Apple announced details of the iPhone/iPod Touch SDK today. Some highlights:
• 70/30 revenue split from the iTunes Apps Store, the exclusive distribution method for iPhone applications.
• Free applications distributed at no charge (minus the $99 entry fee to iTunes Apps sellers).
• VoIP Apps will be allowed, but only over Wi-Fi connections.
• “Malicious” and “bandwidth hog” applications will not be allowed.
• Full Microsoft Exchange support coming.
• SDK looks robust, uses Xcode including an iPhone emulator.
• The first-shown apps included AOL Instant Messenger, Super Monkey Ball (!), a version of Spore, a dedicated SalesForce application, a pill and medical information identifier, and more.
• Apple and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (a VC firm) have created the “iFund,” a $100 million seed fund for small iPhone developers.
• “iPhone 2.0″ software platform—not new hardware, but the firmware update that allows these applications—available in June.
In short, the inability to load your own applications outside of the iTunes chute is disappointing, but the upcoming software really does look fabulous. Apple is not only taking a big swing at RIM’s Blackberry and other smartphones but the portable gaming market as well.