Apple has finally announced their official plans on 3rd party application support for the iPhone and iPod Touch. They will be releasing a full SDK (software development kit) in February.
This will allow programmers to create native applications that will open up the iPhone to all sorts of great applications without worrying about bricking devices and voiding warranties.
This is the best news that could ever happen to the iPhone.
Steve Jobs also had some words for Nokia. Remember, Nokia has launched an entire ad campaign against the iPhone. Jobs said:
"Some companies are already taking action. Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer. While this makes such a phone less than “totally open,” we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone’s amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs."
The reason the SDK will take a few more months to complete is their primary concern is the prevention of viruses and malware on the iPhone.
Anyone who's dealt with Windows Mobile knows that there are a lot of pretty poor applications that cost way more than they should.
Hopefully Apple will create an environment that will keep quality high and prices down (or non-existent). Over-the-air installation would be nice too, as hackers have had that running for months now.
Apple.com: Third Party Applications on the iPhone