Cold water poured on Java-enabled iPhone

Just a week after announcing its intentions to put a JVM (Java Virtual Machine) – and hence Java applications – on the iPhone, Sun seems to have realised it may have difficulty seeing those plans through.

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Just a week after announcing its intentions to put a JVM (Java Virtual Machine) – and hence Java applications – on the iPhone, Sun seems to have realised it may have difficulty seeing those plans through.

Blog and forum posts following the release of Apple’s iPhone SDK have questioned whether it would allow Java to be put on it, as the agreement does not allow downloadable executables.

Sun has now said if that’s the case, it wants to talk to Apple. Eric Klein, vice president of Java marketing, said in released statement that his company wants to talk to clarify with Apple if there are conditions blocking Sun's plans.

"Our announcement was based on our excitement to build a JVM for the iPhone and the iTouch (iPod touch) as well as our assessment of Apple's publicly available information on the SDK and related business terms," Klein said.

"If there are clauses in the iPhone beta SDK licence agreement that potentially limit third-party application distribution, then these are items that we want to have a positive discussion with Apple about.

"Sun and Apple have an ongoing relationship around Java SE (Standard Edition) on Mac OS X, and we look forward to further discussions with Apple about a JVM for iPhone and iTouch," Klein said. "Sun definitely plans to deliver a JVM for iPhone and iTouch if at all possible."

Consultant Christopher Allen, founder of iPhoneWebDev, an online resource for iPhone application developers, was among those raising doubts as to whether the iPhone SDK agreement would allow something like a JVM on the phone.

"To get the SDK and to be able to put [an application] on the iPhone, you're not allowed to have downloadable executables," Allen said. "Basically, they don't want people to go around their process of vetting code in applications by allowing something else to load code in."

Under Sun's porting plan, developers could use their existing Java tools to build applications to run on the iPhone and iTouch.

Before the release of its SDK, Apple had not been receptive to having Java on the iPhone. It did not respond to several inquiries about the latest situation.

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