“For the past two years makers of powerful, Internet-connected smartphones have been racing to respond to the innovations unleashed by Apple’s iPhone. While they’ve taken steps to narrow the gap, Apple may have just pulled further ahead,” Peter Burrows reports for BusinessWeek.

On March 17, “in a packed auditorium at Apple’s Cupertino (Calif.) campus, the company presented both a major update of its iPhone software and details of a software developer kit,” Burrows reports. “The likely result is that Apple will further solidify its position as the platform of choice for software developers—and as a result, many consumers. In just eight months programmers have created 25,000 applications that are available on Apple’s online App Store. Of those programmers, 62% had never written anything for an Apple product. So far, consumers have downloaded more than 800 million of these apps, which include everything from games like Tetris to software that helps diabetes patients manage insulin levels. The wide range of apps is a major reason the iPhone quickly jumped to No. 3 in the cutthroat smartphone market.”

“The App Store is also a key reason why rivals will have such a hard time closing Apple’s lead,” Burrows reports. “Maybe the most significant advances are in the tools that will enable developers to make money from their handiwork. Developers will be able to offer subscription pricing for the first time. They can also offer other “in app” purchases, so customers could buy another level of a video game or an electronic book without having to leave the application. Many developers have wanted these payment options, to help differentiate their offerings from free or cheaper knockoffs.”

Burrows reports, “Apple is increasing the momentum for a product some believe is the most significant in the company’s history.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We have a feeling that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg; the first drip of the bloodbath, if you will. Just wait until Apple adds to the iPhone and iPod touch device family. If what we keep hearing through the grapevine is even remotely true, Apple will own the next personal computing paradigm for decades to come. Accuse us of hubris now if you wish, but we’re confidently iCal’ing our Take for copious future use.