One of the first steps that you need to do is buy a Mac. A Mac with an Intel-based processor which runs the Leopard version of MacOS X will suit you fine. A top of the range model is not necessary. Any Mac which can afford maneuverability for the developer will be needed. Mac Minis are more than powerful enough and can be serviceable if one already has PCs and a bunch of devices. Mac Minis are good to move around too. Developers can take them home for continuing their work.
Owning the SDK is the next step. Apple provides the free SDK which is required for iPhone development and includes that an average developer needs to get going. It includes the development environment Xcode and the iPhone Simulator which is required for testing. There are some performance analyzers too, template-like interface builders and a huge reference library with enough documentation.
The third and one of the most important parts for iPhone app development is to learn Objective C. It is the primary programming language which is required for app development and an extension of C with OOP principles along with scripting elements. Any developer with previous programming experience will find it easy enough to transfer their skills for mobile app development.
Apple adopted Objective C which was previously referred as SmallTalk. Since then, it has always used the platform. The best way to pick up the language is when you start with C/C++ and then learn about the APIs of the iPhone and the iPhone developer site is the best source too. A beginners’ book will ocme in handy here and the “For Dummies” series is extremely good for info. The free tutorials on the web can get you help too.
The official Apple SDK has good details about various features and one can get clarification on anything.
To start out with development, the fourth step is to start writing something. Get a project to work on and start coding with Objective C. A Java programmer can also adjust and practice his or her programming skills for getting a project done.
A couple of modification tasks can help if one has not actually commenced on an original project. The SDK includes a host of sample projects which can help the developer with several aspects of development. One can start there with the process and just reverse engineer it. One can add new features and even create a new game.
The fifth step is to eventually become a developer. Sign up to be an iPhone Developer and shell nearly $99 which would allow agreeing to Apple’s terms and conditions. One needs to sign up to even test the code on the iPhone.
Depending on time available during some weeks and even depending on the level of programming knowledge, an iPhone game would take about two months to get finished. The toughest part is to adjust to the unsafe language since a new developer would get frustrated to find even a single bug in the code.
Finally, submit the app to Apple. Apps need to be submitted to the App Store and uploaded with a description along with icons and screenshots. Apple mostly takes a week to approve the content.