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.