iDenied: Apple shuns iPhone developers, for now

iDenied: Apple shuns iPhone developers, for now

Summary: When Apple said they were limiting the number of developers in the iPhone Developer Program during the beta period, they weren't kidding. Thousands of "non-acceptance" letters have gone out to developers ready to shell out $99 (or more) for the right to put their applications on the device.

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iDenied: Apple shuns iPhone developers, for nowWhen Apple said they were limiting the number of developers in the iPhone Developer Program during the beta period, they weren't kidding. Thousands of "non-acceptance" letters have gone out to developers ready to shell out $99 (or more) for the right to put their applications on the device. In fact we were hard pressed to find more than a handful of developers who were not rejected.

In the email, Apple wrote:

Dear Registered iPhone Developer,

Thank you for expressing interest in the iPhone Developer Program. We have received your enrollment request. As this time, the iPhone Developer Program is available to a limited number of developers and we plan to expand during the beta period. We will contact you again regarding your enrollment status at the appropriate time. Thank you for applying.

Best regards, iPhone Developer Program

Documentation and a software developer's kit (complete with emulator) are available for free from the iPhone developer web site. But in order to try your program on a real phone or make it available for sale in the App Store you have to be a registered, paying developer. The standard program, at $99, is for "developers who are creating free and commercial applications" for the iPhone and iPod touch. The enterprise program ($299) lets you "create proprietary, in-house applications". Apple says the programs will be open to all in June when iPhone 2.0 ships.

Reactions in the development community ranged from resigned to outraged. On the macrumors forum, one developer wrote: "I got a rejection email and it feels like I've been stood up for my high school prom."

Topics: Software Development, Apple, iPhone, Mobility

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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13 comments
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  • Have you ever seen anything more ridiculous?

    nt
    D T Schmitz
    • Wait until some Apple apologizer

      gives you an even more ridiculous explanation as to why Apple is absolutely right in doing this nonsense thing.
      markbn
  • My guess

    is that we won't be seeing Steve Jobs doing the monkey dance any time soon.
    Michael Kelly
  • Not a swift move by his Royal Steveness...

    ...he shudda at least let them cook up their offerings, to be vetted onto the device. Now, the developers will all run off to the competitors like Garmin, Nokia, LG, etc...SMOOTH MOVE THERE, EX-LAX.
    Feldwebel Wolfenstool
  • Not to worry,

    Windows Mobile is open to all developers.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
  • RE: iDenied: Apple shuns iPhone developers, for now

    This is not news, it is not worthy of a blog posting, this is a limited beta.
    Markus2008
  • Pretty typical for ZD

    This is the second ZDnet blog on the topic. I'm guessing
    that it's just more trolling for page views so they can
    generate advertising dollars. No talent hacks have to make
    a living, too, don't you know?

    There are actually NO confirmed developers that have been
    accepted into the program yet (other than the ones to
    whom Apple had seeded the SDK two weeks before the
    unveiling). It's turned out that those who claimed they were
    accepted got the same thanks-for-downloading-the-SDK
    "acceptance" email everyone else got.

    Unfortunately, this type of thing has become typical for
    ZDnet as it continues its downhill spiral. If I were to guess,
    I'd say that they're trying especially hard to pump up their
    numbers just now in hopes of finding a buyer.
    Marcos El Malo
    • You've made some pretty big assumptions

      ZDNet bloggers write independently, whenever the mood strikes them, so sometimes you'll see multiple posts on a single topic. Everybody has their own take on it though.

      Can you provide a source for your info about no developers being accepted at all?
      Ed Burnette
      • This is not Ed's Blog

        The point is Apple said from the start it was a limited beta.
        Trying to spin it into something negative is what ZDnet
        bloggers seem to do well (especially when it comes to
        Apple). Seems to me the ZDnet logo is on the blog,
        therefore it does not seem independent in any way. It also
        reflects on the company as well. Why would any company
        want to be associated with poor research on the part of
        one (most) of it's writers? At 100,000 downloads do you
        know what percentage of developers were told they have to
        wait? Of course, with the understanding of what limited
        means.
        SquishyParts
        • Actually it is

          Huh? It was my blog when I was hosting it myself and dealing with spam comments until I wanted to puke, and it's still mine when it is hosted over here.

          If I have something good to say about Apple I say it, and if I have something bad I say it. There's no conspiracy here. Take a look at http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=233 if you want to see some non-negative "spin" about Apple.

          I can't help having biases (it would be boring if I didn't) but they don't come from ZDNet or my day job or anywhere else but yours truly.
          Ed Burnette
  • RE: iDenied: Apple shuns iPhone developers, for now

    What is the big surprise? It is a beta. And approving all
    developers will take time even once the program is in
    place. Think about it, $99 for certification + distribution
    does not stretch very far.

    The benefits for the developer are low
    marketing/distribution cost and peace of mind for the user

    My prediction: The professional developers, i.e. the ones
    who can actually make money from their development
    work for the iPhone, will come through, along with some
    of those who put enough thought into their free
    applications.
    The rest will give up, sulk and develop for jailbroken
    iPhones, creating a healthy 'underground' apps counter
    culture. They will come back on board if/once they got
    some viable ideas that they want to take 'mainstream'.

    Apple can not lose.

    Ed Burnett also wins every way, because he will find
    something to moan about Apple whatever they do, and
    what is wrong with that?

    Creates extra publicity for Apple.

    That is how it works kids :)
    ben fegore
  • RE: iDenied: Apple shuns iPhone developers, for now

    "If I have something good to say about Apple I say it, and if
    I have something bad I say it. There's no conspiracy here.
    Take a look at http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=233 if
    you want to see some non-negative "spin" about Apple."

    What exactly was your part of that article...it was all quotes
    from Steve Jobs. You had no opinion at all. How is that
    positive or negative. You just regurgitated quotes & facts.
    Sounds like BS just like your explanation. I was speaking of
    ZDnet as a whole (negativity). Seems to me hiding behind
    the excuse of "I'm just blogging, it has nothing to do with
    ZDnet" is a cop out. ZDnet is hosting your article. It
    reflects on the company. Most readers will assume that it
    is a ZDnet article...not your blog.
    SquishyParts
  • RE: iDenied: Apple shuns iPhone developers, for now

    As a developer IMO, "limited Beta" generally means more than 0. A limited public beta program usually means several thousand at a minimum. That is, if Apple was really interested in 3rd party applications for the iPhone. The whole "beta" program is largely FUD put out by Apple to stall. iPhone competitors such as Android is open to all developers, as is Windows Mobile.

    Apple made a big hoopla about opening the iPhone up to 3rd party apps. unfortunately, it appears to be more hype than substance.
    chuck@...