Apple has big plans for the software on the iPhone

Apple announced this week that on March 17 it will offer a special preview of iPhone operating system 3.0 and the company's new iPhone software development kit (SDK), both of which will be released in coming months.  Apple has sent out invitations to news outlets to attend the exclusive event.

Last year, Apple held a similar event to announce the arrival of its iPhone OS 2.0 software and how it was opening its SDK up to more developers.  The top news last year was that Microsoft Exchange through licensing the Microsoft ActiveSync protocol was coming to the iPhone.  This year, anticipations are high that Apple will drop some more big news.

Apple blog site Apple Insider has published a "wish list" for the 3.0 version OS, though it’s pure hopeful speculation. 

Apple is on a roll, growing its smart phone OS market share 111 percent from Q4 2007 to Q4 2008, according to market research firm Gartner.  The iPhone still trails Symbian and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion in total shipments, but continues to show some of the strongest sales figures for a single piece of phone hardware.

With its App store, Apple either launched or predicted early -- depending on your perspective -- a major market trend.   Google, Microsoft, and Nokia all have announced app stores for their smart phone offerings.

Thus far, Apple has announced no plans of updates to the iPhone hardware.  Apple has been debuting hardware at its usual rapid pace the last couple months.  After a lackluster January, which only brought a couple new laptops, Apple announced new desktop computers early this month and last week announced the attractive $79 4 GB iPod Shuffle, which has shrunk and gained Voice Over features. 

The latest Apple rumor is that Apple is preparing to enter the netbook market, as it has been reportedly ordering new netbook-sized displays from the Taiwanese manufacturer that makes its iPhone displays.  However, such rumors should be taken with a grain of salt, as late last year Apple CEO Steve Jobs stated, "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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