Podcast application rejected from the AppStore

Apple rejected a Podcast app from its AppStore for having a “duplicated functionality” with iTunes. The developer explains that the current podcast solution requires iTunes syncing — and therefore a Mac/PC –, while his application can download the podcasts directly from WiFi/3G/EDGE, without the need of syncing. After reading this, I posted on his blog, and emailed him the following:

“Wanna bet that the problem was not the “duplicated functionality” but the amount of data that your app would have to piggyback on AT&T’s EDGE and 3G? I am willing to bet that Apple has a contract with AT&T (so AT&T could allow them to create the AppStore in the first place — as you remember AT&T was not loving the idea) that no app can use over XXX amount of data per usage. And your app uses A LOT of data.

At least this is my personal opinion (I have no [insider] insights or clues, just an opinion based on my experience with this industry that I have reported for years now as a tech journalist). To me, the “duplicated functionality” is just an excuse for the real reason behind all this. Apple can’t tell you the truth because then AT&T will be pissed off, and Apple will look like it’s bending over to AT&T. So they just give you that stupid excuse. Again, just my personal analysis of the situation after reading your blog.”

He replied:

“But why not just ask me to put that limitation in place. I would do it.”

And I replied back:

“Because there was the strong possibility of you not agreeing with it as it
would severely limit your app and therefore your sales, and this would also
expose them as bend-overs to AT&T. Besides, it’s not in Apple’s nature to
sit and negotiate that stuff, they either allow or disallow…”

I have to also point you in an older blog post of mine where I discussed the limitations imposed by the license of the iPhone SDK or Apple’s iron control over it. Among those discussed was the “duplicate functionality” point, and some of my readers didn’t believe me back then that this was even a real point that Apple would exercise control over. Well, guys, when I write something, I know why I am writing it.

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