Apple will announce tight regulation of iPhone applications at its March 6th SDK event, say several anonymous sources. Although the SDK has been hotly anticipated as a means of turning iPhones into handheld computers, Apple will for various reasons restrict how iPhone software operates and is distributed. Users will for instance have to acquire applications through the iTunes Store, instead of through independent websites, where it may sometimes be more convenient.
According to the iLounge report, Apple will also, allegedly, have absolute approval over whether software can be distributed in the first place. Unlike podcasts, which are generally just listed in iTunes, Apple is said to be interested in exercising quality control over iPhone software, restricting it in the same way that the company manages iPod games. This may possibly favor major developers over independents, and create complications in terms of releasing bug fixes and upgrades.
Developers may also be prevented from interfacing with any accessories attached to the Dock Connector, thus preventing the addition of special devices like external keyboards. Programmers should however have access to all of the onboard hardware, enabling more creative uses of Wi-Fi, the dialer and the camera.
The sources say that what developers will receive on March 6th is a beta SDK, only anticipating the full version, which would be shipped during Apple's WWDC event in June. In the meantime however Apple is expected to announce some sort of support for enterprise e-mail, including Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. This view is echoed by Shaw Wu of American Technology Research.