Apple's walled-garden approach has a new victim, radio station apps, as Apple fenced out single station radio apps from its App Store.
In a report in Radio Jim Bracus, the president of DJB Radio Apps, has been shouting foul stating that since Nov. 10, Apple has rejected 10 of its radio station apps on the premise that single-station apps are the same as a FART app and represent spam in the iTunes store. Bracus further stated that Apple will no longer approve any more radio station apps unless there are hundreds of stations on the same app.
In its recently updated guidelines for App Store, Apple iterated that developers 'spamming' the App Store with many versions of similar apps will be removed from the iOS Developer Program.
Bracus said that Apple is compelling radio stations to be clubbed into a single app irrespective of the genre, age and other classifications of radio stations. He cited that radio stations do not positively confirm to such an arrangement as they compete with each other for listeners.
Bracus sent an email to Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, hoping for a relaxation but received a curt response: Sorry, we've made our decision.
However, in the same vein Bracus said that Apple allows apps for every Pizza joint, as there are more than 900 flashlight apps but would not enlist single station radio apps.
Bracus is also prodding radio stations to call Apple HQ or send a complaint mail to Steve Jobs.
He also enlisted Apple's Rule 3.0 in the App review rules that states that Apps with metadata that mentions the name of any other mobile platform will be rejected, to counter Apple's stand against radio stations. He argues that compelling radio stations to follow what Apple rejects is tantamount to hypocrisy.
Apple's strict control of Apps Store has some high profile rejections like Adobe Flash videos and the Google Voice which returned from exile to iPhone after 16 months. However, the recent allowance afforded by Google Voice was reflective of Apple loosening its grip on the Apps Store selection criteria.
With apps increasingly becoming a key criterion in choosing a smartphone, Apple has to let loose its grip and allow apps which are successful on other OS. Thus preference of what runs on iPhone, a Flash app or Google's app, will no longer be dependent on Apple's whims but will be subject to demand-supply dynamics of apps.
Maybe radio stations can shift their focus to Android as being successful on the competitors platform may make Apple relent.