The iPhone’s Walled Garden

A lot of people have written about the ability to put third party applications on the iPhone.  Supposedly Jobs’ himself said he wouldn’t allow it, because bad software could ruin the customer experience with the phone.

OK, fine.  Assume every programmer is stupid.  Protect your phone from us.  Give us our own walled garden within your OS.  Let us access the hardware, but only through your API’s.  Protect your user experience, but let us enhance it where we can.  I don’t care if you won’t let me talk directly to the hardware if you listen to me about what I need the hardware to do – and you adjust, rapidly.

Apple could do a very cool thing here, if they wanted to.  They can have their walled garden, and invite developers in too.