In fact, Apple can thank non-Apple developers for much of the iPhone's success -- Apple essentially gets exponential utility on the dime (not to mention the blood, sweat and tears) of others. And, this head-start on third party apps for the iPhone gives the iPhone a tremendous head start against all challengers, including the new Palm Pre.
But, what do these third party app developers get in return? Some have fared extremely well ... but that was then. And, this is now. With over 50,000 apps available for the iPhone, how do third party developers now get their apps noticed (no matter how compelling they are)? And, how do iPhone users now effectively navigate through this avalanche of apps to find what they are looking for?
For an interesting perspective of this dilemma, check out this post from TechCrunch.