The walled garden vs. the open plain

The whole iPhone thing doesn’t interest me, not because I’m not open to doing more interesting things with my mobile phone, but because I can’t use AT&T’s service. I get zero bars in my office on the I-495 technology belt in Massachusetts. It might behoove AT&T to lease a tower in the vicinity. Until then, even a $400 price drop wouldn’t make a difference.

Jobs and iPhoneThough I’ve paid scant attention to the iPhone craze, I admit it gave me a chuckle when Jobs instituted the $200 show-off surcharge last week.

This Knowledge@Wharton article got me thinking about the iPhone and, more specifically, Apple’s go to market strategy. It rehashes much of the ongoing walled garden vs. open plain debate, but in familiar terms. The iPhone makes an interesting example as its pending launch in Europe allows for the possibility that a single piece of technology might launch as both a walled garden (US) and open plain (Europe) offering. It will be worth watching if that happens.

As Apple continues to roll out consumer electronics products that plug into its distribution network, its take on walled gardens and open plains will affect many of us content producers.

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