Apple won't prevent developers building software for the iPhone – but neither will it guarantee future iPhone updates will function with native applications.
According to Apple's vice-president of hardware product marketing, Greg Joswiak, the company "doesn't oppose native application development" for the iPhone.
Apple says its stance is neutral – meaning it won't prevent developers writing native iPhone applications and that the company won't deliberately break them in future updates, but if a software update is required that does break independent applications then the company won't find a workaround to help keep native applications running.
A report on Gearlog makes the claims, but stresses Apple's warning that future software updates "will most likely break" native applications.
Despite the existing neutrality toward independent application development for the iPhone and iPod touch, the report suggests that Apple's move to not deliberately prevent software development for these devices hints at their playing a more active part in the handheld device market in future.