>I think it is necessary to clarify at the outset that the analogy with iPhone relates more to business model and less to technology although coming together of Hardware and software makes it valid from that point as well.
I have made following assumptions about SAP Strategy. That SAP HANA in atleast one of its avatars will be be supported by SAP in the following ways:
a) Available on cloud,
b) Will use subscription based model for developer
c) Will monitor and certify applications built by the developers for selling.
c) Will provide an ability for the developers to sell their solutions built using SAP channels.
This should mean
a) Coming together of hardware and software in cloud. So the customer who uses SAP HANA applications would have single point in vendor responsibility. No more compatibility issues, that none of the vendors wish to address.
b) SAP takes some responsibility of the certified applications that it sells for SAP HANA atleast in terms of the features; customers can again be assured of single point of support.
Now there are offcourse some differences between iPhone and SAP HANA business models which we should expect given that it is only an analogy. EG there may-be number of applications that SAP /external developers would build and those that need system integrator to configure where SAP / Certified Application Provider would have limited responsibility.
Now some among us may find comparison between iPhone and SAP a little unfair. There is a perception that iPhone was released as a much more mature product. That is not the scope of discussion though!