Apple may be figuring out a Safari-based solution that should boost application development for the iPhone.

ArsTechnica claims Apple is developing a wave of updates for Safari and the iPhone that - among other features - allow Safari-based apps to work even when the device isn't connected to the web.

"Apple is currently jamming on adding offline storage capabilities to Safari - something that would rival Google Gears in being able to serve up web applications locally without having to access the internet," Ars writes.

There is a limit - application development seems set to remain web-based, but the report suggests some form of Java support may feature in the iPhone's future.