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Apple defends its App store

by on24 November 2009


As developers walk away

As developers
start to vote with their feet over the Apple App store, the fruit themed peddler of gizmos has taken the unprecedented step of talking to the media to justify its pathological need to control the operation. Apple senior vice president for worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller sat down with BusinessWeek for his first-ever major interview on the App Store's standards process.

Schiller claimed that Apple's review protocol is comparable to any other retailer desiring to make certain the products on its shelves function as advertised. He said Apple reviewed the applications to make sure they work as the customers expect them to work when they download them. This means that the App store is a place that people can trust. The great unwashed and their charming offspring can download applications from the store, and for the most part they do what you'd expect, and they get onto your phone, and you get billed appropriately, and it all just works.

Schiller admitted that with 10,000 new application submissions coming into the App Store each week, things were getting a little out of hand. Most application submissions are approved, and some are sent back to the developer for tweaks - technical snafus and software bugs account for most of Apple's requested changes.

Schiller claims that most of the rejections have been applications submitted for approval that will steal personal data, or which are intended to help the user break the law, or which contain inappropriate content. In Apple terms that is when you show a woman's ankle or say a rude word.

The biggest problem he said was that one percent of apps fall into gray areas Apple did not previously anticipate. Want to cheat at a casinos? There is an app for that.The other biggie is trademark violations mostly centered on using Apple's own trademarks.

Schiller didn't say what action that Apple was taking to deal with the huge workload nor did he discuss the glaring inconsistencies and lengthy approval delays, but there are signs that developers are just getting miffed and deciding not to waste their time trying to run Apple's gauntlet of bureaucratic approvals.

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