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iPhone vs. BlackBerry: Apple Launches New Software

Thursday, 6 Mar 2008 | 4:31 PM ET
CNBC.com

Apple will unveil a comprehensive set of tools for developers to create their own applications for the company's hot-selling iPhone, and then sell them on the iTunes web site.

At the same time, Apple will release tools that make the device far more compatible with business networks and corporate users--what analysts say will be a major swipe at Research in Motion and that company's BlackBerry.

Finally, several sources confirm that Apple will announce a partnership with the well known venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers to create a new investment fund to encourage more application development by programmers outside the company.

Several members of the venture capital firm were seen waiting in line for the Apple event to begin.

Sources tell me that "Apple got it right" with this set of software development tools. IPhone will now be compatible with with Active Sync and Direct Push, making the device operational with Microsoft's Exchange platform. It is absolutely key, sources say, in making the device a true option for corporate IT managers looking for an alternative to BlackBerry, and turning the device into much more than merely a consumer smart phone.

An analyst says that Apple's enterprise push could go a long way toward making the entire Mac platform more attractive to business customers; creating its own kind of halo effect.

If IT managers opt to let employees choose the iPhone, and offer complete support for it, they might be more pre-disposed to support the broader Macintosh platform.

I'm told that Apple has come up with a unique way for developers to sell their iPhone applications on iTunes, and that the company will offer a revenue sharing arrangement that is firmly in favor of the developers.

The software developer kit (SDK) will be available in beta form in the next day or two.

Apple's Big News
Discussing what's in store for Apple now that iPhone will be compatible with Microsoft Exchange, with CNBC's Jim Goldman and Avi Cohen, Avian Securities.

Questions? Comments? TechCheck@cnbc.com

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