You can expect to see plenty of new third-party applications for Apple’s
At least that seems a reasonable conclusion based on today’s announcement
that over 100,000 developers have downloaded the free software development
kit (SDK) Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled last week.
Several big name software firms issued statements of support for the SDK,
which is currently available in beta or test form. The finished version,
which will include the launch of the online Apps Store (the only
Apple-authorized distribution method for iPhone software), isn’t due out
Separately, there has already been a successful independent effort to unlock the
software and allow both “official” and unofficial software to run on the
iPhone, according to the gadget Website Gizmodo.
For more mainstream users, business software makers Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU)
and NetSuite (NYSE: N) along with blogging tools provider Six Apart, said
they planned to develop for the iPhone using the SDK. Salesforce.com
(NYSE: CRM) and Epocrates (a maker of decision support tools on mobile
devices for healthcare) announced their support at last week’s event.
Also today, several game companies, including PopCap, Rocket Mobile and THQ
Wireless, said they’re developing for the iPhone, joining Electronics Arts
and Sega, which announced last week.
The new developer announcements also follow last week’s news that high
profile Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has
launched a $100 million “iFund” dedicated to
funding iPhone-related software and services.
“The iPhone SDK gives us the tools we need to create powerful iPhone
applications and is an important part of our overall mobile strategy,” said
Rick Jensen, senior vice president of Intuit’s small business group. “We’re
excited that the iPhone expands the ways our customers can solve key
financial tasks wherever they might be.”
Other developers chimed in with similar optimism that the iPhone will
allow professionals to get more done on the go.
“NetSuite is excited at the opportunity to give every iPhone customer access to their critical business data anytime, anywhere,” said Luke Braud, vice president of software development at NetSuite.
Chris Alden, CEO of Six Apart, said his company is using the SDK to build on the
iPhone-optimized blog service it already offers. “We’re taking it to the
next level with our native iPhone application for TypePad that’s already in
development,” he said.