iPhone 2.0, iPhone SDK, and iPhone Apps Frequently Asked Questions

It seems the same questions are coming up again and again, so here's an attempt to clarify some points.

What is iPhone Firmware 2.0? When can I get Applications/Enterprise Features?

iPhone 2.0 firmware is the next software update for the iPhone. It will include Enterprise features and support for the iPhone SDK and iPhone applications.

Regular customers will be able to download the iPhone Firmware 2.0 in "late June". Customers will also be able to start buying iPhone applications from the iTunes Store starting then. So for the next 4 months, your iPhone will stay pretty much the same as it did yesterday.What is the SDK? Should I download it?

SDK = Software Development Kit. Unless you are a developer or have a desire to become one, there is really no reason for you to download the SDK. It is a set of tools for developers to write software for the iPhone.

But can I download the SDK and get iPhone Firmware 2.0?

No. The free SDK from Apple provides tools to write applications and run them in an iPhone Simulator - which is a Mac OS X application which looks and acts like the iPhone on your Mac.

There is a beta program for Enterprise customers and some select developers will be chosen to test their applications on the iPhone 2.0 firmware. If you qualify for any of these programs, then you may be able to get the iPhone 2.0 firmware ahead of time. If not, then you have to wait until June.

How much will iPhone applications cost?

The individual developers set the price on the iPhone applications to be sold through the iTunes Store, so they may be any price, and they can also be Free.

I want to write an iPhone application, how much will it cost me?

The SDK is free to download from Apple. With the SDK, you can learn how to write iPhone applications and also test them in the iPhone Simulator.

If, however, at any point you wish to distribute your application to others or even install it onto your own phone, you will need to pay $99/year to become a registered iPhone developer with Apple. Once you do this, you will be able to install your iPhone application on your iPhone and/or distribute your application to the iTunes Store, pending Apple's approval.

The $99/year developer program is initially only available to a limited number of developers. If you are lucky enough to get chosen, you get the following benefits:

- access to pre-release iPhone software;
- technical support;
- the ability to get code onto iPhones for testing;
- and distribution of applications via the new App Store.

The developer program will be presumably opened up to more people closer to June.

But can I download the SDK and install my own Applications on my iPhone?

No. The free SDK only lets you run applications in the iPhone Simulator. To install your application on your iPhone, you need to be a $99/year developer.