Getting on the Apple iPhone Deck
So, it looks like Apple is willing to open up the iPhone after all, but only to the developers that are tapped. I actually can understand that. Apple is thinking like a cell phone company, and they are confused in believing that the iPhone is a cell phone with a music player and a web browser attached.
I can remember some past experience with working with the carriers, and I can tell you it wasn't good. They would use any excuse to get your application thrown off the deck, and they expected you to turn around fixes for any bugs in a ridiculous time-frame. Our QA teams would go crazy to try to make that happen.
Still, its better than nothing. I am sure Apple will roll out some sort of affiliates program that will allow you to develop a 3rd party application after paying some huge membership fee. After that, you will probably have to submit your application to Apple for them to determine its fitness and desirability. Once they have accepted it, they will run some automated test suite on it to make sure it is not going to interfere with any of their applications, or the AT&T stuff in the iPhone.
With a move like this, if it pans out, Apple is well on its way to becoming a cell phone carrier. Maybe those rumors about Apple providing the service for the iPhone weren't that far off.