Apple May Invite Developers to Write iPhone Software
By Connie Guglielmo
June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc.'s Steve Jobs, who built
two of the world's top consumer brands with the Macintosh and
iPod, may let developers write programs for the iPhone to
broaden the appeal of the company's first mobile phone.
Chief Executive Officer Jobs will give the keynote address
today at Apple's global developers' conference in San Francisco,
an annual gathering that drew a record 4,200 attendees last
year. The company is using the five-day event to tout Leopard,
the latest version of the software that runs its Mac computers.
The Mac operating system, called OS X, also powers the
iPhone, the combination iPod music player and mobile phone that
Apple will start selling June 29 in the U.S. Developers need
Apple's permission to create iPhone programs, and Jobs may give
it, said Guy Kawasaki, founder of garage.com, a technology-
``There're so many Mac developers who would become iPhone
evangelists it would just be lunacy not to let these people
evangelize the product and create applications for it,'' said
the Palo Alto, California-based Kawasaki, a former Apple
marketing executive who encouraged outside programs for the
Macintosh when it was unveiled in 1984.
Jobs says he expects to sell 10 million iPhones in 2008 to
capture a 1 percent share of the mobile-phone market. He told a
conference last month that he expects the iPhone to be
Cupertino, California-based Apple's third main business
alongside the Mac and iPod, which each generate about $10
billion in yearly sales.
The 52-year-old Jobs hinted last month that he may reverse
his stance that allowing outsiders to create programs for the
iPhone may compromise security. Apple spokeswoman Lynn Fox
couldn't be reached for comment.
``We'll find a way to let third parties write'' programs
while keeping the iPhone secure, Jobs said at a Wall Street
Journal technology conference in Carlsbad, California, on May
30. ``If you can just be a little more patient with us, I think
everyone can get what they want.''
The iPhone helped propel Apple's market value above $100
billion last month for the first time in the company's 31-year
history. Apple's shares reached a record high of $127.61 last
week, and advanced 75 cents to $125.24 at 9:49 a.m. New York
time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.
Apple will sell two models of the phone, a 4-gigabyte
version for $499 and an 8-gigabyte model for $599, with help
from AT&T Inc., the largest U.S. mobile phone service. The
iPhone has a touch-screen display instead of a physical keyboard
and lets users surf the Web and access e-mail from services
including Yahoo! Inc. and Google Inc.
The iPhone will compete with so-called smart phones such as
Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry, which sells for as little
as $200 with a two-year AT&T service contract. The BlackBerry
offers Web access and can also link to corporate e-mail systems,
a feature the iPhone lacks, said Rob Enderle, president of the
Enderle Group research firm in San Jose, California.
``If you open it up to third-party developers, then it can
go beyond just being a music and video phone and become a true
smart phone,'' Enderle said of the iPhone.
The company in April reported that second-quarter profit
soared 88 percent and sales beat analysts' estimates after
demand for Macs and iPods surpassed expectations.
Apple says it has more than 750,000 developers, who have
written more than 12,000 Mac OS X programs. Sales of the
computer have accelerated in the past two years, after Jobs
delivered faster models with Intel Corp. chips and sleeker
Apple also has said it will give developers at the
conference a working copy of Leopard, a rival to Microsoft
Corp.'s Windows operating system software. Jobs two months ago
said the company had decided to delay release of Leopard to
October from June after shifting resources to deliver the iPhone
this month as promised.
``People see the Macintosh as an extension of themselvesthat helps them become more creative and productive, and that's
an unusual attitude to have toward a piece of hardware,'' said
Kawasaki, who writes a blog called Truemors. ``If people can now
feel this way about the iPhone, hallelujah.''
--Editor: Alnwick (cma/jmw/scc)