Jobs’ about-face: iPhone will open to developers

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Steve Jobs has given in.
Apple Inc.’s CEO said the company will let outside developers create applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch, reversing a policy that allowed the devices to run only Web-based third-party applications. The company in February will release a software development kit (SDK) in the hopes of creating a developer community to foster creation of third-party offerings.
“It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once-provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc.,” Jobs posted on the company blog. “This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones-this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network.”
Apple had previously barred native third-party applications for the iPhone and iTouch, resulting in an abundance of online sites and Internet-based applications for the popular devices. And some developers have already built downloadable offerings for the iPhone, prompting Apple to issue a software update last month that effectively killed the applications-and raised the ire of some users.
“Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone,” Jobs wrote. “We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.”

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