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Steve Jobs unveils plans to dominate RIM BlackBerry, Life, the Universe, and Everything

'We will build 12 Amazons. Or 4 Googles'

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Apple will rejigger the iPhone in a sweeping effort to satisfy email-addicted business people, video game junkies, and third-party software developers who don't mind getting Apple's approval for their applications.

Today, during a press fest at its Cupertino, California headquarters that did not include The Reg, Steve Jobs and company announced a Microsoft Exchange-friendly version of their handheld status symbol, before unveiling the long-awaited iPhone SDK and an "App Store" where you can purchase the fruits of this software developer's kit.

Due in June, the next version of the iPhone will make like BlackBerry, connecting directly to Microsoft's biz-centric server platform. This means Exchange will have the power to push emails, calendar items, and contacts onto the phone. And that will make the folks at RIM very nervous.

Yes, Apple has licensed the ActiveSync protocol from its Redmond arch-rival.

But in opening up the iPhone to third-party developers, the company has stopped short of the Microsoft way. Apple reserves the right to approve every application built for its beloved handheld, funneling each and every one through its new App Store.

At the press fest, Electronic Arts and Sega trumpeted new games for phone. Salesforce.com showed off a less frivolous app (or more frivolous, depending on you point of view). And venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announced a $100m "iFund" that will do nothing but iFund other iPhone iApps.

"That should be enough to start about a dozen Amazons or even four Googles," the firm said. "And if we're running out of money, we'll run around and look for more." ®

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