In the concluding remarks of Apple’s SDK event/announcement today for the iPhone, venture capitalist John Doerr introduced Steve Jobs as “supreme commander of the rebels”. Doerr will be providing funding for new startup companies who wish to develop for the iPhone.

That is a hefty coup and commitment by Apple and others to making the iPhone the undisputed technological innovation of today and tomorrow.

In brief, here is what we all heard/read about today’s iPhone development:

  • In June, we will get another software upgrade for our iPhones which basically transforms our current device into a stunningly cool and useful handheld computer, data, and gaming system.
  • The development of programs for the iPhone is relatively easy (for those who know what they’re doing). Many of the new applications shown today at the event were developed in just a few days after receiving the necessary development kit info from Apple.
  • For software writers, you will be able to pay Apple $99, and that will allow you to test your code on iPod touch and iPhone, receive tech support and get your software distributed!
  • The SDK beta is being released TODAY! The final version will be in June.

Now for the rest of us:

  • We will be able to download applications for the iPhone, both free and pay-for directly from the iPhone! (much like the jailbreak interaction with Installer, but we all expect much cooler and more… well, “Appler.”).
  • The “AppStore” will feature all kinds of new applications for download – commercial products like a Microsoft Office for iPhone to freeware.
  • Imagine the gaming applications that turn the iPhone’s revolutionary touch technology into a handheld game controller that responds to your movements and touch – like a Wii controller, but all-in-one.

    One Sega representative said, “We had to fly in a developer to upscale the art for iPhone. It’s a full console game–we underestimated the power of the device.”
  • There is also a lot of clever marketing being done to particular business segments – like the medical world – that currently use Palm devices and software. For instance, there is a PDA medical software called Epocrates which will now be available on the iPhone. Every doctor is going to want one now.
  • What we’ve all been waiting for – true IM chat coming! AIM is ready for the iPhone! In addition, we’ll be seeing the ability to add multitouch events, an accelerometer, a better people picker, camera, alerts. Add to that the features of push contacts/calendar/email, global address list, and it’s understandable why Blackberry (RIM) stock dipped during the Apple event!
  • Business folks will love the fact that with the new package comes Exchange compatibility!

Consider these phenomenal statistics (and remember, the iPhone is less than a year old!!!!!):

  • For mobile browsers, Safari owns 71% of the market.
  • The iPhone has 28% of the Smartphone market. RIM has 41%.

Here’s a great article in Wired on the shocking takeover/innovation/advance of the cellular and mobile world by one device and one company in less than a year. Consider this quote from the article:

It may appear that the carriers’ nightmares have been realized, that the iPhone has given all the power to consumers, developers, and manufacturers, while turning wireless networks into dumb pipes. But by fostering more innovation, carriers’ networks could get more valuable, not less. Consumers will spend more time on devices, and thus on networks, racking up bigger bills and generating more revenue for everyone. According to Paul Roth, AT&T’s president of marketing, the carrier is exploring new products and services — like mobile banking — that take advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities. “We’re thinking about the market differently,” Roth says. In other words, the very development that wireless carriers feared for so long may prove to be exactly what they need. It took Steve Jobs to show them that.

I don’t know what the implications are for the jailbreakers like me. I imagine that jailbreaking an iPhone may be pretty pointless after June? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. However, I’m very grateful to the incredibly brilliant people who have worked tirelessly to make the iPhone all that it is and is going to be (both inside and outside of Apple!).

It’s remarkable to note that while there are only a few official carriers for iPhones worldwide, unlocking the iPhone has become an international pastime. According to Market Share:

We’ve heard the rumors that many iPhones are being used outside the officially sanctioned countries.  So, we decided to check it out and surprise, surprise, it’s true.  The iPhone has a presence in almost every country on earth. (See the list here.)

It’s a great day to be an Apple user. Former hard-core PC users are trying not to be seen with their shiny new iPhones and iMacs.

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