stay on the bleeding edge.
So as a developer, what does this really mean to me? Financially, it means more carrier competition, thus lower possible prices for both the phone itself and the data/calling plans, meaning more people can afford the phones, and thus be open to the software I develop. So in the end, it means more potential people that are going to be available to purchase Hurricane, Hurricane HD, Cat Calls and Traveler’s Quest on the iPhone platform. For my company it means more potential customers, more potential sales, and thus something I hoped Apple would do for quite some time. Keeping in mind though that the only place that the iPhone was actually locked down was in the US. So this won’t actually affect other countries as far as I know. This also means that the excuse for jailbreaking phones goes away completely, though considering T-Moble has had no problems with jailbreaking phones for the last few years to put them on their network, I’m not sure how that will change things – or if Apple will allow them to carry the iPhone since they broke whatever protocol/rules when they jailbroke the phones. With as many people as I know that have done this for the much less expensive plans, and to still have the cool phone, I wonder how many will go legit?
All in all, it should be a very interesting next few months to watch how things pan out, and to see if the iPhone/iPad takes back part of the market share from Android just by allowing multiple carriers – FINALLY.