One enterprising programmer has accomplished something likely capable of sending a certain Cupertino, Calif.,-based CEO's teeth on edge: run Google Android on a first-generation iPhone.
David Wong, who also operates as "planetbeing," even posted an April 21 video on the "Linux on the iPhone" blog showing the Android boot. "It should be pretty simple to port forward to the iPhone 3G," Wong wrote in the posting accompanying the video. "The 3GS will take more work. Hopefully with all this groundwork laid out, we can make Android a real alternative or supplement for iPhone users."
Wong added a joke: "Maybe we can finally get Flash."
According to Wong, prebuilt images and sources can be found at this file-hosting site.
The 230 comments following Wong's posting seemed to indicate that, for at least a subset of iPhone users, the ability to dual-boot Google Android was a long-awaited tweak.
"This is huge to me. I'm a Linux users that happens to have an iPhone 3GS that I'm getting annoyed by," wrote one commenter. "I may keep the [expletive] thing after all! Good work!"
"Utterly fantastic! I'm a 3G owner that's been wanting to jump ship to Android (my wife has a G1, and I've been in love with Android from day one) and T-Mobile (sorry ATT, but it's just not working anymore)," opined a second. "I really want to get off the Apple ecosystem, but I flinch at the idea of buying another smartphone when the hardware in the one I have is still perfectly acceptable to me (but the OS isn't)."
"Apple has left us with no other choice," wrote a third.
The iPhone continues to be one of the main drivers of Apple's substantial revenue growth, with the company noting sales of 8.75 million smartphones for the second quarter of fiscal year 2010. An alleged prototype of the next-generation iPhone was discovered at a California bar and dissected by tech blog Gizmodo in an extensive April 19 posting; if the hardware in that device-notably a front-facing video chat camera-finds its way into a final iPhone version, then Apple will likely buttress its future mobile capabilities with services such as video conferencing.
On April 8, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone OS 4, due for release this summer, which includes new features such as multitasking and an "iAd" platform for embedding advertisements in mobile applications. One of the traditional complaints about the iPhone is its lack of multitasking, a feature present in Google Android.