iPhone developers put on hold by Apple

The Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) for 2008 kicked off Monday with a keynote presentation by Steve Jobs. As was expected, a new 3G iPhone was announced and there was a lot of discussion about the new capabilities in iPhone OS 2.0. Steve mentioned that the iPhone SDK has been downloaded 250,000 times since the release in March and that 25,000 developers have signed up for the iPhone Developer Program. Of those 25,000 developers Apple has selected 4,000 for participation in the beta program.

No mention was made of when (or if) the remaining 21,000 developers who wish to participate in the beta program will be permitted to do so.

Based on the numbers I think it is clear that developers are very excited about building and selling applications on the iPhone platform. Unfortunately, Apple seems far less excited about helping these developers get started. They have let a mere 16% of interested developers into the program. The remaining developers cannot build and test applications on real devices. Effectively Apple has put all these developers on hold. They want to build applications that use the accelerometer, the camera, the GPS, etc., but cannot since the simulator has none of these capabilities.

To illustrate what a ridiculous approach this is for supporting developers take a look at the following post that recently appeared on craigslist. Whoever this developer is, he/she really wants to get their application tested and running in time for the Apple AppStore launch.

Someone with influence at Apple Computer needed (santa clara)

I need my application to the iPhone developers program approved so I can get a certificate to test my applications on a real iPhone. Without one I can only run it on a simulator. I have a compelling application that I am working on that will be sold commercially.

Apple computer received my application two months ago and they have my credit card number for the $99 fee.

In return I can give you some cash or services or maybe a gift certificate for dinner someplace. Whatever you think is reasonable.

Apple and Steve have been positioning the iPhone OS (CocoaTouch) as a new platform for application development. The developer community seems to agree with this and wants to develop applications for the platform. Apple, please let the remaining developers who signed up for the beta program in. We all want to give you $99 so we can start running our applications on real devices. We all want you to take 30% of any revenue from the sale of our applications when they are sold through the AppStore. We all want to help make this a great new platform for application development.

The simulator just doesn’t cut it! Give us the ability to run on actual devices, PLEASE!!!!!

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