I’m not sure if this also is relevant to your question, but imagine that Flickr and Facebook have not launched yet, and they decide to launch as iPhone apps instead of as websites. They both focus on sharing photos amongst “friends,” with some differences, obviously. But, they see the native app as ideal because of its seemless access to the camera.
Say they are super successful on the iPhone. Then what? Do a Pre app? Etc? Maintain multiple apps?
Still seems likley they’d make web-versions of their apps at some point.
I wonder if the App Store / device / custom browser (e.g., iTunes) model works only to the degree that there are developers who really want bank on that model (i.e., the old Microsoft mantra: developers, developers, developers)? And, if so, that suggests the need for a monopoly platform or else there is so much fragmentation that each App marketplace is really still just a niche compared with the potential of web apps.