iPhone Becoming a Hot Mobile Development Platform


The iPhone, despite falling short of some analysts' projections/expectations, still sold 270,000 units in less than 30 hours. Largely because it sparked a debate about mobile usability and is starting to influence the designs of other handset makers, the iPhone has already had a dramatic impact on the market – even at these sales levels.

Plus the fashion statement and "cool factor" of having an iPhone is unparalleled. Blackberry users and some Treo owners love their phones, but they don't have the same pizzazz. It's very much akin to the PC market: PCs are gray, utilitarian boxes while Apple has been able to create buzz and excitement about iMacs and laptops (as well as iPods) through careful attention to product design.

Now a broad range of third-party developers are creating applications for the iPhone (not unlike Facebook on the desktop or ZenZui or Where in mobile) that may accelerate its momentum and have already made it the hottest mobile platform. Add to that list of applications InfoSpace's local search tool FindIt!.

InfoSpace's Joe Herzog said to me this morning in an email:

This is part of an overall push to create more distribution on high end media devices and to support AT&T as a major distribution point for Find It. And an effort to get to "free" across the board for consumers. The user experience was optimized for the iPhone browsing experience. We view the iPhone as a critical tipping point for the use of mobile media and mobile applications in general and will continue to support this platform with aggressive upgrades.

FindIt! joins Google Maps as a second specialized local search application on the device. Of course users have access, through Safari, to any local site online. InfoSpace has a similar application for the Blackberry, as well as working with wireless carriers such as AT&T and Sprint to provide local data, directions and mapping functionality.