iLounge have received apparently trustworthy but non-attributable confirmation of something we wondered about back in November: that not only will the iPhone SDK that Apple will officially announce on March 6th require third-party software to be distributed via the iTunes store, but that the company will insist on vetting each application before it’s made available. Apparently Apple will also prevent third-party apps from accessing the dock connector, meaning programs would be unable to take advantage of any add-ons or accessories for the iPhone or iPod Touch. The plan has been likened to iTunes’ scarce collection of iPod games as opposed to the broad music catalogue. Meanwhile, their sources also confirmed the rumor that the SDK released next month will merely be a beta of the long-awaited development toolkit, with the final version delayed until the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
“Our sources confirm that Apple will act as a gatekeeper for applications, deciding which are and are not worthy of release, and publishing only approved applications to the iTunes Store … One source saw this as a positive for major developers, suggesting that Apple will be choked by application submissions and forced to give priority to releases from larger companies, another source disagreed, stating that Apple’s current approval processes for third-party products have resulted in lengthy, needless delays” Jeremy Horwitz, iLounge
The news has been met with disappointment by iPhone users and software developers, with Apple again accused of too tightly policing the software environment.