Apple: "we plan to have an iPhone SDK in developers' hands in February"

That's right folks. You read it correctly. Cats & dogs are living together, and in other news Steve Jobs has, via Apple's 'Hot News' page, announced that Apple will, FINALLY, support third-party development of native applications for the iPhone.

The SDK will arrive, for iPhone and iPod touch (!), in February 2008 after MacWorld San Francisco. Apple "[is] excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users," but they are taking the time to do it properly "because we're trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once -- provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc."

I think I can speak for everyone here at TUAW, and of course our loyal readers, when I say that this move is so incredibly welcome and WOW. All I can say to Steve is: "What took you so long to let us at your beloved devices?" Now the only question is whether the various iPhone dev teams can sit on their collective coding hands until Valentine's Day...

Thanks to all those who sent this in!