For Web developers hoping to target the iPhone and Android platforms, Appcelerator today released a development environment for building JavaScript software for both. Appcelerator Titanium gives Web developers the ability to code directly to the mobile platforms’ APIs without the need for learning platform-specific SDKs.

Scott Schwarzhoff, vice president of marketing at Appcelerator, said that his company began by offering a desktop environment aimed at unifying the development of Mac and PC applications. That version of the Appcelerator platform arrived in December of 2008, and the company spent most of 2009 preparing those same ideas for the mobile space.

“We specifically target Web developers,” said Schwarzhoff. “If you’re a JavaScript developer, you see Titanium as a series of APIs that you can use to construct your mobile application. As a Web developer, using just what you know, you could build a native iPhone application using those same Web skills. We will translate that into an iPhone or Android application, and wrap that application and compile it to native code.”

Appcelerator Titanium comes in two varieties: a free version that embeds ads in applications; and Appcelerator Titanium Professional, which costs $199 per developer per month, and includes analytics and service and support contracts.

Schwarzhoff said future plans for the platform include support for Apple’s iPad (by mid-March) and BlackBerry (by June). The decision to support the iPad came after Appcelerator surveyed 554 developers. Of those included in the survey, 90% said that they were interested in developing for the iPad within the next year.

Schwarzhoff said this was indicative of a forthcoming land grab in this emerging market. He said that the gold rush period on the iPhone has been over for some time now, but that the iPad offers a new opportunity for those who missed out on cashing in early in the iPhone space.

“It’s not only a new product, it’s a completely new category,” said Schwarzhoff of the iPad. “Why would you take that risk? The answer is that the risk is not all that great. If you look at the SDK Apple has, it’s the same codebase, but extended. There are some UI considerations for the larger real estate, but the accelerometer, the file system, the database—they’re all identical to the iPhone. The tools are the same. And the economic model is totally well built-out.

“I don’t need to think hard about the economics, because it’s going to be an extra tab in iTunes. The economic model works already.”

As for the BlackBerry, Schwarzhoff said that there is demand for BlackBerry applications, but that the BlackBerry SDK is not as rich as the SDKs of the Android and iPhone. “There is overwhelming interest in Android and iPhone.”