October 17, 2007
From Ars Technica:
Steve Jobs today announced that Apple is working on a software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone and iPod touch so that third-party developers can build native applications for the devices. The SDK is on track for a February 2008 release, after the annual Macworld Apple-fest takes place in January 2008. As to why Apple is taking so long to release an SDK, Jobs detailed the complicated position the company feels it is in: "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 argued in his announcement.
This is pretty close to what a lot of people suspected back when the iPhone was first announced; it’s going to take a lot of effort to build a stable iPhone development framework, and creating it in time for the launch would have taken a lot of resources away from other things if it would have been at all possible. I wonder if the reason it’s being announced now rather than ini a year or two is in part because of all the news about third party iPhone hacks.