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Apple's App Store released earlier than anticipated

Apple's earlier than anticipated launch of their iTunes Application Store allows for the use of third-party software and applications on the iPhone 3G and the updated iPod touch.

This article originally appeared on Brighthand.com

Apple's launch of their iTunes Application Store allows for the use of third-party software and applications on the iPhone 3G and the updated iPod touch. Though on time with the release of the iPhone 3G, the application store actually appeared earlier than expected.

One of the major new features coming to the iPhone is support for third-party software. These will be sold through an official Apple application store, which will open its virtual doors in a couple of days is open now.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs told USA Today that this store will have 500 applications. Of these, a quarter will be free and 90% of the for-pay ones will cost $10 or less.

Software will come in a wide variety of categories from well-known companies, like games from Sega, finance applications from Bank of America, productivity software, and tie-ins to social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.

Update: iTunes version 7.7, which includes the iPhone App Store, is available now on Apple's website.

The iPhone 3G will be able to run third-party software as soon as it launches on Friday, but the original model and the iPod touch will need a software update, which is scheduled to be released soon.

The Apple Clearinghouse
Developers will not be allowed to directly distribute their software to iPhone and iPod touch users. Instead, it will all have to go through Apple.

iPhone owners will be able to find applications directly on their device through Apple's App Store. They will also have the option of buying and installing software through iTunes.

Developers will set the prices for their products, but Apple's cut of all revenue will be 30%.

By controlling the distribution channels, Apple will be able to block software in categories it doesn't approve of: porn, privacy violations, bandwidth hogs, illegal, malicious and 'unforeseen.'

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