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Schiller responds to App Store approval criticisms

updated 01:30 pm EST, Mon November 23, 2009

Defends Apple control of sales

Speaking in an interview, Phil Schiller -- Apple's senior VP of worldwide product marketing -- has responded to ongoing criticisms of the App Store approval process. A number of developers have complained that it may take weeks or months for an app to be approved. Even after such delays an app can still be rejected, sometimes for what may be considered arbitrary criteria.

Schiller firstly defends Apple's control of who can sell iPhone apps, which not only redirects a 30 percent royalty to the company but places limits on supported software. Only jailbroken handhelds, for instance, can change themes or run unsanctioned tethering. "We've built a store for the most part that people can trust," says Schiller. "You and your family and friends 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."

Some 90 percent of rejections are said to be connected to technical problems, whether bugs or features not operating as intended. Roughly 10 percent of rejected apps are deemed "inappropriate," whether for offensiveness or genuinely serious concerns, such as data theft or aiding illegal acts. An overlapping 1 percent are said to cover gray areas, which can force Apple to adopt new policies.

Perhaps indirectly referring to the situation of Rogue Amoeba, a company which got into trouble for linking Apple images meant for developers, Schiller admits that the company may be too strict on trademark issues. "We need to delineate something that might confuse the customer and be an inappropriate use of a trademark from something that's just referring to a product for the sake of compatibility," says the executive. "We're trying to learn and expand the rules to make it fair for everyone."

Schiller tangentially observes that the parental censorship options on iPhones and iPods are a result of pressure from politicians, asking what Apple was doing to safeguard children. These have however allowed to company to permit more violent games, as well apps with limited "adult" content. The company still maintains a total ban on pornography.

by MacNN Staff



  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969



    With that last line, I wonder when some entrepreneur decides to put preloaded, jailbroken s*** phones on eBay. If people are actually buying those fleshlights, the same demographic is bound to buy the 'specialty' phones.

    And no, I wouldn't want one.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969



    When the h*** did the appearance of the word "s-m-u-t" need to be censored, MacNN?

  1. Fairly

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Viva la Difference

    The only differences between Schiller and Ballmer is that Schiller's got a wig and Ballmer dances better and throws chairs farther.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Schiller displayed...

    the other side of the story, and quite well I believe. We have become so skeptical in our society that we don't believe anyone except the poor underdog. Woof woof.

    With ALL of the apps which have been approved, and there's a lot of them, a HUGE pile of them, you have to wonder about the 90-99% which were not approved. It's easy to tell someone else their decisions are arbitrary and capricious, but without the "facts" they are only guessing. But, it's MY "guess" that some of these developers KNOW where they crossed the line. And, do we needs these guys? So they designed something cool earlier, what's that got to do with now?
    Let them run away to a "superior" platform. My thought is they will regret it (taking their football home), change their minds, or modify what they are doing. Apple is a BIG target now and is subject to litigation all the time by those who want to make a cheap living. If YOU do something "illegal" on Apple's Platform, Apple could end up being liable as we have juries who don't always see it YOUR way.

    Give the man *Schiller) a break.

  1. JackWebb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pretty well said

    I think it is important for Apple to be clearer and most importantly faster and more consistent in their approval process. I think Apple is admitting they can improve on two of those things and hopefully they'll also agree that faster would be better too. I'm glad they are admitting they can improve. That goes a long way.

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