iPhone Apps Could Make the iPhone Go Viral

Why are we so excited about the iPhone app store, opening next month? Because of stuff like this multiplayer Pong game — which will presumably be available for download — brought to our attention by Daring Fireball blogger John Gruber. (Supposedly coded in an hour.)

This looks like a lot of fun, and — more importantly — we actually know people with iPhones that we’ll be able to play against. Which is why Apple (AAPL) could succeed where Microsoft’s (MSFT) Zune tried and failed — getting people to do stuff with their gadgets besides hiding them in their pockets.

Remember the big group-hug pitch behind the Zune? It was supposed to be better than the iPod because you could “squirt” music to your friends. “The Social” never worked — in part because of restrictive music-sharing policies forced on Microsoft by the labels. But mostly because hardly anyone bought a Zune, let alone two people who know each other.

Which is too bad, because we think mobile gadgets make far more interesting social toys than, say, a Xbox that lets you play hockey with your cousin over the Internet. The iPhone app platform — rolling out in a few weeks — could change a lot.

See Also:
iPhone Tool Developer Pinch Media Gets Funding Round
Best Apple iPhone App So Far: Pelago’s Whrrl
Why Does RIM Have To Bribe BlackBerry Developers?

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