Apple exec Schiller discusses App Store | iLounge News


Apple exec Schiller discusses App Store

In an interview with BusinessWeek, Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller made several interesting comments about the continuing growth of the App Store and the company’s app approval process. “We’ve built a store for the most part that people can trust,” Schiller said of the App Store. “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.” Comparing Apple to a brick-and-mortar retailer that must determine what products to put on store shelves, Schiller continued, Whatever your favorite retailer is, of course they care about the quality of products they offer. We review the applications to make sure they work as the customers expect them to work when they download them.”

Schiller reiterated the company’s count of more than 100,000 apps available in the App Store, and said that roughly 10,000 are submitted each week; Schiller claimed that most are approved, while about 90% of rejections are sent back to the developer due to a technical issue, such as a bug or unexpected operation. The other 10% are mostly inappropriate. “There have been applications submitted for approval that will steal personal data, or which are intended to help the user break the law, or which contain inappropriate content,” Schiller said. However, about 1% or fewer of returned apps fall into a gray area that Apple hadn’t previously anticipated; Schiller used apps written to help users cheat at casino games as an example. “We had to go study state and international laws about what’s legal and what isn’t, and what legal exposure that creates for Apple or the customer,” he said.

Schiller said the company is also taking a hard line on potentially illegal use of trademarks—particularly those owned by Apple. “If you don’t defend your trademarks, in the end you end up not owning them,” Schiller says. “And sometimes other companies come to us saying they’ve seen their trademarks used in apps without permission. We see that a lot.” The executive did say that the company is working to make its trademark guidelines more sophisticated and transparent. “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,” he said. “We’re trying to learn and expand the rules to make it fair for everyone.”

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The interview is clean and to the point, however the one answer developers were looking for was not to be found.  Why are some apps objectionable or not rejected? Apps like Google Voice are rejected but Vonage is given a free pass and full access to AT&T data networks.

As an end user of both an iPhone and its apps I’m left confused.  I am almost to the point of saying make your policy resolute and if you reject one app like Google Voice but let Vonage in you have lost most of my trust in your company.  In other words make your approval process more consistent and don’t blame laws and legal gray areas.

Posted by David on November 23, 2009 at 1:17 PM (CST)


Vonage is a VoIP App, same as Skype.
Google Voice is more than just VoIP, it includes ‘free’ SMS and a few other features which replicate existing features.
The argument against duplicating native features mainly comes down to UI experience. How does a user know he’s using “Messages” on his iPhone or Google Voice to send SMS?

Posted by Dan Woods on November 23, 2009 at 9:57 PM (CST)


Is it me, or do the maths of that not add up?

These are Schiller’s claims:
100,000 apps available in the App Store.
10,000 submitted every week
‘Most’ of those are approved = a minimum of 51% = at least 5,100 of those 10,000 apps that are submitted avery week are eventually approved.

While I appreciate that approval can take a number of months, we have to assume that these approved apps are flowing at a steady rate - similar to tha rate at which they are submitted - so that there is no major backlog building up (i.e. only 8 of those 5,100 approved apps actually getting released.)
So that means 5,100 new apps are released into the App store each week, to avoid the backlog building up.

So in 10 weeks’ time will there be a total of 151,000 apps available on the App store?
In 20 weeks’ time will there be 202,000 apps available?
In 12 months time will there be 355,000 apps available?

Posted by Pitmonster on November 24, 2009 at 7:46 AM (CST)


Comments of a political nature are not deemed as appropriate or constructive for discussion. This is a news item about Apple’s policies within the App Store, and comparisons to political and governmental policies are not only irrelevant to the discussion at hand but have the potential to be inflammatory.

Please keep the discussion in these comments to the matter at hand.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on November 24, 2009 at 8:35 PM (CST)

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