iPhone SDK

March 07, 2008

The iPhone SDK has finally landed, bringing with it real Exchange support, WPA2 and other goodies. You can watch the announcement event here, or read highlights and commentary at Daring Fireball.

Although I don’t own an iPhone (yet), I did download the SDK and look forward to playing with it. My feelings about the price structure seem to be about the same as what most other developers are thinking. The $99 listing fee is no big deal. In my experience, even semi-popular freeware applications can earn back more than that through donations. The 30% Apple commission is high, but at the same time the iPhone is opening up an additional revenue source that will augment existing sales. It’s also a really neat, fun platform to develop for.

As a user, I am a little concerned about iPhone applications that are built off of their desktop alternatives. For example, if I buy a license for Delicious Library 2, will I have to pay an extra $20 for an iPhone version (assuming one is eventually released)? Will the iPhone version be free, but intentionally crippled so you need or want the full desktop version? It would be great if the iPhone version could be unlocked with a desktop serial number, but it seems like this won’t be possible. Maybe developers will be able to create coupons that will work in the iTunes store, but I haven’t heard anything about that.

I’m going to buy an iPhone eventually, I’m considering holding out until the next revision. It seems like it June would be a perfect time to release a second generation iPhone along with the new firmware update.

Marc Charbonneau is a mobile software engineer in Portland, OR. Want to reply to this article? Get in touch on Twitter @mbcharbonneau.