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Apple Censors App Store Rejection Notices

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the because-they-can dept.

Cellphones 477

isBandGeek() writes "After a few reasonable App Store bans, such as the ones on I Am Rich and NetShare, developers started complaining about excessive restrictions on applications like Podcaster and MailWrangler, supposedly because they provided 'duplicate functionality.' In response, Apple rubbed salt in their wounds by slapping non-disclosure agreements on application rejection notices. Now developers are not even allowed to tell their fanbase that Apple decided to withhold approval for an application. Is Apple confident that Google's open platform Android won't be much of a threat?"

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well (3, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 6 years ago | (#25149617)

Re:well (5, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 6 years ago | (#25149683)

Gee, this makes me want to rush out and develop for that platform. Right after I finish strapping the wings on to this pig...

Re:well (3, Insightful)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25149709)

>>>slapping non-disclosure agreements on application rejection notices.

Apple can not arbitrarily take-away my right to free speech. This means nothing if I don't sign the NDA.

Re:well (5, Informative)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 6 years ago | (#25149733)

You sign the NDA by default if you download & install the developer tools.

Re:well (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 years ago | (#25149809)

Do you sign something, or is it a click through EULA?

Re:well (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#25150021)

In order to get rejected (or accepted) from the apple store, you need to pay $99 to join the iphone developer progeam, which involves accepting the terms. While there is no pen and ink signature, you need to unambiguously accept the terms.

Re:well (1)

v1 (525388) | about 6 years ago | (#25149811)

I wonder if there are ways around that, like if you download the sdk and write an app, and then someone else submits it to the store? I wonder if the sdk agreement is worded to transfer like that?

Also I wonder if Apple would be foolish enough to consider actually taking action, surely that would initiate the Streisand Effect?

Re:well (1)

geordie_loz (624942) | about 6 years ago | (#25150117)

IANAL but is it possible that if you passed it to a third party who was not under the NDA that you'd be breaching the NDA?

Re:well (1)

Idaho (12907) | about 6 years ago | (#25149957)

Please to be explaining how I "sign something by default" by "insert any course of action not involving explicitly signing the NDA"

Re:well (1)

bloobloo (957543) | about 6 years ago | (#25149993)

Well, I guess that could theoretically prevent you from using the SDK again. But that would be all it could even conceivably do.

Re:well (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 6 years ago | (#25150107)

That may sound nice and all, but it won't necessarily hold up in court. I'd like to see developers go against it and show that. This is more like suppression of developers, but apparently apple doesn't know when to make a buck off their own fanbase.

Re:well (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25150229)

It doesn't have to hold up in court. Merely the threat of a lawsuit from the wealthy and powerful Apple will silence most small developers. Sure, you would probably win the case in the end, but only after paying lawyers a small fortune to defend you against Apple. And where are you going to get that kind of money if you're just some programmer or tiny company?

unconscionable (1)

someone1234 (830754) | about 6 years ago | (#25150159)

or how they say that?

Re:well (4, Insightful)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | about 6 years ago | (#25149769)

true, but you did sign a NDA when you became a registered apple iPone dev.
it sucks but it's not quite as crazy as "by reading this message you agree to the terms of our NDA"
they aren't just slapping this on now. they slapped it on you up front.

Re:well (1, Interesting)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | about 6 years ago | (#25149863)

But if you don't agree to the NDA, then you are obviously going to loose your developer membership, which is required to get your apps in the store. You may not agree that the whole situation is fair, but they sure as hell have the legal right to do what they're doing here -- they have a whole team of good lawyers to make sure of that.

Re:well (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 6 years ago | (#25149929)

As long as you NEVER want to sell ANYTHING through the Apple store EVER again, you can flaunt the NDA and probably get away with it.

Re:well (-1, Flamebait)

zubikov (1172699) | about 6 years ago | (#25150149)

They're not taking away your right to free speech. It's their platform, nobody is shoving the iPhone down your throat. If you don't want to develop for it, don't! Remember that just like everywhere else in life, for every batch of good apps, there are just as many apps that compromise the stability and hence the desirability of the iPhone. All that Apple wants to do is have quality apps available to their customers. They're not trying to have control over your life. If you ran a business you'd do the same exact thing. I know this is flamebait, but I'm just tired of people whining about technology products not living up to their ever-so-important expectations.

That is an analysts opinion (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 6 years ago | (#25149871)

An analysts opinion isn't worth the paper it is printed on, and this opinion ain't even printed.

Both phones are less then perfect and missing some "we don't think you need this, so you don't get it" features.

But the analyst is an idiot because he talks about the lack of iTunes. Yeah, because people care about that. Oh, they don't. First off, most music on digital players is ripped from CD's, or obtained through other means in mp3 format. iTunes is very small potatoes in the global music industry and even Apple knows that the iPod a far bigger player in the digital music player isn't always going to be used for iTunes content, which is why Apple gives you the tools needed to convert iTunes music to MP3 format or burn it to a CD.

The idea that a new platform needs to be compatible with iTunes is silly.

The bigger problem is lack of office compatibiltiy. While MS does offer you ways to export your documents in more general formats, that could be the real killer. The iPhone is bought by people who buy Apple and so accept that it is NOT going to be all that compatible with MS software. But android doesn't have the Apple logo, what is its excuse for not being MS compatible?

In a way, I don't think the iPhone and Android are even competitors. iPhone is a single product offered by a company that has no other phones. Android is a platform that any phone maker can use. It would be like saying the Smart Car competes with Honda Engines. Does the iPhone compete with Windows Mobile or Symbian? No, it competes with other phones, specific models, not OS/Platforms. if this google phone fails, there are plenty of others coming out soon, while Apple can hardly afford to start making dozens of phones and a new one every season to suit the tastes of the customer. Neither can google, but the phonemakers can.

Re:That is an analysts opinion (3, Insightful)

rmccann (792082) | about 6 years ago | (#25149915)

what is its excuse for not being MS compatible?

It is Microsofts fault for not making itself combatible with 3rd party things.

Re:That is an analysts opinion (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 6 years ago | (#25150011)

If $1B is a small potato - give me 2.

Re:well (5, Insightful)

Don_dumb (927108) | about 6 years ago | (#25149991)

But that's the beauty of 'Open' and why Apple are (hopefully) shooting themselves in the foot with this kind of tactic.
You see most of the critisms that article put at the Android phone were of particular features not included or limited, if the Android does what it claims to then people can simply write an app that performs that feature and there is nothing stopping them releasing it. However, if that feature is lacking on the iPhone or deliberately lacking(many of the critisms were also true of the iPhone) then Apple can prevent it being released.

Therefore the Android has the unrestricted potential of fulfilling all of the lacking features whereas Apple will prevent the iPhone from fulfilling that same potential.

I like many Apple products but this is my classic annoyance - they could be so much better if Apple didn't hold them back so much.

What happens if you don't agree? (5, Interesting)

Brian Kendig (1959) | about 6 years ago | (#25149645)

What happens if you don't agree to a non-disclosure agreement on the rejection notice you receive?

Usually NDAs have to be signed before you get access to see cool secret stuff. But what if the only thing you're agreeing to is to be rejected?

Re:What happens if you don't agree? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25149685)

You agreed to take it up the ass from apple the moment you accepted the SDK.

AC for obvious reasons.

Re:What happens if you don't agree? (5, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | about 6 years ago | (#25149987)

Click through EULAs have been deemed to be unenforcable.

I'd be willing to bet that their NDA would be if push came to shove as well.

And you can't retroactively add things under NDA.

Re:What happens if you don't agree? (3, Insightful)

Saint Stephen (19450) | about 6 years ago | (#25149695)

It's my understanding that to even have developped an app for ipod, you have to have already signed an NDA. Must be under those terms.

I personally just like writing C# apps to run on my PocketPC smartphone and use all the goofy Windows APIs. It may not be lickable, but darn it, the thing works and is fun to write for.

Re:What happens if you don't agree? (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | about 6 years ago | (#25149797)

It's my understanding that to even have developed an app for ipod, you have to have already signed an NDA.

In ink? IANAL so I have to ask what if someone discloses a rejection that had the caveat of non-disclosure? And outside of the US?
What can Apple actually do, if someone violates their 'request' for non-disclosure?
I'm guessing this is very much an empty threat, hopefully to prevent developers being scared away but I'm guessing they haven't taken the Streisand Effect into account. The threat of "you can't develop for the iPhone anymore" is less of a threat than they think it is.

Re:What happens if you don't agree? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25149959)

You agree to an NDA and that NDA says words to the effect of "if we send you something, we just say 'this is confidential' and it means it's covered by this NDA". Simple as that. Thus they cover the case of emails they send to you in the same way they cover the SDK stuff.

So breaking the NDA on that email is no different to breaking the NDA on their SDK or breaking any other NDA you ever sign.

The threat outside the US is the same as any other time a non-US entity breaks contract with a US entity. The contract specifies jurisdiction of a US court and the case is tried there usually with the non-US entity in absentia. A US court may well have trouble penalizing a non-US individual, but that individual may later have trouble if they ever come to the US personally.

IANAL either but that's what our lawyers said last time this came up.

Re:What happens if you don't agree? (1)

jrockway (229604) | about 6 years ago | (#25150101)

Apple can't really do anything if you disclose the rejection. I would never agree to an NDA like this, but if I was in this situation I would just tell Apple my e-mail was compromised and the "crucial trade secrets" were leaked. Oops. Don't send crucial trade secrets to a Gmail account unencrypted, idiots.

Anyway, Apple has clearly never heard of the Streisand effect. When will companies learn that you can't censor the Internet, even with LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS and lawyers?

Re:What happens if you don't agree? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25149979)

PocketPC ... the thing works

Do you have a different version of Windows Mobile to the rest of us?

Re:What happens if you don't agree? (2, Funny)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 6 years ago | (#25150129)

who is that "rest of us" you mention?

Re:What happens if you don't agree? (2, Funny)

Migraineman (632203) | about 6 years ago | (#25149893)

The obvious next step would be to place both you and your product on Double Secret Probation ... the terms of which are only available to developers with Super-Level Clearance. You don't have Super-Level Clearance, do you? Hmmm, very well, just sign here ... and here ... and here ... thank you.

Reasonable? (4, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | about 6 years ago | (#25149653)

How was banning a tethering application reasonable?

Re:Reasonable? (2, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | about 6 years ago | (#25149739)

Or even 'I Am Rich' for that matter. If people want to waste their money then they should be more than welcome to; I can't believe people are calling it a scam - it works exactly as advertised and the price is clearly stated.

Re:Reasonable? (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | about 6 years ago | (#25149741)

I would like to know that too.

Re:Reasonable? (2, Interesting)

IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) | about 6 years ago | (#25149759)

How was banning a tethering application reasonable?

If providers (like O2 in the UK) were provided with an assurance from Apple that tethering would not be allowed.
And if providers (like O2 in the UK) set up their pricing policy on that assurance.
Under those circumstances, it would be reasonable for Apple to ban a tethering application.

I can't say if that is definitely what has happened.

In the UK, O2 provide unlimited data with no fair usage policy for the iPhone. Every other 3G device they support has data limits and strict fair usage policies.
Best will in the world - you can't use that much data with an iPhone. Start tethering? Let's play.
I'd guess the providers will want to amend agreements with the consumers before they allow tethering.

Re:Reasonable? (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | about 6 years ago | (#25149853)

In the UK, O2 provide unlimited data with no fair usage policy for the iPhone. Every other 3G device they support has data limits and strict fair usage policies.

Wrong - look at the bottom of O2's iPhone page [] - "Excessive usage policy and full terms apply"

Re:Reasonable? (1)

IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) | about 6 years ago | (#25149951)

Wrong - look at the bottom of O2's iPhone page [] - "Excessive usage policy and full terms apply"

That refers specifically to the free Wifi service through the Cloud and BT Openzone and not 3G usage.

This was extensively covered in the media when the original iPhone was released. They tried to put on a fair usage policy, the customer complained. They took it off. Presumably thinking: "fuck it - without tethering they won't use that much data any way."

No apologies necessary.

Re:Reasonable? (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | about 6 years ago | (#25150161)

I will appologise nonetheless.
Consider me corrected. But it does show how the small print can confuse.

Re:Reasonable? (2, Informative)

Scutter (18425) | about 6 years ago | (#25149767)

I don't have the AT&T user agreement in front of me, but I believe when you sign the contract with them, you agree not to use their data plan with a tethered computer. It's possible that Apple is using that as a way of helping AT&T enforce compliance.

Re:Reasonable? (1)

umbrau44 (779154) | about 6 years ago | (#25149941)

How is banning any legal application reasonable? I Am Rich should not have been banned, I'm unsure about the other ones.

Re:Reasonable? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 6 years ago | (#25150031)

As far as I've heard, all plans tied with the iPhone worldwide have a contract stipulation by the carrier the user signs that the data plan may not be used with tethering. I think they do that because a computer user can easily outstrip a mobile phone user in terms of data use.

agreement? (1)

fractic (1178341) | about 6 years ago | (#25149655)

Doesn't an agreement imply that both parties agree to it? According to TFA it's just a notice that Apple put in the letter, that's not an agreement. Why would the recipients be legally obligated to accept it?

Re:agreement? (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#25149805)

Presumably you agree to some T&Cs before you submit an application to the Apple Store which could be interpreted as allowing them to do this.

In practice, it's probably unenforceable. If Apple sued you for disclosing the reasons for the rejection they wouldn't be able to show any damages, and since Apple aren't doing anything, you might even be able to argue that the contractual arrangement ended with apple's rejection.

In the future... (1)

rock56501 (1301287) | about 6 years ago | (#25149677)

Apple will team up with the **AA and sue whoever posts their rejection letter for copyright infringement.

Why does Apple get a free pass? (5, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 6 years ago | (#25149679)

Because they make cool *looking* equipment? If M$ did this, people would be all over them. Jobs is not known for working and playing well with others, but people just wink at the silliness because they like the shiny gadgets.

Re:Why does Apple get a free pass? (4, Insightful)

rindeee (530084) | about 6 years ago | (#25149755)

"...people would be all over them". Yes, sort of like we're doing here.

Re:Why does Apple get a free pass? (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 6 years ago | (#25149975)

Only there wouldn't be nearly as many MS apologists as there are in this thread for Apple.

Re:Why does Apple get a free pass? (2, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 6 years ago | (#25149859)

I came in here to say this, but you beat me to it and got modded flamebait. Seriously, if Microsoft or Sony behaved in this manner there'd be 500 negative comments. I don't understand all the apple love around here...

Re:Why does Apple get a free pass? (0, Troll)

toQDuj (806112) | about 6 years ago | (#25149971)

Apple has good sides too.

Re:Why does Apple get a free pass? (1)

oogoliegoogolie (635356) | about 6 years ago | (#25149873)

but people just wink at the silliness because they like the shiny gadgets.
Well I'm winking at the silliness of your comment eventhough it's not shiny. This is all over the news, so Apple ain't exactly getting a "free pass" as you put it.

If M$ did this, people would be all over them
Yes they would, and rightfully so. Like a famous president once said:"Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me get fooled again"

They don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25149877)

... They don't. And Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo do the same exact thing a thousand times a day and people don't give a damn either.

This is what it's like with closed platforms. Apple's is more open than most, but the fact remains that it's closed. The fact that Apple's decided to source amature developers to do most of their platform heavy lifting and Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo decided to source major companies is the only difference here.

If you buy into a closed platform, you should be used to this. Every time you buy a video game that only works on one of these company's computers, you've already experienced it. Some games are rejected because the companies just don't want them on their platform. Sometimes they've got competing products. Sometimes they just laugh and walk away. It happens every day.

The developer's signed up for this. By accepting the SDK, they said "Apple's in control, we just write the app and get payment when it sells." That's it.

Re:Why does Apple get a free pass? (1)

toQDuj (806112) | about 6 years ago | (#25149903)

Well, they seem to be the only one getting a part of the actual product right. The iPhone works, the apps work, it does what it says it does right out of the box and the design is undoubtedly rather sublime.

That said, what skills they have in design of UI and product, they lack in other parts of their "experience". No company is perfect, however. Just take a good look at Google and one finds similar flaws... They should strive to be the best they can, but somehow they always translate it as "just evil enough to get away with it"


Simple really. (4, Funny)

Soruk (225361) | about 6 years ago | (#25149687)

Add to the developer sites a line like:

The following applications have not been removed from the AppStore: [item] [item] [item] .... ...and just delete when required.

Re:Simple really. (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | about 6 years ago | (#25149867)

I think it could be even easier - you're not allowed to disclose that your app was rejected, but can't you just raise certain questions; eg:
"Did I make an application for the iPhone that does XYZ?"
"Did apple reject that application that I made?"
"Was the hypothetical rejection for the following reasons: PPP, QQQ?"

It's not disclosing the non-disclosable information - it's just raising the question as to whether or not it happ

Re:Simple really. (5, Funny)

srmalloy (263556) | about 6 years ago | (#25149963)

The first rule about Apps Store is, you do not talk about Apps Store.

I made an application called macdock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25149689)

It allows you to run the whole OSX desktop on your iphone. It was rejected and I am telling you here. So screw Apple's NDA

irrational... (5, Insightful)

Xiph1980 (944189) | about 6 years ago | (#25149693)

It may be just me but I really don't get why apple has such a big fanbase, seeing as how they treat their customers...

Re:irrational... (4, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 6 years ago | (#25149711)

Sir, I am afraid you need re-education. Please step into the reality distortion field.

Re:irrational... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25149735)

Here's why:

Re:irrational... (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#25149815)

It may be just me but I really don't get why apple has such a big fanbase, seeing as how they treat their customers...

Well, ask yourself this: Why do some of the top brands of anything have such a big fanbase? Why do so many people go to McDonald's? I mean, McDonald's has food that "tastes like sh** but you can eat it." Why do so many people like Subway? Why do so many people people drive Toyotas?

These are all fairly mediocre products. Don't get me wrong -- Toyota produces a quality product, but it's just not as good as some of the major European brands (let's face it, the Germans know how to engineer good cars!)

It comes down to one word: Marketing.

Know who your target audience is, learn to speak their language, learn to cater to their attitudes and whims and you could sell air conditioners to Eskimos.

Re:irrational... (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | about 6 years ago | (#25149939)

Customers of the products and brands you list usually don't turn into foaming, babbling, completely incoherent and irrational fanatics just because somebody states on a board that McDonalds food tastes like crap, or that a Toyotas performance leaves much to be desired.

Re:irrational... (3, Informative)

MrEkted (764569) | about 6 years ago | (#25150121)

Strangely, your personal opinion doesn't matter as much to me as my own. I drive Toyotas because I find them to be infinitely more reliable than German cars (read - VW's). I use Apple products because I hate unnecessary reboots, bad user interfaces, and bloated software - all of which I find in MS products.
From Consumer Reports [] (this is not a slam dunk, but you get my point, I'm sure).

"European makes account for 17 models on the Least reliable list. This includes six each from Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen/Audi."

"Reliability remains a forte for most Japanese brands. Twenty-three of the 33 models in our âoemost reliableâ list are from Japanese automakers. Moreover, weâ(TM)ve predicted average reliability or better for all Honda and Subaru models based on our most recent survey. This yearâ(TM)s forecast shows that domestic models, led by Ford, continue to improve and that there are small improvements in European makes as well."

Re:irrational... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#25150183)

> Toyota produces a quality product, but it's just not as good
> as some of the major European brands (let's face it, the
> Germans know how to engineer good cars!) ...probably has something do to with PRICE.

Yes. If you just fixate on one characteristic of a product
to the exclusion of all else then you can come up with all
sorts of strange conclusions that don't seem to match up
well with reality (kind of like an Apple fanboy).

Re:irrational... (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | about 6 years ago | (#25150187)

Why do so many people go to McDonald's? I mean, McDonald's has food that "tastes like sh** but you can eat it."

Because it tastes awesome. Not particularly healthy, but awesome. Especially the french fries. Let me guess -- you're a vegan?

Why do so many people like Subway?

Oh, because they use fresh baked bread? Because it's fairly healthy? And how exactly do you screw up a sandwich, anyway?

Don't get me wrong -- Toyota produces a quality product, but it's just not as good as some of the major European brands (let's face it, the Germans know how to engineer good cars!)

Asian cars destroy German cars on long-term reliability. I prefer Honda, but they're all pretty good. I liked my couple of Benzes, but they weren't as good as their reputation after 70-80K miles.

Re:irrational... (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | about 6 years ago | (#25149835)

Yeah, because most of their customers are iPhone developers?

Re:irrational... (1)

toQDuj (806112) | about 6 years ago | (#25149849)

For me, the benefits outweigh the treatment. In my opinion I would rather have something that works with me without hindrance right out of the box, and that does what it says on said box, than to have something I need to spend billions of years on to configure just so that it has a slight semblance of usability in it.

In the Open Source world, it is often said that you can write an app yourself if you cannot get it already, but such solutions often are very limited and require huge investments of time to get something buggy working. I rather spend my time on other stuff.


Re:irrational... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 6 years ago | (#25150231)

These other apps worked without hindrance too. That has 0 to do with it. Apple banned them because they work; in fact if they didn't, apple probably wouldn't ban them. The fact that they allowed people to do things the phone currently blocks but is capable of, should tell you a thing or two.

Remember apple's "works out the box" motto the next time you have a patch from apple that breaks a program. Or windows. Or anything other than linux.

In the open source world, you can write an app yourself and solutions are not limited or take huge amounts of time. Lots of people just program stuff casually in the evenings and go a long way with it, usually/eventually can even make a living off of it. The difference in open source is you can take an existing program that doesn't have something you want, modify it, and use it/give it to others. Good luck doing that on anything non GPL.

Re:irrational... (1, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 6 years ago | (#25149851)

It may be just me but I really don't get why apple has such a big fanbase, seeing as how they treat their customers...

In most cases, Apple treats their customers very well. Hardware is usually very elegantly designed and hardware & software usually work seamlessly together (iPod + iTunes for example). Get AppleCare for your products, and they'll repair/replace them in virtually all circumstances regardless of what's wrong. As a hobbyist programmer, I really enjoy XCode, since I've used eMacs, vi, .NET, NetBeans, etc. It's the best IDE I've ever used. I still think the NDA is ridiculous, and hope that they'll drop it soon.

Re:irrational... (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 6 years ago | (#25149883)

Before anybody points it out, I know, it's emacs. That's the type of problem you run into for using Apple for nearly 20 years!

Re:irrational... (1)

CharlieG (34950) | about 6 years ago | (#25150175)

Applecare - Umm - yeah. Refurbished MacbookPro - $2000. Applecare - about $900

Better to just take the risk. The laptop dies, I buy a new one. At the prices they want, the MBP is either extremely failure prone, or Applecare is a massive profit center

Re:irrational... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 6 years ago | (#25149917)

It may be just me but I really don't get why apple has such a big fanbase, seeing as how they treat their customers...

Customers =/= developers.

Re:irrational... (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 6 years ago | (#25149961)

Despite Apple's tight fist of control, they are still the underdog in the PC market by a factor of 10. They only dominate the music player market in the 70's[%]. I like healthy competition, as it benefits everyone. I actually don't own anything made by apple, but I will still root for them when they come out with innovative products in anyway. Why? Because that will push the market.

Re:irrational... (1)

registrar (1220876) | about 6 years ago | (#25150135)

I've been an Apple fan for a long time, and I can tell you that if they keep this up, the fanbase will shrink by at least one.

I consider myself a bit of an early 'alpha geek switcher' from about five years ago, back when OS X became useable. I ditched the Linux ideology for a company that was maybe a bit evil but generally didn't get in my road. When I switched, they only had to be better than Microsoft, and work a bit better than Linux. Apple has filled that need nicely.

However, this move is a very dark shade of grey. At the moment I don't really care because mine is a fine phone and I don't really want to develop for it. Yes, I would prefer to see RMS's freedoms honoured, but I feel much more strongly about "hands off my computer" than "hands off my phone."

It's only a phone, and only a smell of sulphur rather a truly sustained pattern of evil. But if it gets worse (especially if it interferes with my computer) I'll be back to linux like a bat out of hell. My next computer will almost certainly be a mac, but I will be watching very carefully before I put 10.6 on it.

Sometimes the solution to morale problems (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 6 years ago | (#25149701)

is just to fire all the unhappy people, or make sure the reasons they're unhappy get a non disclosure clause attached.

I'm curious what the power of this thing is? If someone complains and discloses that their app was rejected then will they be forbidden from making any more apps or could they be sued/proseuted?

What else do you expect... (5, Funny)

iamapizza (1312801) | about 6 years ago | (#25149715)

I hear that the Apple NDAs are sent in glossy white envelopes to the developers, with the Apple logo on the outside and a grouping of pointless logic on the inside. But at least it looks good, so let's blame it on Microsoft anyways.

You Linux and M$ weenies just don't get it! (4, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 6 years ago | (#25149721)

It's all about ©The Experience!

Not good (4, Insightful)

Teese (89081) | about 6 years ago | (#25149777)

Apple needs to fix this. It should never have been allowed to get this bad.

Re:Not good (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 6 years ago | (#25149969)

Apple needs to fix this. It should never have been allowed to get this bad.

You are correct. Apple will begin fixing this by suing Slashdot for revealing their trade secrets.

Re:Not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25150023)

When does people learn that Apple is a company that wants 100% control with EVERYTHING, and they dont give a shit about their customer.

They are a LOT worse than other companies like Microsoft.

Apple's products are extremely non flexible, they are restricted, and the hype around them are sickening, and in a lot of cases, pure lying.

Re:Not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25150091)

LOL, dumbfuck, the problem is APPLE itself!

The sheeple buying apple shit deserve every last bit of DRM apple pours their way.

Oh WEEE Oh... Oh WAAHHHHHH Oh... (2)

kd4zqe (587495) | about 6 years ago | (#25149783)

I'm waiting for Slashdot to update its category image for Apple with the "Bill of Borg" image reserved for Micro$oft stories. Apparently, Jobs and his minions are really stealing back concepts of "Squash the User and Their Rights" in exchange for the UI thefts of years past. I'll admit that I wasn't much of an Apple Fainboi over the years, and it was only last Christmas that I broke down and bought an 80GB iPod Classic over my USB Mass Storage models I've always used. I just never thought that Apple would stoop so low as to say, "Here is a development platform to create ANYTHING you think there would be a demand for," and then turn around and say "Oh, no.. You can't make that. WE'RE doing that. Oh, BTW... don't tell anyone what Jerks we are. We have a reputation to uphold." I thought Apple's main goals were to innovate and empower the people, and turn a nice profit while doing so.

Aparrently, empowerment doesn't apply to [snootytone]"Those programmer people...UGH!"[/snootytone]

Re:Oh WEEE Oh... Oh WAAHHHHHH Oh... (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | about 6 years ago | (#25149879)

I thought Apple's main goals were to innovate and empower the people

"innovate"?, when have Apple "innovated" in the past? I thought they just nicked someone elses idea and tarted it up to look shiny!

Ha ha, oh man! (5, Funny)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | about 6 years ago | (#25149799)

Apple? Abusing their power to keep people from talking about their product in any way that is not authorized by the Apple marketing department? Why, I can't tell you how long it's been since I've heard a similar story about them doing this sort of thing!

No, I don't mean it's been a long time. I mean I literally can't tell you. I'm not legally allowed to.


(Joking . . . mostly.)

Well, duh! (5, Interesting)

David Gerard (12369) | about 6 years ago | (#25149827)

"Fuck it, we're evil," [] said Steve Jobs to an audience of soul-mortgaged thralls. "But our stuff is sooo good. You'll keep taking our abuse. You love it, you worm. Because our stuff is great. It's shiny and it's pretty and it's cool and it works. It's not like youâ(TM)ll go back to a Windows Mobile phone. Ha! Ha!"

It's foolish to have expected anything else. As Neal Stephenson put it [] in In The Beginning Was The Command Line:

THE NOT-SO-CHARITABLE EXPLANATION has to do with Apple's corporate culture, which is rooted in Bay Area Baby Boomdom.

Now, since I'm going to talk for a moment about culture, full disclosure is probably in order, to protect myself against allegations of conflict of interest and ethical turpitude: (1) Geographically I am a Seattleite, of a Saturnine temperament, and inclined to take a sour view of the Dionysian Bay Area, just as they tend to be annoyed and appalled by us. (2) Chronologically I am a post-Baby Boomer. I feel that way, at least, because I never experienced the fun and exciting parts of the whole Boomer scene--just spent a lot of time dutifully chuckling at Boomers' maddeningly pointless anecdotes about just how stoned they got on various occasions, and politely fielding their assertions about how great their music was. But even from this remove it was possible to glean certain patterns, and one that recurred as regularly as an urban legend was the one about how someone would move into a commune populated by sandal-wearing, peace-sign flashing flower children, and eventually discover that, underneath this facade, the guys who ran it were actually control freaks; and that, as living in a commune, where much lip service was paid to ideals of peace, love and harmony, had deprived them of normal, socially approved outlets for their control-freakdom, it tended to come out in other, invariably more sinister, ways.

Applying this to the case of Apple Computer will be left as an exercise for the reader, and not a very difficult exercise.

It is a bit unsettling, at first, to think of Apple as a control freak, because it is completely at odds with their corporate image. Weren't these the guys who aired the famous Super Bowl ads showing suited, blindfolded executives marching like lemmings off a cliff? Isn't this the company that even now runs ads picturing the Dalai Lama (except in Hong Kong) and Einstein and other offbeat rebels?

It is indeed the same company, and the fact that they have been able to plant this image of themselves as creative and rebellious free-thinkers in the minds of so many intelligent and media-hardened skeptics really gives one pause. It is testimony to the insidious power of expensive slick ad campaigns and, perhaps, to a certain amount of wishful thinking in the minds of people who fall for them. It also raises the question of why Microsoft is so bad at PR, when the history of Apple demonstrates that, by writing large checks to good ad agencies, you can plant a corporate image in the minds of intelligent people that is completely at odds with reality. (The answer, for people who don't like Damoclean questions, is that since Microsoft has won the hearts and minds of the silent majority--the bourgeoisie--they don't give a damn about having a slick image, any more then Dick Nixon did. "I want to believe,"--the mantra that Fox Mulder has pinned to his office wall in The X-Files--applies in different ways to these two companies; Mac partisans want to believe in the image of Apple purveyed in those ads, and in the notion that Macs are somehow fundamentally different from other computers, while Windows people want to believe that they are getting something for their money, engaging in a respectable business transaction).

It's as applicable now as it was in the late 1990s. That bit of Apple's corporate culture is straight from Steve Jobs.

Does Steve know? (1)

toQDuj (806112) | about 6 years ago | (#25149831)

Why do they insist on shooting themselves in the foot like this? I somehow suspect that the App store is led by an inexperienced team, and that Steve only has sideline control over the operation of that one. I think he would not be so foolish as to create this much bad publicity. He may be an (ass/strict ruler), but he's certainly not this stupid and he should know that this behaviour will come back to bite him later on. I'm interested in hearing the full story once upon a time.

More info needed (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 6 years ago | (#25149847)

TFA says the rejection letter claims the contents are under a non-disclosure agreement. It would be interesting to know whether the App Store developers signed any sort of NDA that would include their disclosing communications between Apple and them. If not, I don't think the NDA Apple claims is binding.

From everything I've heard about the iPhone, I have no interest in it, and I'm rapidly losing interest in Apple's computer products. I guess I ought to sell that Apple stock of mine -- once the market comes back to life.

Boycott (3, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | about 6 years ago | (#25149865)

Look the number of developers for Apple apps has to be finite. Pretty damn finite relative to other markets. Yes some of them are making some bank but these developers should just stop updating their apps. Or better yet, all agree to place a notice in their next update in protest. This could be stopped if they worked together.

Not Open (1)

Vladus2000 (1363929) | about 6 years ago | (#25149887)

The iPhone to Apple is not a truly open platform. This is just an attempt to hide that fact from their users, most of whom will side with Apple anyway. I do not think they want truly innovative apps on their phone, perhaps its a little of "not invented here" syndrome.

I doubt it has any legal standing either, I get emails from a friend's work account all the time with a standard NDA message across the bottom, I don't even think twice about not following it.

For those of us that loathe Apple, this just adds to the pile. I'm sure the loyal crew will find some way to rationalize this and look past it.

Re:Not Open (1)

archeopterix (594938) | about 6 years ago | (#25149985)

The iPhone to Apple is not a truly open platform.

In other news: a rabid tiger on steroids and methampetamine is not a truly friendly animal.

Andriod is no threat (0, Troll)

mr_gerbik (122036) | about 6 years ago | (#25149891)

I don't know about Apple, but I'm reasonably sure that Android is not a threat to the iPhone. Ooooh.. a big clunky phone with half the functionality and 1/10th the sex appeal of the iPhone! Watch out Apple!

What's that? It doesn't have a headphone jack, it can't play movies, it also cannot tether and is locked in to a carrier? Wow.. sounds like a real iPhone killer to me.

Hate to break it to you Android-gives-me-a-boner-nerds, but you make up about 0.1% of the population. The rest of the world buys their phone because they see flashy advertisements and their favorite celebrities using the iPhone.

Re:Andriod is no threat (4, Insightful)

TheJasper (1031512) | about 6 years ago | (#25149925)

Hate to break it to you fanboy, but most of the rest of the world doesn't use iPhones either.

Re:Andriod is no threat (4, Informative)

hacker (14635) | about 6 years ago | (#25150211)

What's that? It doesn't have a headphone jack, it can't play movies, it also cannot tether and is locked in to a carrier? Wow.. sounds like a real iPhone killer to me.

What's that?

  1. No replaceable battery?
  2. Proprietary charging/data connector?
  3. Restrictive "mono" bluetooth support?
  4. Can't use non-Apple headsets?
  5. Doesn't sync to Linux?
  6. Have to jailbreak it to return function other handsets have by default?
  7. Ridiculously-restrictive AppStore?
  8. Can't install my own applications without a signed NDA and key?
  9. Fragile glass face?
  10. No proper keyboard?
  11. Camera can't record video?
  12. No memory card support?
  13. Capacitive touchscreen (not resistive)?

Sounds like a Star-Tac killer to me, but my 5 year old PalmOS-based Treo trumps the iPhone in almost every single feature. The iPhone does not provide any new functionality, not revolutionary in any way, and there were plenty of full-screen, touch handsets out before the iPhone hit the market.

The one, the ONLY thing Apple has going for them is marketing. That's it.

It's not about Android (3, Interesting)

PainMeds (1301879) | about 6 years ago | (#25149901)

Android may or may not provide competition for Apple. What is providing competition for Apple, however, is the growing pool of independent developers writing jailbreak applications for the iPhone; catering to an even larger open development pool and more reasons to jailbreak your device. A year ago, 30% of the market was jailbreaking. Today, that number's got to be much higher. Open developers distributing through Cydia (the third party software repository) are able to compete with AppStore developers, because they can take advantage of otherwise restricted APIs to write better software, and can write apps that Apple deems to be otherwise a threat.

Not quite accurate... (0)

pringlis (867347) | about 6 years ago | (#25149913)

While I don't agree with Apple's practices in this case, the NDA notice on the email is just from one of the individuals working in App Store Review. It's also the same signature that comes out with a lot of stock apple mails (eg bug report responses) [] has a good summary of events.

I was never going to buy an iPhone anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25149949)

AT&T's signal sucks where I live so I switched to T-Mobile a couple years ago.

Thinking about upgrading my phone to a G1 -- my current contract is up for renewal in a couple months anyway. Although With G'oggle's money I wonder why I have to pay $179 to get the phone. It should be free in my opinion.

I do have an iPod Touch -- jailbroken of course. Cydia Apps seem just fine. If I can think of a clever app to write I could go either way -- Cydia or AppStore. If Apple are going to be bastards then it's an easy choice.

Why should Apple worry? (1)

TheJasper (1031512) | about 6 years ago | (#25149973)

They have never been open before and it has never hurt them has it? Many great products have enforced restrictions with great success. Like Betamax for example.

Re:Why should Apple worry? (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 6 years ago | (#25150179)

Well....considering that at one point they had about 95% of the world computer market and now they have about 2.9%......what do you think? Or would you like another glass of that yummy Apple kool-aid?

Apple's leading the way (1)

C_Kode (102755) | about 6 years ago | (#25150007)

Sheep -> Slaughter

Makes sense if you think about it (1)

Kentknox (1371849) | about 6 years ago | (#25150079)

There is a chance that Apple would reject some applications purely because they were working on something similar themselves, you could possibly infer what would be in the future releases by monitoring the rejected applications.

By reading this comment... (1)

Rix (54095) | about 6 years ago | (#25150209)

You hereby agree to send me $5.

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