Since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 there has been an unprecedented growth in the mobile phone market. From new advances in hardware, such as touch screens, to operating systems mimicking the full power of a desktop computer. Never has a smartphone been able to penetrate the demographics of 10 year olds, to teenagers, or mom and dad – until the iPhone.

There are now hundreds of thousands of applications built for mobile phones, with every use case you can imagine. But even with the growth and advances of the past few years, the industry is still in its youth.

Apple, with its enormous success, is still constantly on the front page because of its questionable practice – sole control of the iPhone platform. Unlike desktop operating systems, such as Windows or Mac OS X, where the user is in complete control of the operating system, the iPhone is a jail, with Apple deciding what can come in and go out.

The App Store, the only way for a developer to target an iPhone, or a user to install an application on the iPhone, is in constant censorship mode. Certain API’s are not allowed and questionable content is put to rest.

It is time that Apple realizes that it is not only the hardware in the iPhone, or the software that powers it, that makes it a powerful force in the mobile phone market. The power is in the apps, the platform, and in the imaginations of developers.

Even though there are many applications for the iPhone, there could be so much more. The iPhone is a powerful device that can be used to provide a platform for mobile applications in every industry possible. Medical, industrial, retail – the list goes on. But as long as Apple is in control of what happens on the iPhone, developers will never be able to harness the full potential of such a beautiful device.

Apple now has the ability to turn the iPhone, and the new iPad, into a commodity device. The PC of the mobile world. My intuition tells me that Apple won’t let this happen. They prefer to maintain complete control of their platform, and while making it a premium and luxury item, they stop it from attaining the growth that it most definitely can achieve.

The future is in Apple’s hands – and they have the ability to make it an awesome place.