Apple has released a Software Developers Kit (“SDK”) for its iPhone. With 10 million iPhones sold already, and momentum growing, this should provide a further boost by opening the iPhone up to a multitude of new applications from third parties.
An SDK provides independent software developers with the tools they need to write applications that run on the iPhone. Given its potential as an ebook reader, it’s highly likely we’ll see ebook reader software appear – in spite of the lukewarm position on ebooks taken by Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs. Right now, even though the iPhone has many of the features users are looking for in an ebook reader, it has no software to read common ebook formats. Porting of such software, like the open source FBReader or the widely used Mobipocket reader application, would give a big boost to the iPhone as an ebook reader and could arguably inject significant new life into the ebook market.
The SDK announcement was made by Apple this week and appears to have been well-received by the developer community.
Importantly, Apple’s announcement also included plans for a distribution system that will help developers get their applications onto users’ iPhones.