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Sun Blew its "iPhone" Java Opportunity to AJAX

Being a Java and Mac guy I looked for Java on iPhone and Java is no where to be found

Frank Cohen's Blog

Today is US Independence day and I stopped at the Apple store to see the iPhone, and ask questions about the new MacBook Pro. I wanted to see the iPhone in person to learn what I should expect from mobile phone people interaction and feature sets. And I wanted to learn which MacBook Pro model I'll be upgrading to in the next few weeks.

iPhone is beautiful. It is smaller than I expected. Just a little larger than my current Samsung D807. iPhone has a nice feel and the touch keyboard worked very well for my big fingers. iPhone was suprisingly hot - temperature wise - but what mobile Apple device isn't! (The CPU in my PowerBook constantly wants to burn its way through my lap on its return to the molten core of Earth.)

Being a Java and Mac guy I looked for Java on iPhone. Java is no where to be found.

For years I've listened to Jonathan Schwartz, CEO at Sun Microsystems, talk about monetizing its Java investment because of the wide-spread availability of the Java runtime - today on 700 Million mobile phones.

Rumors have it that Apple sold 500,000 iPhones in the past week. While a $500 mobile phone won't be able to keep up that sales rate, I just don't see Blackberry and Windows Mobile-based products in their current state being able to make a long-term run against iPhone. iPhone will be a significant part of the high-end mobile phone marketplace.

So where does that leave Java and Sun? Unfortunately, nowhere. There is no Java on iPhone. iPhone is a gated community and Java is on the outside.

Add to this my experience of developing Java applications - like TestMaker - on Mac OS X and I have to wonder where is Java 6? Unfortunately, an unstable developer-only dont-run-this-in-production release of Java is available. The real Java 6 is months away from release and depends on upgrading the entire operating system. Mac OS X is now the getto for Java 6.

Sun might blame both of these problems on Apple, but I see these as evidence that Sun is blowing its Java opportunity. There is no Java on iPhone, and only a very old alpha-quality release of JDK 6 for my Mac laptop.

I love Apple and Java. I wish Sun would do more to get Java on iPhone and Java 6 on Mac OS X.

More Stories By Frank Cohen

Frank Cohen is the leading authority for testing and optimizing software developed with service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web service designs. He is CEO and Founder of PushToTest and inventor of TestMaker, the open source SOA test automation tool, that helps software developers, QA technicians, and IT managers understand and optimize the scalability, performance, and reliability of their systems.

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