Thursday, April 8, 2010

My oddest iPhone rejection yet

I develop iPhone apps mainly on a contract basis with a large focus on radio stations. Most radio stations don't have in-house programmers who are skilled with developing apps, so I am often contracted to develop an app for a station. Since they often lack any in-house programmers they often also ask me to host the app using my iPhone developer account. I've been doing this for about a year and a half and have about 50 radio apps under my developer account.

Today I received the oddest rejection from Apple for a pair of iPhone apps I had submitted for two different radio stations. Apple rejected the apps with the explanation that they were of a similar "Family of radio applications" and "should be packaged in a single application using In App Purchase".

There are a couple obvious problems with this. First, these apps were created for two different radio stations and each station wanted their own app. From a radio station's point of view, it's good advertising for them to have their own app which they can offer their listeners. They don't want to have their station just within some larger list of stations in a single app. It's all about branding.

The second problem with this is the radio stations want their apps to be available for free. Using in-app purchase would not make sense.

I replied to Apple explaining how combining the two apps is not an option, but I haven't yet heard back. I'm hopeful this isn't the start of a new policy on Apple's part prohibiting apps for individual radio stations.

UPDATE 4/13/2010: The two apps have now been approved, although I never received any clarification from Apple regarding my inquiry. The apps just suddenly became approved. Best I can assume is the original reviewer had made a mistake.

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