We already know that Apple will be keeping a tight leash on third-party applications developed using its official iPhone SDK – Apple is the gatekeeper, inspector, judge, jury, and middle-man in this whole iPhone SDK distribution deal. That’s right, Apple will be taking cut of all commercial iPhone application revenue.
But, now we’re hearing that Apple will be taking a hands-off approach to free iPhone applications. Electronista‘s sources are indicating that commercial (premium) iPhone applications and free iPhone apps will be held to different approval processes. Well, more specifically, Apple will subject premium iPhone applications to an as yet unknown approval process, while free software will be subjected to less (if any at all) scrutiny.
All iPhone applications, even free software, will still be distributed through iTunes – strengthening the Apple iTunes’ role as an all-in-one services portal for all Apple devices. And, requiring less regulatory red-tape for free iPhone applications should (if it turns out to be true) bolster iPhone development.
The question remains, how will Apple handle liability for these free applications? Without much oversight on Apple’s part, we imagine that Apple would want to distance itself from these free applications. It’s not too far-fetched to think that free iPhone apps will come with a disclaimer that absolves Apple of any liability or support should a free iPhone application crash, brick, or otherwise harm your iPhone.