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For example, they pared down Flash, and therefore YouTube. It seems like a crazy omission, but it hasn't stopped them.

I'd guess they omitted Flash because the iPhone is too low-powered for it to look good; the iPhone needs optimized native apps. Since "looking good" is a huge part of the iPhone experience, it makes (painful) sense to drop that feature. Same for Java.

It seems they couldn't justify omitting Javascript too, but I bet they would have loved to, as it's 78-90 times slower than a desktop iMac: http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2007/08/iphone-benchmarks-...

Well, those benchmarks are over a year and a half old, and the JS engine in webkit has improved by probably a factor of 10 since then. iPhone 3.0's JavaScript will probably be a mere 10 to 20 times slower than Obj-C, which is actually pretty trivial for most iPhone apps.

You've missed my point: those benchmarks confirm how underpowered the iPhone was/is, and provides support for the hypothesis for omitting Flash and Java. This relates to the article's suggestion of starting with the minimal feature set, and iterating. And your own point of "paring down" the feature set.

It might sound like I'm criticizing the iPhone, but I'm not: it's how Apple managed to create a cool experience for users in an incredibly compact size (they are tiny.)

The result is that when Moore's law does enable reasonable processing power in a device that small, Apple will be in the best position to exploit it, in market position, in design tradeoffs, and in engineering knowhow.

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