Dave Winer has a good observation:
“Scoble wants an SDK so developers can create cool iPhone apps. Of course I do too. But I doubt it’s going to happen anytime soon. Look at all the deals they can do if they don’t. Starbucks wouldn’t need them if there was an SDK. And Tulley’s could do their own, as could Peet’s, and Whole Foods, etc etc. Apple wants all that business, I’m sure. And they want to be able to sell Starbucks an exclusive. They couldn’t if there was an SDK.”
When he announced the iPhone, Steve Jobs said there would be no SDK because you could do everything you needed to in a web-browser/web-development environment. Clearly that’s not the case – the Starbucks’ widget is not something that the rest of us can implement.
It’s bad enough that users will be forced to have Starbucks marketing on their iPhone/iPod Touch screen. It’s a kick in the face to have built that with hidden functionality that goes against the previous ideals that were made about openness of the platform.