|On Wednesday, Apple sent this invitation to its iPhone software launch. Image courtesy of Apple.|
Apple on Wednesday sent invitations to its eagerly anticipated iPhone event, where it is expected to unveil tools that will allow developers to write software for the device. The company also hinted that "exciting new enterprise features" would be unveiled at the March 6 gathering on Apple's campus.<!-- more -->
If Apple indeed waits until the event to release the iPhone software development kit, it will be a week later than the company promised. CEO Steve Jobs had said the SDK would be ready by the end of February.
The software news should also apply to Apple's iPod touch, a gadget that has the media playback and Internet capabilities of the iPhone without the voice communication features.
Aside from the apparent tardiness of the iPhone SDK, the most intriguing thing about the invitation is the hint of enterprise features. Some onlookers have criticized Apple for targeting only consumers with its products, and largely ignoring the needs of businesses, while competitors Research in Motion and Microsoft cater to corporate customers.
In the past, Apple executives have said that companies are free to buy Apple products and bring them into the enterprise, but that supporting the needs of enterprise customers is not Apple's focus. Those attending the Apple event will be on the lookout for evidence that Apple's stance on the enterprise is changing, as it looks for ways to expand the appeal of the iPhone.