Source: Apple Considering Licensing iPhone OS, Multitouch?

There’s a very large lake in Northern Utah that has almost as much salt as should be necessary for this rumor, but as it comes from one of our people from Apple behind the lines, there’s a chance that we might see some of these details in the future. While checking the validity of a totally different unsubstantiated rumor, our contact dropped something of a bomb on accident. When asked if he or she could confirm our rumor (which we’ll get to later today), he or she responded that he or she saw something about it in an email, but didn’t read it, as it didn’t pertain to his or her job, and was late for a meeting at the time. I asked what kind of meeting, and he or she said, “Licensing for the iPhone.”

At first I figured it was for accessories to use the “Made for iPhone” tag, like many iPod accessory makers, but something was odd, so I probed with, “For accessories?” He or she said, “Naw, we don’t do hardware anymore. It’s a meeting about multitouch and the OS and stuff.” Wait a minute.

Now many things could be inferred by that statement, but to these fanboy eyes and ears, it sounds like Apple might be working on iPhone as a platform. Imagine to yourself what would have happened with Apple’s marketshare if it had licensed Mac OS back in the DOS days. The reason for Microsoft’s success is simply the sweet deal it worked out with IBM over DOS and later Windows to all the OEMs. If Apple took a similar strategy, you could be looking at iPhones made by Nokia, HTC, Motorola, LG, you name it.

That’s the idea, but is it logical? Steve Jobs has always maintained that Apple is a hardware company, and it’s no secret that iTunes is an incentive to iPod; Apple doesn’t make much (or sometimes anything) on the songs downloaded, but you sure as hell need an iPod to take them with you. On the other hand, Apple’s been stung in the past by the “big boys” who’ve eaten its lunch in the OS market, and with the allure of the iPhone so ridiculously high, it would be in a perfect position literally take over the smartphone market and further increase iPod/iTunes usage and OSX brand awareness.

Granted, this is all conjecture from a beer-addled Mac geek with a background in marketing, so I took up the issue with another rotten Apple contractor, and they said that while nothing’s been decided for sure, his team was tasked with figuring how to get the OS could run on other hardware. We like the sound of that, but again, we’re adding some salt. Take it for what you will.