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Louis-Philippe wrote:
for the apple iphone dev, its free to get all the tools and sdk...  and
correct me if i'm wrong, but I think submitting an app is free and you only
pay apple money for selling the app if you sell it, i.e. free apps don't
cause any fees

That is incorrect.

Submitting any app to the app store, whether a free app or a paid app, requires a developer's license which currently costs $99/year. Moreover, without a developer's license, you cannot install software you've written ON YOUR OWN IPHONE (sorry for shouting...).

So just to be can download and install paid and free apps from the app store without a developer's license, but you cannot write software with Xcode and the free SDK and install them on an iphone (even yours) without a developer's license. Note this also applies to Corona. If you want your Corona app on your iphone you need to pay Corona $99 (per year) AND Apple $99 (per year).