updated 03:55 pm EST, Fri February 29, 2008
Apple and Free iPhone Apps
In spite of fears that Apple may impose tight restrictions on third-party iPhone applications developed with its upcoming SDK, the company may loosen those restrictions for free programs, Electronista has learned. Connected to the same sources which reported early access for select developers -- sources which have since been confirmed as accurate -- the new contact claims that free applications are not subject to the same rules that will guide paid software downloads. In this model, free software is unlikely to be subject to much if any scrutiny by Apple.
If accurate, the move is likely being made to encourage the development community for the iPhone as well as alternative business models that differ from services such as Handango, which often limit their downloads to paid content alone.
This system will change substantially for paid apps, however. In addition to a previously rumored review process and the necessity of sales through iTunes, Apple will reportedly take a portion of the cost of each app. The approach is similar both to its practices with the iTunes Store as well as to conventional mobile application services, many of which collect a share of the sales price as part of their core business models.