Apple Chief Executive Officer Steven Jobs announced Apple would sell a $99 developer's kit so programmers could create new uses for the iPhone.
Apple would then make the new programs -- everything from games to office functions -- available to the public through a system called the Apps Store, which would distribute the new programs and keep 30 percent of the sales price.
Venture capitalist John Doerr's firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers is putting up $100 million to invest in the new programs, The New York Times reported.
"The potential for iPhones is huge," Doerr said Thursday at Apple headquarters.
The iPhone commands 28 percent of the smart phone market but has had trouble breaking into the corporate world, the report said.
Jobs said the offer was open to any program that Apple approves. The invitation doesn't extend to pornographers, for example, Jobs said.