Would-be iPhone developers "pulling their hair out by the roots"

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple's ability to process iPhone developer contracts is quickly turning into a minor crisis as what was once a smooth process is rapidly turning into a months-long backlog that threatens to keep new developers out of the App Store.



Previous reports that the earliest third-party iPhone app developers are facing expired contracts are also being joined by stories from those who have yet to have their very first contracts approved.



Where requests for an agreement once took as little as two days for Apple to handle in the early days of the iPhone SDK, coders speaking to AppleInsider and on the iPhone development boards are increasingly reporting delays in initial approval that have changed from days into months -- even for free apps, which require less paperwork than commercial software.



"Many developers are pulling their hair out by the roots," one such producer tells AppleInsider. "Our corporate contract, submitted around December of last year, has yet to be approved after more than two months. And this is merely for a free app!"



This and other sources also report that many messages to Apple are either given a stock response apologizing for the wait or else receive no answer at all.



It's quickly becoming clear that the long hold times and silence on the matter stem from unpreparedness on Apple's part for the popularity of the App Store and the pressure it creates to renew its relationships with developers. A call by Ars Technica's Erica Sadun to the Apple Developer Connection has not only revealed that the company knows there are "many developers" either without contracts or facing expiry but that there isn't even a system by which Apple can renew its existing deals.



When that system will be put into place isn't known, though the ADC representative promises that Apple will at least avoid a crisis that would see older apps gradually vanish from the store as existing agreements come to an end. Any software that has already been approved will, reportedly, remain on the store even after its associated contract runs out.



That's little comfort to first-time developers, who are increasingly being discouraged by a process that in many cases prevents them from getting their first real foothold in the App Store. Without clear signs that Apple is addressing the problem, companies and individuals alike are questioning whether they should continue to produce iPhone apps in the first place.



"It makes it really tough to continue development," one developer says.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    jagujagu Posts: 1member
    ... when they've set up such a Soviet system. Only one place to buy apps. Everything controlled by the Apple Kremlin.
  • Reply 2 of 62
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,793member
    I originally applied when Apple first announced it "in the early days of the iPhone SDK"... it took almost two months to be approved. I don't see any difference now. As with anything new, it's an inconsistent process full of wrinkles. It'll all get ironed out. I'm sure in another year or two, they won't have any problems with this process. Also, considering the number of developers that applied (and still applying), anyone who doesn't expect a delay is just kidding themselves.



    Regardless of how any process or product is implemented, there's always going to be a certain percentage of people who have problems. There is no such thing as perfect and flawless for everyone.
  • Reply 3 of 62
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,073member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jagu View Post


    ... when they've set up such a Soviet system. Only one place to buy apps. Everything controlled by the Apple Kremlin.



    So they can outlaw things that suck, and also things that don't benefit me as a stockholder. I approve!
  • Reply 4 of 62
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Like Apple's iPhone cellular partner, AT&T, maybe Apple should consider a two year contract for app store developer contracts and their apps?! It would at least give a little breathing room before the whole cycle starts over.



    It's only going to get worse for annual turnover when a year from now you have 50,000 - 75,000 apps in the store versus the 25,000 in there today. \
  • Reply 5 of 62
    morkymorky Posts: 171member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post


    So they can outlaw things that suck, and also things that don't benefit me as a stockholder. I approve!



    This isn't about that. It's about Apple potentially destroying the developer mindshare it brilliantly created when it opened the app store. Being a first-mover is key, but if another platform becomes more attractive to developers, it will take over. Apple should be KISSING THE BUTT of every iPhone developer, and spend copious cash on making sure the approval process is quick and transparent. This is really foolish on Apple's part and makes me wonder if they are really as well managed as it has seemed over the past eight years.
  • Reply 6 of 62
    daseindasein Posts: 139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Morky View Post


    This is really foolish on Apple's part and makes me wonder if they are really as well managed as it has seemed over the past eight years.



    I agree. My thought, though, is how much of this may have to do with AT&T? Avoiding problems with the iPhone is only half the issue. There's a network as well.
  • Reply 7 of 62
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    Hopefully this is a sign that Apple is getting on top of the CrapWare(tm) that currently plagues the AppStore.



    This week it was reported that Apple has bested the Microsoft Mobile platform ecosphere with 25k apps available for the iPhone platform. It is such a shame that 23k of those apps are utter garbage!
  • Reply 8 of 62
    davebarnesdavebarnes Posts: 266member
    This: "Apple's ability to process iPhone developer contracts"

    would make a lot more sense if it read as:

    "Apple's INability to process iPhone developer contracts"
  • Reply 9 of 62
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple's ability to process iPhone developer contracts is quickly turning into a minor crisis as what was once a smooth process is rapidly turning into a months-long backlog that threatens to keep new developers out of the App Store.



    Previous reports that the earliest third-party iPhone app developers are facing expired contracts are also being joined by stories from those who have yet to have their very first contracts approved.



    Where requests for an agreement once took as little as two days for Apple to handle in the early days of the iPhone SDK, coders speaking to AppleInsider and on the iPhone development boards are increasingly reporting delays in initial approval that have changed from days into months -- even for free apps, which require less paperwork than commercial software.



    "Many developers are pulling their hair out by the roots," one such producer tells AppleInsider. "Our corporate contract, submitted around December of last year, has yet to be approved after more than two months. And this is merely for a free app!"



    This and other sources also report that many messages to Apple are either given a stock response apologizing for the wait or else receive no answer at all.



    It's quickly becoming clear that the long hold times and silence on the matter stem from unpreparedness on Apple's part for the popularity of the App Store and the pressure it creates to renew its relationships with developers. A call by Ars Technica's Erica Sadun to the Apple Developer Connection has not only revealed that the company knows there are "many developers" either without contracts or facing expiry but that there isn't even a system by which Apple can renew its existing deals.



    When that system will be put into place isn't known, though the ADC representative promises that Apple will at least avoid a crisis that would see older apps gradually vanish from the store as existing agreements come to an end. Any software that has already been approved will, reportedly, remain on the store even after its associated contract runs out.



    That's little comfort to first-time developers, who are increasingly being discouraged by a process that in many cases prevents them from getting their first real foothold in the App Store. Without clear signs that Apple is addressing the problem, companies and individuals alike are questioning whether they should continue to produce iPhone apps in the first place.



    "It makes it really tough to continue development," one developer says.



    Typical bull shit.



    Since Dec 1st over 15000 new apps. No body expected it. And with such numbers, it would seem evident that the system if anything is just being deluged.



    So some, if any, have to wait awhile. So do the guys waiting in the unemployment line. And their priorities are much greater than getting an app up on the shelf.



    Easy to yell fire isn't it when nobody even knows you are there. Put some real names up. Bet there isn't a handful if any.



    It is just like the rampant shit that flew about Apple's closed NDA policy and how it prevented developers to communicate with each other. Ask O'Reilly how well their program turned out after the restrictions were lifted. http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2...developers.ars



    Apple isn't going to take any app off because of they can't get the backlog up-to-date.



    And if any body notices, all the crap hitting this rumor is coming from the same bunch of shit heads that defame anything Apple. Give me a break.
  • Reply 10 of 62
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kresh View Post


    Hopefully this is a sign that Apple is getting on top of the CrapWare(tm) that currently plagues the AppStore.



    Hopefully it is NOT! Having Apple police app quality is not a win for consumers... it'll put off developers from even attempting to write iPhone software, it'll make the whole process take longer, and it removes any form of letting the market decide whether an app is worth it.



    So what if there are hundreds of fart apps online? The only problem is finding the good stuff... so let's solve that, rather than treating the bad stuff as a problem in itself.



    Amorya
  • Reply 11 of 62
    That is why I am developing my first app on Android, not the iPhone. Though, I am not a stellar developer - so I am sure Apple won't be missing me!
  • Reply 12 of 62
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    As with anything new, it's an inconsistent process full of wrinkles.




    Quote:

    Also, considering the number of developers that applied (and still applying), anyone who doesn't expect a delay is just kidding themselves.



    ditto both.





    and I for one like having only one place to look for apps, having apps that won't use an installer that could screw my phone and/or void my warranty, having only one place to have to give my credit cards or even better I can go to an Apple store, pay cash and get a gift card and those random developers don't get my banking info. I mean I know that most of them are probably upstanding folks but all it takes is one bad seed and I'm screwed and possibly penniless.
  • Reply 13 of 62
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Quote:

    This and other sources also report that many messages to Apple are either given a stock response apologizing for the wait or else receive no answer at all.



    No response? Sounds like developers who are going to add nothing but crap to the store. If you know what you're doing you CALL.
  • Reply 14 of 62
    fpink3fpink3 Posts: 1member
    At any one point in time, Apple cares about 100-200 app developers (my guess), simply because 90% of their app revenue comes from a small fraction of their app developer community. It's a waste of their money to be diligent and fair in the treatment of all the developers interested in grabbing a piece of the pie. Rest assured that the most advantageous app developers (to Apple) are finding the way less bumpy.



    Apple doesn't owe anyone fair treatment. Apple created the tremendous money generating machine. The laws of the land require Apple to create an arcane approval system in order to control their own empire. The same laws don't require Apple to justify it to anyone that complains.
  • Reply 15 of 62
    winterspanwinterspan Posts: 605member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    ... As with anything new, it's an inconsistent process full of wrinkles

    ... anyone who doesn't expect a delay is just kidding themselves.

    ... There is no such thing as perfect and flawless for everyone.



    "It's new and nothing is perfect"



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dasein View Post


    I agree. My thought, though, is how much of this may have to do with AT&T? Avoiding problems with the iPhone is only half the issue. There's a network as well.



    "Blame the partners"



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Typical bull shit.

    ... Easy to yell fire isn't it when nobody even knows you are there. Put some real names up. Bet there isn't a handful if any.

    ... And if any body notices, all the crap hitting this rumor is coming from the same bunch of shit heads that defame anything Apple. Give me a break.



    "Blame biased developers"



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crees! View Post


    No response? Sounds like developers who are going to add nothing but crap to the store....



    "Ridicule the developers"



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fpink3 View Post


    ...Apple doesn't owe anyone fair treatment. Apple created the tremendous money generating machine. The laws of the land require Apple to create an arcane approval system in order to control their own empire. The same laws don't require Apple to justify it to anyone that complains.



    "Apple is King -- Go **** yourself"



    Wow, the apologists are out in force!



    With a $20 billion pile of cash, and the App store being vital to the next 10 years of the success of Apple, there is no excuses for this nonsense. Beyond the long lag time in registering new developers, it is more ridiculous that they are having so many problems with old contracts expiring! They knew this day was coming from the beginning and should have had a system in place to make this painless.
  • Reply 16 of 62
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post


    So they can outlaw things that suck, and also things that don't benefit me as a stockholder. I approve!



    So you're the one who's been buying all the fart apps and flashlight apps?
  • Reply 17 of 62
    gyokurogyokuro Posts: 83member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jagu View Post


    ... when they've set up such a Soviet system. Only one place to buy apps. Everything controlled by the Apple Kremlin.



    First post wasted on drivel.

  • Reply 18 of 62
    focherfocher Posts: 637member
    We've been trying to establish an Enterprise developer agreement for a year. A year! Despite being a very well known consumer goods company, Apple's process is basically that they have no process. They have some objective rules and, if you don't meet them they simply reject the application. Any attempt to work with Apple to resolve the issue goes unanswered.
  • Reply 19 of 62
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post


    So they can outlaw things that suck, and also things that don't benefit me as a stockholder. I approve!



    I take it you have never used the app store: I would say about 80% of whats out there sucks, and I know some guys with great apps that it took months to get approved, even after paying their $99, I am talking about November sign ups and late February confirmations...



    If my money as a dev isnt good enough for apple, then fuck them, I will move to the next thing.
  • Reply 20 of 62
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    It's perfectly understandable. Apple needs every minute they can to evaluate every fart app for correct pitch and timbre.



    For the humor impaired, this is just a shallow joke, don't read too deeply into it.
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