Steve Jobs last night confirmed that Apple will open up iPhone application sales and ship the final SDK to developers – a move which should lead to the availability of a range of new iPhone apps.
The company will introduce iPhone Software Update 2.0 in late June, Jobs said. iPhone users will eventually be able to buy third-party applications, as well as use the new enterprise features which were also revealed last night. These tools will also become available for the iPod touch.
"In just a few months, every iPhone user will have everything you saw today, as a free update. Now there's one other part to this. It's not just the iPhone. It's the iPod Touch. The same software release is going to run on the iPod Touch. Now, we account the iPod touch a little bit different, so there will be a nominal charge for that update, but otherwise it will be exactly the same as the iPhone."
iPhone developers can get stuck in immediately, with the company yesterday releasing the iPhone SDK (software development kit) to developers eager to begin building next-generation mobile applications.
"We think a lot of people are going to want to become an iPhone developer. It's really easy. Go to our website and download our SDK for free. Run the Simulator on your Mac. You can join the iPhone Developer Program if you want to run the app on an iPhone or iPod Touch, and distribute your app. To join the developer program costs $99."
Industry watchers note that June currently appears the most likely launch point for another version 2.0 product, with rumours suggesting Apple will introduce the next-generation 3G-capable iPhone that month.
If our intuition is correct, iPhone 2.0 users will be able to browse and buy applications using the device from wherever they happen to be, using Wi-Fi or 3G.
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