updated 12:40 pm EDT, Fri October 5, 2007
Apple may open iPhone
Apple may open up its iPhone to third-party developers who receive the blessing of Steve Jobs when the company ships Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard later this month, according to 9to5Mac. Rumors are circulating that the Cupertino-based company is speaking with partners who develop games as well as applications for the iPhone/iPod, and that it will use the development model created by T-Mobile for its Sidekick device to bring trusted developers on board. Those developers who create seemingly desirable software and who can refrain from interfering with software already available for the iPhone could develop their applications natively and potentially distribute their works with Apple's help.
Apple unveiled the iPhone early this year at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco and began shipping the device in late June. Since then, developers hoping to write software for the iPhone have either followed Apple's lead and remained within the confines of its Safari development environment or turned to a slew of "unlockers" who, through various means, managed to remove the device's restrictions against Apple's own recommendations and policies. Unlocked iPhones were crippled by Apple's latest iPhone software update, however, following a press release from the company stating that unlocking an iPhone could render the device useless and voids the warranty.
The new initiative, if true, would serve to open the iPhone up to serious developers and major companies like EA, which is currently said to be porting its entire iPod lineup to the iPod/iPhone platform for sale along with the classic iPod versions. Apple would still retain complete control over which developers could produce native software for the device, however, effectively splitting the difference between trying to maintain a completely closed system while eager hackers develop their own native iPhone apps and an entirely open system with no control over any developer savvy enough to compile programs for Leopard.