Today I went to a movilforum event about development with Apple's iPhone.
Apart from a last minute agenda change (that resulted into a more commercial and less technical 3 hour event), the content was very light, only useful to learn how the commercial and distribution Apple system works... And getting a grasp of some not so cool iPhone features.
I've ended with the impression that Apple only desires to make maximum benefit from iPhone, which includes the SDK...
You can only download for free the SDK, to publish anything into iTunes (the only way of distributing applications and/or games) you need a standard license (99$). If you want to create in-house applications (for example, for a big-sized company), then you need the enterprise license (299$). But hey, if you have the enterprise license and want to publish on iTunes, you have to buy a standard license too!
They are really clever: Get a market segment, then force everyone to follow your rules. And we were afraid of Microsoft in the past!
The two speeches had a "incredible fantasy Mac world" feel... spoken like if Apple had invented touch screens (Windows Mobile exists since 2000, and Palm even earlier!), or if being able to access phone's contacts agenda or having a virtual keyboard was something impressive...
We didn't entered in technical details, but some comments like "the iPhone can only have one application running at a time. No background applications" made me think something like "WTF?! does it run a Windows 3.1 OS? even J2ME has background application support!".
Also, just today has been lifted a nasty NDA that forced developers to not post or talk about the SDK or iPhone development!
Having to pass Apple "validation process" won't be a problem for medium-to-big companies, but what about individuals? There are already some complaints on the web about that review process.
For me, the device looks like a hiper-hyped device, very pretty and with gradient-filled, rounded buttons and cool touch effects, but smelling rotten in the inside.
Maybe in the future I will do something for iPhone, and I'm quite sure it will be web-based (at least most of it).
The only reason to develop for iPhone (as an individual) is to do what Apple does: try to make money from it. Else, I don't see any benefit, just limitations.