Apple has launched an online directory for Web applications that runs on the iPhone’s Safari Web browser.

Here’s an excerpt from AppleInsider:

This latest move by the Cupertino-based company suggests that — at least for the time being — it is sticking to its guns regarding third party application development for its touch-screen handset — mainly that it discourages native application development in favor of Web-based applications that do not pose a threat to the stability of the iPhone operating system in general.

Apple has been wary of exposing the operating system API to developers. Presently, developers can only create applications that run through the Safari Web browser.

And in a twist to Apple’s Web application strategy, it seems that targeting the browser makes the apps work on Nokia phones (N95, Series 60), since they have browsers that support the same code base as that of Safari (intoMobile).

While the developer community is disappointed ( with Apple’s “locked-in” approach to the iPhone platform, Ars Technica reports that perhaps the approach will improve in time.

Do you think that Apple’s “lock-in” strategy is good from a security perspective, or is it just the case of a monopoly?