Today Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone software development kit (SDK) at a special event held on its Cupertino campus.

iPhone 2.0 Software & The App Store

The iPhone 2.0 software release will contain the App Store, a new application that lets users browse, search, purchase and wirelessly download third party applications directly onto their iPhone or iPod touch.

Developers set the price for their applications—including free—and retain 70 percent of all sales revenues. Users can download free applications at no charge to either the user or developer, or purchase applications with one click.

Enterprise customers will be able to create a secure, private page on the App Store accessible only by their employees. Apple will cover all credit card, web hosting, infrastructure and DRM costs associated with offering applications on the App Store.

Third party iPhone and iPod touch applications must be approved by Apple and will be available exclusively through the App Store.

In addition to these new iPhone network and security features, the beta iPhone 2.0 software provides several new Mail features such as the ability to view PowerPoint attachments, in addition to Word and Excel, as well as the ability to mass delete and move email messages.

What it all means…

All in all, it looks like Apple nailed it today. It’s turning the iPhone into a new platform, with a very low barrier to entry for developers, a bag a money to jump start things and a massive audience of buyers.

This means that there’s going to be an explosion of iPhone application development. It means that there will soon be thousands of cool apps to download to the iPhone. It means that we’ll see new blogging, podcasting and social media apps.

This could end up being the biggest tech event of the year.