Are there any costs involved in setting up a development environment. I have windows PC and Laptop with reasonably decent config. Now what are the next steps? I hear that one has to register as an Apple developer in order to get access to the development SDK.
Is this the only way or there are opensource alternatives?
You'll need a mac and an iDevice (iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad). You'll also need to join the developer program (99 USD per year). The mac is needed since the SDK comes only for the mac. You can get a mac mini, which is the cheapest thing possible. As for an iDevice, this is not really needed for really basic applications, since you can use the simulator. However, the simulator lacks a lot of features (accelerometer is one example).