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Apple sets gag rule for iPhone app makers

A posting by Saul Hansell late last night on the New York Times Bits blog notes that Apple is forcing app makers to keep mum about their wares until noon EST today:The most interesting aspect of the launch of Apple’s new iPhone 3g Friday is the beginning of the App Store that will let independent software and Internet companies sell or give away applications for the iPhone. Lots of the companies are working on nifty iPhone apps.
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Written by Andrew Nusca on

Apple iPhoneA posting by Saul Hansell late last night on the New York Times Bits blog notes that Apple is forcing app makers to keep mum about their wares until noon EST today:

The most interesting aspect of the launch of Apple’s new iPhone 3g Friday is the beginning of the App Store that will let independent software and Internet companies sell or give away applications for the iPhone. Lots of the companies are working on nifty iPhone apps.

But when I ask them about this, executives recoil in fear because Apple has told them they are not allowed to discuss the application until a time that Apple has set — noon Eastern time Thursday, according to several people I got e-mail pitches from Wednesday.

Said one publicist for a giant company that has agreed to Apple’s gag order, “Apple rules the world when it’s shipping season.”

Apple and secrecy go hand in hand -- until launch day, that is. Apparently, Apple’s agreement with iPhone developers has a strict clause banning them from disclosing confidential information -- unless, of course, that information stops being confidential if it is “generally available to the public.” Apple has attempted to make the public aware that there will be all sorts of applications available for the iPhone on Friday. So what's the worry about what those applications do, at least for Apple?

Reminder: the iPhone App Store is a unique beast in that developers can only distribute programs approved by Apple, through the Apple site, at price points set by Apple.

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