Apple finally sets iPhone SDK release date

The company misses a deadline to deliver the software in February.

Published February 28, 2008 12:15PM (EST)

Last fall, Apple CEO Steve Jobs posted a short note on the company's Web site promising a forthcoming flood of third-party applications for the iPhone. "Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers' hands in February," he wrote.

An SDK is a software development kit, a collection of programming tools that allow coders to hook into and create apps for a specific system, in this case the iPhone. And February, of course, is the second month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, so named for the old Roman purification festival Februa; it is not the third month in the Gregorian calendar, March, named after the Roman god of war Mars.

February in this leap year is longer than most other Februarys, but not long enough for Apple: On Wednesday the company invited reporters to a briefing regarding the "iPhone Software Roadmap," which is widely expected to include the SDK's release. The event will take place next Thursday, which Google Calendar tells me is the 6th day of March, and not at all in February.

Unless Apple pulls something out a hat by Friday, in other words, it'll miss its self-imposed deadline.

Well, but that's not so bad -- it's only a slight overrun, not likely to substantively affect development on the iPhone. But still, it's fun when things slip at Apple. Mistakes build character, and shows they're human, too.

By Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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