Erik Ableson 2 minute read
June 6, 2008

Gary Krakow is obviously on crack

Gary Krakow Says Apple Needs to License BlackBerry or Windows Mobile: " Hard to believe this isn’t a joke.

(Fake Steve is wrong about Krakow’s employer, though — he hasn’t worked for MSNBC for a few months, and is now employed by


(Via Daring Fireball.)

Wow. Here's a great example of someone who doesn't know how computers work. Licensing an OS wholesale is the silliest thing that Apple could do to the iPhone.

What Apple needed, and has done, is licensed the only component of the Windows Mobile stack that's useful: ActiveSync. People don't need Windows Mobile in order to pass messages across a network using a given protocol. They just need the protocol. This legitimizes the iPhone as a terminal (telco-speak for the thing at the end of the packets) with all of the same client capabilities as every Windows Mobile device out there. Hopefully without all of the pain and suffering often related to getting it to work on Windows.

On the Blackberry front, the same holds true overall with a few caveats. I think it would be interesting if the iPhone could work as a Blackberry terminal, but that would require that Blackberry license the protocol. And that's just not going to happen since Blackberry is in the business of owning the whole stack, much the way that Apple does with Macs and OS X, and optionally .mac (soon to be Mobile Me?).

Microsoft on the other hand, is in the business of licensing technologies, platforms and protocols. So it makes perfect sense for Apple to extend the capabilities of the iPhone using something that adds value. This is an approach that validates both players here in markets where they do not directly compete. Exchange on the mail server side from Microsoft, and in handsets where Microsoft is strictly involved in selling Window Mobile licenses and not devices.

I think that having a Blackberry client option on the iPhone would be great for the iPhone. Not so much for RIM, though since it could potentially cannibalize their handset sales. Both Apple and RIM have excellent products, each one suited to a different use case, delivery methodology and personal preference.