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Apple may open iPhone when Leopard ships

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.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Squirrel_Monkey

    Joined: Dec 1969


    best of both worlds

    Developers finally get a green light from Apple, but Apple maintains control over what is available to the public.

    If these rumors were true, then Apple has been working towards this for a while, which means the perceived "silent hubris" is nothing more than Apple again being silent about their plans.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969



    No, no, you just don't get it. This will not placate or satisfy the "I want my native apps" crowd. They want unfettered access to the iPhone OR ELSE! If they can't install some piece of c*** written by their "genius programmer" cousin they will continue to scream ,holler, whine, moan, berate Apple, sue Apple, start anti-Apple websites, shotgun web petitions all over h***'s half acre. It's what they do. It's who they are.

  1. Zkatz007

    Joined: Dec 1969


    too good not to

    Of course they've been planning to add apps to the iPhone — it wouldn't make sense not to. They just wanted to do it THEIR way.

  1. chotty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Squirrel is right on

    It's getting REAL OLD, kids. If the most important thing in your life is hacking the f*cking iPhone, go for a long walk...

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    props to chotty

    absolutely right.

  1. TheBum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the right approach

    I've said all along that Apple should have veto power over what apps go on the iPhone and which don't. My sentiments have nothing to do with the suggestion that Apple should maintain a closed system and everything to do with iPhone stability. How many stories have we heard of third party apps on other smart phones causing the phones to crash?

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    except that...

    Apple seems to have little problem with anyone gaining an SDK for OSX and writing Apps at random for the Mac - so if the iPhone is truely running OSX then why the big hassle with locking it out completely and pissing off 1 million people [arbitrary number folks] in the process ?

    Why open it to only A"select developers" that have enough cash to grease Apple's palm [unless that's what they're going for?] and not simply add an iPhone SDK to the Dev site ?

    So that anyone already out there building "hacked" Apps will likely migrate to the SDK and adhere so some form of standard ?

    They caved when they released Boot Camp after the Intel based Macs came out - so that if people were going to run Windows then at least they'd do it somewhat safely_

    The same thing is happening here - and eventually Apple will have to cave or end up losing customers and having to constantly spend time - resources and energy on blocking the hacks instead of developing for the platform_ They are simply prolonging a battle that Apple will never win_

  1. chaaalie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Stability is key

    I'd like to see Apple keep some control, to keep the phone stable and less prone to crashes/viruses/security breaches ... but at the same time, Apple would be foolish to NOT let developers help keep the phone "cutting edge" by bringing new apps and new functions.

    Perhaps the iPod touch could serve as a kind of "incubator" where apps get tested and then the graduate to the iPhone once they prove ready for prime time.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    my prediction from start

    i've always thought that apple would follow this model. and in fact, they'll probably end up selling apps through itunes, exactly how ipod games are already sold and distributed. it keeps the iphone secure and locked up while allowing limited access a veto power to applications not approved by carriers.

    hopefully it plays out.

    as for hackers and full access, i think this will appease enough people that the remaining population who complain about not having free and full access to the iphone will be obscured and probably move on to truly open linux phones...where they belong in the first place.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Leopard Delays

    Likely it was always meant to be developed for, but because Leopard had been delayed they couldn't because the framework wasn't there. I have a similar theory with the recent iMac freezeups, all this hardware was really meant to run Leopard.

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