Apple VP responds to App Store rejection rage

Phil Schiller diverts from Apple's usual 'no comment' approach
  • Nick Spence (Unknown Publication)
  • 12 August, 2009 22:00

Steven Frank, Mac developer and co-founder of software company Panic, has become the second high profile industry observer to receive feedback from Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing in less than a week.

Last week in an email to Daring Fireball's John Gruber, Philip Schiller insisted the controversial Ninjawords dictionary application had not been rejected from the Apple iTunes App Store due to "common" swear words.

See also: App Store reality check long overdue, say NZ developers

This week the usually silent Phil Schiller broke Apple's "no comment" policy again when he contacted Steven Frank following an outburst on his blog over the decision to reject the Google Voice application from the App Store.

"I'm furious with Apple and AT&T right now, with regard to the iPhone," Steven Frank said at the start of a

long and passionate blog posting. "Let's talk quickly about Google's official client app for Google Voice. It's not the only thing I'm mad about, but it was the final straw."

The developer then called for App Store rejections to make consistent, logical sense, calling on Apple to issue clear advice on how any problems could be resolved so that developers weren't faced with a brick wall.

Steven Frank said, perhaps not completely seriously, that he was boycotting his iPhone as a result of App Store rejection inconsistencies.


Philip Schiller response to the blog posting came over the weekend as Steven Frank recaps on blog post update.

"On Saturday night, we drove up to Seattle to attend a memorial service for my wife's grandmother. Shortly after checking into the hotel, I checked the inbox on my Android phone and found myself staring at the words "Philip Schiller"."

"Needless to say, I had a minor freakout. People have questioned my sanity to raise hackles about the iPhone while simultaneously depending indirectly on Apple for an income. Which way was this going to go? I tapped on it."

"I haven't sought Phil's explicit permission to republish the letter, so I won't do so here. But to summarise, he said: "we're listening to your feedback". Not all of my suggested solutions were viable, he said, but they were taking it all in as they continue to evolve the App Store."

Apple's senior vice president also insisted they had been no widespread e-book application rejections despite rumours to the contrary. One application had been rejected but that was due to the fact it potentially facilitated iPhone-to-iPhone sharing of books, which might include copyrighted material.

The Panic co-founder wondered aloud about his self-imposed iPhone ban, and welcomed Apple's "courteous, polite, and reassuring" response saying at the very least the company were saying "we hear you".

"If nothing else, I am very grateful that Phil actually took the time to contact me. As I've said repeatedly, communication will solve this problem - not silence," Steven Frank summed up.

"Let's push that communication down from executives-to-bloggers to app-store-to-developers and I think we've really got a breakthrough."