Apple CEO Steve Jobs said on Wednesday that outside developers would be allowed to make programs for the iPhone.
In an announcement on the Apple website, Jobs said the company will release a software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone and the iPod Touch so third-party developers can create software that will run on the devices.
The SDK would be released in February. The company needs the time because Apple is trying to provide a platform for developers as well as security for its customers.
"It will take until February to release an SDK because we're trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc," he said.
"Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones this is simply not true," Jobs added.
He said that viruses have appeared on other cellphones and networks and therefore "the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target."
Apple came under heavy criticism from long-time fans when it disabled all third-party applications on the iPhone.
Jobs noted that some companies, among them Nokia, do not allow any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer.
The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch.