iPhone application development has minimum hardware requirements without which iPhone programming cannot begin. This small guide lists the essential hardware needed for iPhone development and also mentions the alternatives wherever possible.
One of the first hardware any budding iPhone developer should procure is an Intel-based Mac machine or Mac Book because iPhone applications can only be developed using Apple X OS. Does this mean non-Intel based Mac machines cannot be used for iPhone application development? Yes, spot on.
Will a Power PC Mac work for iPhone development?
A Power PC Mac will work but the output will be sluggish, to say the least and result in extremely low productivity. An iBook will be worse, so better stick to a powerful Intel-based Mac PC for your iPhone application development. In spite of this, if you still want to use PowerPC make sure it is running Leopard 10.5.4 or higher.
Old or new Mac?
While both will work, a new dual-core Mac machine should gallop and when the race for iPhone development is tight you want to sprint and not trot, right? However, you can take your pick between a Mac Book (or Mac Mini) and a Mac PC as XCode and Interface Builder run smoothly on both machines. Whichever Mac you choose, ensure it has at least 2GB RAM for smooth performance.
iPhone applications can also be developed using the iPhone Simulator that comes bundled with the iPhone SDK (Software Development Kit) but the problem arises when you want to test the application’s GPS functionality or access the internet from within the application. In such cases the iPhone simulator is not enough and you have no option left but to purchase an iPhone. But if you can somehow make do without GPS and internet, the iPhone Simulator for iPhone application development will do just fine.
Once you have this minimum hardware ready you are all set to create great iPhone applications and games.