Apple has announced that more than 100,000 developers have downloaded its beta iPhone Software Development Kit during its first four days of availability. Although the iPhone has been on the market for the better part of a year, the SDK represents the first time Apple has lifted the hood on iPhone and iPod touch application development, enabling programmers to create their own native applications for the iPhone rather than building Web-based services that can be accessed via the iPhone’s integrated Safari Web browser.
"Developer reaction to the iPhone SDK has been incredible with more than 100,000 downloads in the first four days," said Apple senior VP of worldwide product marketing Philip Schiller, in a statement. "Also, over one million people have watched the launch video on Apple.com, further demonstrating the incredible interest developers have in creating applications for the iPhone."
Developers are already pre-announcing applications for the iPhone. Electronic Arts, AOL, Sega, and salesforce.com were onhand with pre-release applications when Apple unveiled the SDK; now accounting software maker Intuit has announced it plans an application for the iPhone. Game maker Namco is planning iPhone versions of some of its classic arcade games, including Pac-Man and Galaga, and casual game developer PopCap says its planning to "innovate and reinvent" titles like Bejeweled, Zuma, and Peggle for the iPhone. THQ Wireless is also planning mobile games for the platform.
Lest users think iPhone applications will all be about money or games, Six Apart plans an iPhone application for its TypePad blogging system.
Apple plans to offer iPhone applications for sale via a new App Store, a new service in the forthcoming iPhone 2.0 software that will enable users to wirelessly purchase and install applications on their iPhones and iPod touch devices. Developers will be able to set the prices for their applications and keep 70 percent of the sticker price; developers are already speculating about the possibilities of offering very cheap (e.g., $0.99 ) applications via the App Store. Developers will also be able to offer free applications.