Apple has taken another step to widen its iPhone ecosystem, opening up its iPhone Developer Program to developers from outside the US.

When Apple launched its iPhone Developer Program it made access to the scheme available only to a limited number of US developers.

The iPhone Developer Program allows access to pre-release iPhone software (i.e. iPhone OS 2.0); technical support; the ability to get code onto iPhones for testing; and distribution of applications via the new App Store.

The scheme was originally criticised for rejecting most applicants, but Apple eventually extended its membership.

The main benefit for international members is that it means the certification that’s required to make applications available for the iPhone through the App Store is now available to them.

Apple recently introduced the fourth beta version of its iPhone Software development SDK.