It seems to me that the iPhone is beginning to reach critical mass. And by critical mass I mean that the iPhone is reaching the status of the iPod or Nokia 5110: everyone has one. Part of my reasoning is that everyone I know seems to be talking about their iPhone or planning to get one. (Of course my sample size is very small and probably biased, but hey).
Travelling to work and back home everyday it seems like heaps of people already have them. Since it is becoming more popular is also seems to becoming less flashy and pretentious. Admittedly I live and work in inner Sydney so the sample set may be biased again.
And what alternative is there? In the same way that PC makers are struggling to design and build PCs that match Apple's sleek designs no one seems to be making a viable iPhone competitor. Also the AppStore is a very attractive place to put an application since consumers are quite comfortable using it to purchase software. Which in turn means all the developers are looking at developing for the iPhone.
It all adds up to one thing: critical mass and unfortunately lock-in. And the scary thing is that everyone seems comfortable that Apple won't abuse its position and become an evil monopoly.
Since it seems like Microsoft has lost the lead in the mobile space I think the only way out of the Apple-opoly is to bring their awesome set of developer tools to the iPhone. The lure of Visual Studio and C# / VB.net shouldn't be under estimated. If developers could easily make cross platform applications that ran on both the iPhone and Windows Mobile/Blackberry/Android it would be a big step towards breaking that lock-in.
Who's working towards bringing the C# and the CLR to the iPhone? Novell.
It seems like a strange move but I'm very keen to try it out...