Triple play puts iPhone ahead of Android

SDK, App Store, and the Holy phone

When it comes to selling your application, Apple seems to be a little more generous than outlets like Tucows, Handango, and others. The developer keeps a full 70 per cent of the revenue from each sale and there are no hosting costs, credit card fees, or other nickel and dime charges that erode your profits. Meanwhile, there's no charge to download the SDK. All you have to do is go to the iPhone Dev Center and after a very short, free registration process, you can download the SDK for yourself.

As with all Apple development tools there is a substantial amount of documentation, instructional videos and even some significant technical support available to you should the need arise.

Support program limits

To get the full support, as well as the ability to test the applications you are developing over the cellular network or via Wi-Fi, you'll need to upgrade your free registration.

For individuals wishing to develop free or commercial software applications this is a one-time $99 fee. For enterprises building inhouse (non-public) applications the fee is increased to $299.

Don't waste any time in signing up for this, though. Apple is only going to accept a limited number of beta users to begin with and then only from the US - or so it says.

The best news you're likely to hear about the iPhone SDK is the sales potential. iPhone applications will be made available via the new App Store that presumably will be distributed to iPhones and iPod touch devices during the next firmware upgrade. This will potentially simplify purchase and download of applications for a large number of users.

Based upon the information Apple is circulating, the App Store will be accessible through the Wi-Fi and cellular network, making applications available to users any time they browse the store.

Clearly, Apple has gone to great lengths to make the iPhone an exciting and potentially lucrative market for mobile developers. Apple knows that demand for devices, and their subsequent utilization, will be driven by the availability of a large number of applications spanning everything from the enterprise to education.

It's obvious that Apple also knows the only way to achieve this is to appeal to independent developers. Apple's efforts to make the iPhone platform easy to develop for but utterly comprehensive appears to have been successful.

It's icing on the cake that the App Store and a 70 per cent developer payout puts coders in the position to make more money while writing better applications. To quote more than one engineer I've heard say: "Better platform, more advanced tools and more money? There's nothing wrong with that." ®

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