This obviously won’t and hasn’t stopped prying minds from cracking open its cover to see what makes it tick. So back in October 2007, Apple announced during it’s earnings statement that over 300,000 units of the original iphone will be sold with the intent of they being unlocked for use on other networks. So within the 1st month of the iphones v1.1’s software release, a lad named Nicholas Penree, who started the now famed, jailbreakme.com site, registered over 1 million visitors to his website, and the result was these iphone units were freed to run third-party applications. Other sites that popped up and hosted and offered iPhone cracking tools and services has reported record breaking traffic, and even some of Apple’s own employees has joined in.
So for the ones who decided to open up the iPhone, they discovered the innards was a smooth operating unit, they found out it was just as elegant on the inside as it was slick on the outside. They also found out the mobile platform was also worth developing applications on. So within a few months, a free open source (www.open-source.org) compiler was developed for building iPhone applications. This was not by Apple themselves, but rather by the open-source developers community. So today, full featured 3rd party usable iPhone applications are now being developed, all this accomplished on a mobile platform that was originally intended to be closed.
Apple finally gave in once they realized that the owners and developers were not exactly satisfied with the original Safari-based applications. So near the end of 2007, Apple announced a Software Development Kit (SDK), for its iPhone to be released in early 2008. The end result was a SDK package that was obviously better than the open-source model. The free Apple SDK, known as the “tool chain,” was an excellent release since it didn’t require a license, nor was it just exclusive to running strictly on Apple’s operating system. Linux as well as Windows users are also able to build and install applications on their iPhones, without ever having to go near a Mac.
The interfaces that are used by the free tool chain are identical to what Apple released with their own SDK. The frameworks that are available on the iPhone use a standard set of interfaces that’s used by Apple’s original preloaded iPhone applications. All the major tasks are performed by these frameworks, which includes the entire user interface, being able to play audio and music, display graphics & animation, and display web pages on the internet. So during the first 3 or 4 months of this iPhone being available for public consumption, the development community extracted these original Apple interfaces and decided to build their own software development kit.
The iPhone is a superb, superior crafted device, and in spite of the backlash surrounding its availability to outside developers, the community is growing quickly. So with or without Apple’s assistance, the iPhone applications market will grow exponentially in the commercial market, and will most definitely grow beyond its predecessors, the original Symbians, the Pocket-PCs and the so called “Smart Phones” that once dominated the mobile market.
So it has been close to a year since Apple introduced the iPhone SDK and the development of applications is growing on a daily basis. Browsing through Apple’s Application web store or the web apps site, will give you a fairly good idea regarding whats available, and the popularity and demand they have within the iphone market and community. If you can develop a simple flash game or some type of useful application, and is accepted by Apple, it can prove to be a financial windfall. There are presently 10 million of these iphone mobile units sold worldwide, and there has been over 100 million 3rd party applications downloaded, and the demand is increasing. Mind you the majority of these apps are free, but the ‘paid fee’ market is growing rapidly.
What the smart marketers are doing is they are lining up to find iPhone application developers who has development expertise, who can build iPhone apps or the simpler web apps. So it’s time to jump on board.