I think the title is pretty clear. The annual renewal to the Apple iPhone Developer Program is due and I have decided not to renew. Why do you ask? Well for a few reasons:
- Apple gets enough of my money and I don’t think I want to give them another $99 for the privilege. If I create an application for the store and it gets approved I am adding value to the iPhone as a platform and I don’t think I should have to pay for it. What does the $99 actually go towards? It’s not like there is any overhead for me being a member and downloading the iPhone SDK. Seems like another way to make a buck for Apple. No thanks.
- It’s not open. I can’t just create an application and give it to my friends. I am forced through the Apple Store just to have something available for my friends to use.
- The biggest reason is the noose of control Apple has over the process. I can take the time and effort to create an application, submit it to the store and under the whim of Apple, it can be rejected, just ask Google. It is a bad business decision, especially for small companies with limited resources, to take the time to create a piece of software and have Apple reject it. You have no leg to stand on, you just wasted all that time.
I think Apple needs to change the process they go through to accept or reject applications. MacRumors reported that Apple was being investigated by the FCC over the rejection of the Google Voice app. I hope it does some good, maybe there should be no rejection at all and the apps should just get added. I am behind Google here and hope their rejection brings some changes to Apple and the iPhone Developer Program. Apple may have made a mistake here picking on an 800-pound Gorilla. If you or I complain we get the door slammed in our faces from Apple.
Looking at other platforms including Google Android, Palm Pre and Windows Mobile, all of these platforms are open and anyone can create applications an put them on their phones with no begging to do so. Time to change Apple for the better or I hope other developers move away from them as well.
Update: Interesting case of a developer getting banned from the app store – Apple bans App Store’s 3rd-most prolific developer.