A double-edged sword. That’s what the iPhone AppStore is fast becoming for Apple’s PR team. On the one edge, we have an incredibly popular and lucrative iPhone App Store that has seen something like 25,000 applications (6,000 of which are games) being offered to iPhone owners. Surely, that’s a pretty sharp edge.
Unfortunately, there’s this other side of the story that needs to be made public – perhaps more so than the fact that there are a ridiculous number of iPhone apps at your beck and call. The flood of iPhone developers looking to cash in on the success of the iPhone as both a mobile computing platform as well as a bona-fide gaming system has apparently stressed Apple’s iPhone application-approval process to its breaking point. Reports from frustrated developers indicate that Apple is struggling with months-long turn-around times for new iPhone app contracts.
Back when the iPhone and the App Store were still relatively new-fangled offerings from Apple, iPhone developers could expect to see their AppStore submissions approved within a matter of days. These days, iPhone apps are queued-up for months on end as Apple wades through countless iPhone app submissions and certifies each as worthy of AppStore-love. Even free applications, which require less paperwork, are being held up with approval-delays.
Mirroring Apple’s failure to anticipate the network load from MobileMe’s push-data services, Apple is reportedly ill-equipped to deal with contract renewals. While Apple has assured us that iPhone apps would remain in the AppStore upon contract expiration, there’s been no official word on just how Apple is going to deal with renewing developer contracts. A sign of Apple’s overall unpreparedness in the iPhone app-space, perhaps?