Apple today agreed to refund at least $32.5 million to the miserable parents of children who were able to make in-app charges without their parents' knowledge. The announcement is part of a settlement with the FTC, which also requires Apple to obtain express consent for all in-app purchases by the end of March.
Jilted developers whose finished iPhone apps are rejected by Apple now get an extra reminder in the Dear John letters sent by App Store guardian Victor Wang, "THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MESSAGE IS UNDER NON-DISCLOSURE." Translation: Your contract with Apple forbids you from posting our rejection letter on MacRumors for a few bitter laughs.
After Apple banned iPhone app Podcaster from its iTunes App Store, CNET called Podcaster the iPhone app that's "so good, Apple won't let you have it." Apple hasn't said why, but it's widely believed that the app was banned for competing with the iPhone's built-in podcast-downloading software. But blogger Niall Kennedy writes that he tested the Podcaster app according to Apple's stated rules, and discovered three reasons Apple might have legitimately rejected Alex Sokirynsky's app.Kennedy said Podcaster takes as long as 3 to 5 minutes to load some menus, that he had to dismiss a confirmation sheet each time he added a new podcast, and that Podcaster's interface is crowded and ugly. Remember, ugly is an unforgivable sin in the eyes of Apple, which warns developers on its Developer Connection site:
Apple CEO Steve Jobs says iPhone and iPod Touch users downloaded more than 60 million apps from the iTunes App Store during its first month of business, spending about $1 million per day for a sales total of $30 million. "At the current pace," report the quantitative analysts at the Wall Street Journal, "Apple stands to reap at least $360 million a year in new revenue from the App Store." Said Jobs: "This thing's going to crest a half a billion, soon. Who knows, maybe it will be a $1 billion marketplace at some point in time. I've never seen anything like this in my career for software." Note Jobs's crafty wording!
Before Apple succumbed to jealous cries of the hoi polloi and removed his "I Am Rich" application from its iTunes App Store, developer Armein Heinrich sold eight copies of his $999.99 pristinely useless software — six to refined buyers in the United States, one to a collector in Germany and another to one in France. From a technical perspective, all "I Am Rich" did was glow red. Metaphysically, it was known to provide elation only found in the delicate, snow white comfort of a Himalayan white tiger fur coat. Heinreich told the LA Times: "I have no idea why they did it and am not aware of any violation of the rules to sell software on the App Store." SAI performed the gauche math and figures Heinrich profited $6,000 from his work; Apple kept 30 percent of that for "store upkeep."