Plan for iPhone's Third Party Apps Unveiled

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week, Apple kicked off a new era for the iPhone, introducing its Software Development Kit (SDK), which will allow developers to create programs for Apple's newest gadget.

During a keynote address, Steve Jobs introduced a few limitations to Apple's relatively open policy for new software. Any programs that are illegal (file sharing), Malicious (viruses), violate privacy, hog bandwidth or display explicit images will not be allowed. (Source:

The iPhone is also not going to allow applications to run in the background, which means you can only access one program at a time (including the telephone function). This seems to be a strange limitation considering the fact that many smart phones are capable of doing this and they are not half as sophisticated as the iPhone.

Other than that, the sky seems to be the limit. For example, Skype or similar VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) programs could show up on the iPhone but will be limited to using Wi Fi hotspots and not the cellular network. A fair compromise considering AT&T does not want to end up competing with free VoIP on its home turf. (Source:

To put applications on the iPhone developers will only be able to distribute them through a new addition to iTunes: the iTunes App Store. Developers will have to pay a flat fee of $99 to get their applications onto the store and Apple plans to take a 30% cut of the revenue. This means that while open source applications will be available for free on iTunes, Apple is planning for a new source of profit from the wildly popular handset. Jobs and co. have also convinced venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to put up a $100 million dollar fund (predictably called the iFund) to invest in innovative and profitable applications for the iPhone.

Developers are excited about the iPhone's potential use of third party apps, but customers will have to wait until June and another software update before they get their hands on any new programs.

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