How Apple Can Mitigate Developer Frustration

Posted Sep 14, 2008

Several developers have been getting their Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) applications banned and they aren’t too happy about it.  Some of the applications that have been banned so far include the I Am Rich application, a tethering application, Pull My Finger, and most recently: Podcaster.  Podcaster was rejected because it was an application that competes with iTunes itself.

“I wouldn’t invest in or develop an iPhone app because Apple could decide not to approve it, and if they don’t approve it you can’t sell it,” stated Dave Winer on his blog. “You can’t even give it away. You don’t find out if you’ve been approved until the last step, after you’ve fully invested, so you could lose, totally, if Apple says no.”

How will developers know whether their app is good enough for Apple?  I’m thinking that one approach that might be beneficial is have an idea submission page.  Before the developer takes the time to code around Apple’s APIs, he or she submits the idea to Apple.  And if they get the approval, then they are good to develop the application.

People pay to get applications built from developers on eLance.com and several other contracting websites.  Other developers spend days trying to build an app.  The idea submission idea would save these people time and money. 

How do you protect your idea from Apple stealing it?  Integrate some sort of TOS agreement that they won’t steal your idea after submitting it or create a product that directly competes with your idea.  Facebook has created features that competes directly with some of their application developers in the past.  This is why the terms of service agreement would be integral for submitting the idea to Apple.

What are your thoughts?  Leave them in the comments.