Reversing a policy that angered some users and triggered two class-action lawsuits, Apple says it will provide a development kit to let independent programmers create new applications for the device, but code writers will have to wait until February to get the software tools.
Apple CEO Jobs says it will take Apple a few months "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."
The delay in opening up the iPhone was as much a business decision as it was a technical one, says Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. But the move could make the iPhone even more popular, particularly among corporate customers, he believes. Independent software writers are sure to write applications allowing the iPhone to sync with corporate e-mail systems. The move could also open the music player-phone to new games.