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until some of his lieutenants showed how the apps could be vetted …

I've never heard that story before. Do you have a source for that?

One thing I have heard is that 3rd-party apps were part of the original plan, but the development tools just weren't ready at launch.

Given the short period of time between the original iPhone launch and the app store launch (less than a year, as I recall), that story makes sense.
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