Apple’s iPhone “is about to get more than a little help from its friends,” McClatchy Newspapers reports.
“Any day now, Apple is expected to release a developer’s kit that will allow independent programmers to create new applications for the device. While it is common for mainstream PC users to download third-party programs to their computers, it is relatively uncharted territory for average cell-phone users to do the same, observed American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu,” McClatchy Newspapers reports.
“‘It’s going to make the platform more attractive, no question,’ Wu said of the iPhone. What is unknown, he said, is whether the new applications will boost iPhone sales,” McClatchy Newspapers reports.
“The move will give the device – a combination of telephone, multimedia player and WiFi gadget – an array of new features, from games to better ways to sync it with corporate e-mail accounts. And it could eventually help make the iPhone Apple’s iconic product, unseating the iPod as consumers increasingly embrace smart-phone devices,” McClatchy Newspapers reports. “‘I think the phone portion will be reduced as a service on these cool devices. You won’t be buying it because it’s a phone,’ said Jim Grossman, an equity analyst at Thrivent Asset Management in Minneapolis. ‘I call it a mini-computer.'”
“Even without Apple’s technological road map for the iPhone, there already are some 300 ‘underground’ applications created for the device, a powerful indication of interest among code writers to join its universe, said Yankee Group analyst Andrew Jaquith,” McClatchy Newspapers reports.
“It is unclear whether Apple will set up some sort of applications catalog page through its online store iTunes, the way it does now with podcasts. The Cupertino company also could charge fees to developers that want Apple’s official stamp of approval,” McClatchy Newspapers reports. “‘Most applications will need to be signed’ by Apple so when you load it on the phone, you know it’s a genuine application,’ Jaquith said.”
Full article here.