AppStore – What if your app gets rejected?

July 6, 2008

Anyone thought about the following:

  1. You have a stunning business plan which includes a nice iPhone / iPod Touch application
  2. After convincing your investors (and getting your funding) you start working hard on your app
  3. After several months and thousands of dollars spent on development you upload your new shiny app to the AppStore for aproval and distribution
  4. Apple rejects it.
There are some guidlines on which type of apps are “allowed” and which not, but they could still reject your app for other reasons – maybe because it canibalizes their own apps – or even worse their exclusive carriers revenue (for example with a chat application, cutting revenue on text/sms).

iPhone carrier exclusiveness is HARMFULL!

July 5, 2008
Regardless which point of view you choose Рcarrier exclusiveness sucks! 
1) Customer
As a customer you have to buy the iPhone from one of the exclusive carriers, including a multi-year contract.
Even if you fulfilled your contract (or exited early via early termination fee), the property you bought (the iPhone) is not really yours,
since it’s just a useless paperweight without ANOTHER new exclusive carrier contract.
Apple or the exclusive carriers should be legally forced to OFFICIALLY(!) unlock iPhones which exited a contract

2) Developer
Developers look forward to the AppStore. The AppStore (=iTunes for Software) allows developers to sell their Applications directly on the customers device.
Apple takes 30% of the sales prices, so the developer gets 70%.
So whats important for the developer? A huge market – right. Whats makes a market huge? Right – authorized unlocks, since otherwise people probably wont update to the 2.0 appstore firmware and instead stay with 1.1.4 and use the inofficial – no revenue – great!

All this bad customer associations with the carrier-lock in ALREADY influence our mac software sales.
I work in the educational sector and while only one year ago a lot of people switched to the mac, now people add much more critzism when its about apple,
like -their are just another evil company, they are locking in their customers, probably they’ll lock you in with the mac like with the iphone- and so on.
The bad iPhone press and the poisioned atmosphere around the exclusive carriers (like evesdropping AT&T or T-Mobile) already influences the apple brand itself!

3) Investor
Well – Apple earns from iTunes sales and 30% from AppStore sales.
Anymore questions? The more iPhones in use, the more Apple will earn. So not officially unlocking iPhones just sucks from an investors point of view.
The revenue comes from the USE of the device, not the initial SALE of the device.
Of course the “brand issues” mentioned in the developers point of view apply here to – probably (in the long term) even more significant.

We (geeky) people all tend to forget the following:
There are a LOT of people not willing to sign a contract with one of the exclusive carriers, but they probably would buy used iPhones (and then produce revenue via AppStore and iTunes store).
Many (geeky) people are probably also able to unlock, jailbreak and activate their SIM-LOCKED iPhones, but out there is also a vaaaaast majority of kids, moms, grannys and so on, probably many of them already bought used (jailbreaked, unlocked and activated) iPhones, but they WONT be able to upgrade, jailbreak, unlock and activate them THEMSELVES, so they wont update – so: no appstore, no revenue for apple, the investors and the developers.

Am I really the only one realizing, that Apple shoots in his own knee with the carrier exlusiveness?

There are only a few options out of this vicious circle:

  1. blog it! we need public reception!
  2. don’t buy the iphone from an exclusive carrier
  3. let apple know, that they suck (some options mentioned here:
  4. if you can’t resist buying the iphone, import it officially unlocked from a country, where apple and the providers are forced by the law to offer it unlocked (france)
  5. tell everybody you know – see 1.

Open Source vs. AppStore

July 5, 2008

Just thought about the concept of the AppStore. It looks very problematic for open source software. Since developers have to register for Apples iPhone Developer Program (and pay at least 99$) projects need someone with “final controll” about the Application and the source. The whole deal of open source Applications (simply branching as a skilled user and using your own customized app) will probably be impossible with the iPhone.

In addition to this: Will we every see Apple accepting iPhone apps in the AppStore which canibalize their own apps (like a maps application using the wiki style maps created by the opensource project instead of Googles commercial map data)?

take action

July 1, 2008

If you have sympathy for those ideas, you definitly should take action.

Write letters (see “corporate address” in the upper left) to Apple, use their feedback form, file bugs concerning the authorized unlock issue, blog it, blog it, blog it, join movements like by the freepress NGO, complain at FCC (or your local equivalent agency) consider sueing Apple or your exclusive-carrier and finally if you don’t already own an iPhone, but can’t resist to buy it: Buy a prepaid version and HACK IT! Show Apple and the exclusive carriers, that this business model will FAIL! We still put our hope in europe, especially france. The french law forces apple to offer unlocked iPhones their, we hope that they aren’t locked to french carriers only, so if you can’t resist, consider importing your iPhone from france. Help turning the carrier-exclusiveness¬†model into the biggest failure possible.

What’s wrong with Apple (or why the iPhone sucks)?

July 1, 2008

Apple – like any other company in the world – has to make money. For a long time they did a pretty good job balancing their need to make money and their public perception as a nice, non-evil company.

Well, yes – many developers (including myself) always felt a bit like those disinformation (marketing) tactics suck like hell and we don’t like those sometimes completely stupid NDAs (not being able to discuss specific issues with other devs [also under NDA] while the whole world already knows better) but this has always been a level of anoyance we accepted, probably because we still like the products and tools they constantly create and innovate.

So whats wrong with Apple?

Basically the situation got really worse with the iPhone. Steve obviously got a victim of his own success. While Apple really re-ignited the discussion about DRM free music, they just lost their mind with this crippled locked-up piece of technology they call the iPhone.

  • Apple obviously thinks customers shouldn’t be able to choose their cell network.
  • Even customers pay the full price for their iPhones (during the contract period or via an early termination fee), Apple still thinks: It’s ok if our customers have worthless x-hundred $ iPhones, when they leave their contracts. But when the contract period is over (or the customer payed the early termination fee) the contract is fulfilled. Still their iPhones are useless, since Apple decided not to offer authorized unlocks after the contract period is over (which b.t.w. is common practise of EVERY other cellphone company in the world)
If you are a developer and want to develop software for the iPhone, the situation is even worse
  • there is no hardware purchase program for developers, so if your company has 5 developers, you have to buy 5 iphones with 5 contracts, just for in-house testing
  • the no-customer-choice issue mentioned above is even BAD FOR YOUR business, since you’ll probably sell less iPhone software, since many people who’d probably love to buy the iPhone won’t buy it, because they don’t feel like signing a contract with one of those exclusive-carriers.
  • Think of all the old iPhones which are currently sold – since there is no official unlock many people will probably NOT upgrade to the AppStore capable firmware. If you are a developer and want to sell your products this clearly sucks, since you wont sell your software to those iPhone users who fear bricking their used iPhones with the 2.0 update and instead stay with the inofficial installer.
Great Apple. Thank you for screwing your developers.
I am quit sure that you – dear readers – will have whole bunch of additional arguments, why Apple should offer authorized unlocks, maybe why they even should be legally obliged to do so (at least after the contract period). Looking forward for a lively discussion.

Why is that?

July 1, 2008

I am a livelong Apple user, I write software for Apple computers for more years I am able to count, I really love like the products Apple creates, concerning aspects like design and functionality, but still I am fed up enough to start this blog about crippled technology.