The iPhone app explosion of the last three years may never have happened if Steve Jobs had his way, it has emerged.
Since the arrival of the iPhone 3GS, Apple’s phone has been sold and promoted largely on the sheer range of applications available at the App Store, so much so that the ‘there’s an app for that’ ad tagline eventually gained the kind of cultural currency perhaps last seen with the Budweiser ‘Wassup-ing’ frogs.
The boom in apps was fostered by Apple sanctioning third-party developers to create wares for its handsets, swelling the range from just a few Apple-created titles to the 500,000-odd on offer now.
However, according to Walter Isaacson’s revealing biography of Apple’s main man, Jobs initially refused to sanction third party apps on the grounds they could ruin the slick user experience the company espouses.
Jobs also feared the potential of apps to expose iPhone owners to viruses – something the company eventually got around by imposed a controversial, approval policy at the App Store.
Isaacsson states: "When it first came out in early 2007, there were no apps you could buy from outside developers, and Jobs initially resisted allowing them.
"He didn't want outsiders to create applications for the iPhone that could mess it up, infect it with viruses, or pollute its integrity."
The reservations Jobs had were overcome only after extensive lobbying from Apple's marketing maven Phil Schiller and fellow board member Art Levinson.
News of fresh Cupertino-related revelations comes after Isaacson's bio earlier this week also revealed the extent to which Android’s rise and similar feature set to the iPhone had rattled Jobs, prompting the Apple founder to declare “thermonuclear war” on the platform in a bid to “destroy” it.