iPhone as proving ground
I liked this quote:
"Startups should “intelligently hedge their bets across multiple platforms,” advised Richard Wong of Accel Partners. His firm has invested in mobile games and application site GetJar, “the store for the other 3 billion phones that aren’t iPhones,” as Mr. Wong put it."
+1 +1 +1
iPhone's doing a great job of getting the internet industry interested in mobile - particularly the US internet folks who've lagged behind slightly. And with the iPod Apple have a track record of entering a consumer electronics industry already carved up by incumbents (Sony Walkman anyone) and dominating, so Nokia et al can't exactly rest on their laurels.
But the idea that reaching the iPhone today gets you more than a visible, vocal, yet miniscule audience is a bit off-base. There are definitely places where it's worth putting the effort in to support it (just as there are places where it makes sense to do Symbian/Series 60 native apps), but not everywhere, not yet.
And as for the Loopt idea of using iPhone as a proving ground: it'll definitely make a fantastic demonstration (if you do it right). That said, iPhone native apps aren't cheap and simple to produce (and you can't even talk about why that is), and going straight in to support a device with large screen and fantastic UI means you're left with solving all those nasty little mobile problems when you do decide to go mass market and move beyond that single, lovely device...