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Report: iPhone software development kit due in early 2008

BusinessWeek says the iPhone may be opened to third-party developers after Leopard is released.

Is Apple ready to embrace developers for the iPhone?

According to one report Tuesday morning, yes. BusinessWeek cites sources "familiar with the company's plans" who say Apple will officially release a software development kit for the iPhone in early 2008. Those sources say the official announcement could come during Steve Jobs' keynote at the annual Macworld Expo on January 15. Apple could be waiting to release an SDK until after Leopard, the latest version of its Mac OS X operating system, is released. Apple said Tuesday that the official release date is October 26.

The report contains few other concrete details, but an Apple-sanctioned kit will likely be embraced by the developer community that has already created scores of applications for the device without Apple's official blessing.

It could also cut out some of the tension that has sprung up between the iPhone maker and its customers. Apple angered both developers and iPhone owners when it released a software update for the device that either "bricked" it or erased all unauthorized applications in September.