Apple sets iPhone SDK event for next week

Apple Inc. on Wednesday said it will host an event next week to tout the iPhone's SDK, or software development kit.

Also on the agenda, said Apple in an invitation to reporters and bloggers, will be "some exciting new enterprise features" related to the iPhone.

Although the company was expected to roll out the SDK this month -- CEO Steve Jobs said last October that the kit would reach developers in February 2008 -- rumors have circulated recently that it would be delayed by as many as three weeks. It's unclear whether Apple will release the iPhone SDK next Thursday at the event, which will be held on its campus in Cupertino, Calif.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

Jobs' SDK timeline was part of the 180-degree turn Apple took last fall when, after months of saying that the iPhone was off limits to outside developers, the company announced that it would open the smart phone to third-party programs. Then, Jobs defended the original decision to ban all but Web-based applications from its phone by repeating earlier concerns about security.

A month before the iPhone's June debut, for example, Jobs had said, "The more [third-party applications] you add, the more your phone crashes. No one's perfect, and we'd sure like our phone not to crash once a day."

The enterprise-related news out of next week's event is also a mystery, although it could involve IBM's Lotus Notes, the second-most-popular e-mail software system in corporations. More than a month ago, reports made the rounds of an impending release of Lotus Notes for the iPhone. But Lotusphere, IBM's annual conference that focuses on the Lotus community, came and went in January without any announcement.

In other iPhone news, Apple updated the phone's firmware to Version 1.1.4 yesterday. The update, the fourth since the iPhone launched eight months ago, included no new features. According to the accompanying text file, it offered only "bug fixes." Accounts on message forums and blogs claimed that the update also boosted some users' cell phone ranges.

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