Apple said on Thursday its iPhone soon will support
corporate e-mail, challenging the dominance of RIMs'
popular Blackberry devices.
Apple also said it will roll out iPhone 2.0 software,
scheduled for release this June. These are tools for
developers to create software for the iPhone, news that
was accompanied by a pledge from legendary venture
capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers to set up a
$100 million "iFund" to back iPhone software start-ups.
The move would help Apple hit its goal of selling 10
million iPhones by the end of this year.
Apple said the iPhone would work with Microsoft's
Exchange software for managing business e-mails,
contacts and calendars and "pushing" that information to
The new programming tools are also seen as a way to
build more interest in the iPhone, which has so far only
been able to run outside programs through the Web
browser. The tool kit will let software makers write
applications that can tap more of the iPhone's
capabilities, such as its touch-sensitive screen and
"Starting today, we are opening up the same native
(interfaces) and tools that we use internally to build
all our iPhone applications," said Scott Forstall, vice
president of iPhone software.
Programs will only be available through a new "apps
store" on the iPhone and in Apple's iTunes software that
currently sells music and videos. Apple will keep 30
percent of revenue, with the rest going to developers.
Apple plans to release the final iPhone 2.0 software,
including the iPhone SDK and new enterprise features, as
a free software update for all iPhone customers by the
end of June. Third party applications created for the
iPhone will also run on the iPod touch, and iPod touch
users will be required to purchase a software update to
run these applications. The free beta iPhone SDK is
available immediately worldwide and can be downloaded at
developer.apple.com/iphone/program. The iPhone Developer
Program will initially be available in the US and will
expand to other countries in the coming months. Apple is
accepting applications beginning today from enterprise
customers who would like to join the private iPhone
Enterprise Beta Program