Apple says more than 100,000 developers have downloaded the beta iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) since its release on 6 March.
The iPhone SDK provides developers with the same set of application programming interfaces and tools that Apple uses to create its own native applications for iPhone and the iPod touch.
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The SDK is designed to rapidly build up a developer community around the iPhone and help Apple offer a burgeoning array of new apps to iPhone users.
Apple has also previewed the new App Store, a way for developers to wirelessly deliver their applications to every iPhone and iPod touch user.
Developers set the price for their applications and retain 70% of all sales. The system can also be used to distribute freeware.