Apple opens up the iPhone to developers
Apple has opened up its iPhone to programs by other vendors. On Thursday in Cupertino, California, Apple boss Steve Jobs presented a Software Developer Kit for the iPhone that system programmers can use to write software for the Smartphone under the iPhone Developer Program. At the same time, Apple said it would be working on the iPhone to make it more suitable for use within companies. Programs by third-party manufacturers, as well as the improved "iPhone 2.0" software, are to be available from June onward.
The Californian venture capital company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) is inviting subscriptions to an "iFund" of $100m (€67.5m) to promote the development of programs on the iPhone platform.
Apple is launching a direct attack on Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM). The Blackberry has proven very popular in large-scale enterprises and organisations. Jobs said that, in the fourth quarter of 2007, RIM had achieved a 41 per cent market share in the US smartphone segment, while the iPhone had around 28 per cent. Apple's move is also directed against other Smartphone platforms, such as those made by Nokia, Microsoft and others.
Apple announced that it had licensed Microsoft's "ActiveSync" protocol for the iPhone, to make it more useful in companies. This would enable the iPhone to communicate directly with a Microsoft Exchange Server and synchronise not only emails, but also calendar entries, contacts and a company address book. A stolen or lost iPhone could in future be remotely wiped like a Blackberry) to protect confidential company data.
The game producers Electronics Arts and Sega, as well as Salesforce.com and AOL showed off their first programs for the iPhone at the Apple event. These applications are marketed directly via the iPhone.