Apple is using NDAs to gag developers from revealing the reason why their applications were rejected from the App Store.
Apparently, Apple has now started labeling their rejection letters with Non-Disclosure (NDA) warnings:
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MESSAGE IS UNDER NON-DISCLOSURE
Readers should note that Apple's developer correspondence may have already been covered by the original NDA, but Apple is now making it clear.
I'm kinda stumped as to the reason behind this decision. I guess it has something to do with Apple not being happy about previous judgments it made over accepting/rejecting apps being second-guessed. If that's the case then Apple is demonstrating a greater level of control-freakery than ever before.
Chris Seibold writing for Apple Matters sums it all up concisely:
The developer will know why an app got rejected but the public won't. That is the move of a company scared of legit competition and ashamed of its motives
For people who constantly defend Apple as some good-natured alternative to Microsoft this is a rough stretch coming up. For those who see Apple as just another corporation that makes some cool stuff none of this is news. Unsurprising corporate governance or the last good company turning to evil, either way it isn't important because Apple stance banning legitimate applications from the App store just doesn't matter.
Chris is ultimately right. It doesn't matter. The iPhone is a closed system (think of a club with a couple of heavies at the door), and while there's plenty of opportunities for developers to cash in on platform, when a developer has an app rejected then, on the whole, no one will really care. Those who dislike Apple will add this to the list of reasons why they dislike Apple, while the fanboys will rationalize the whole issue away. The jilted developer will either go away and never develop another iPhone app (or aim their creations at jailbroken iPhones), or keep on reaching for the pot of gold.