Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior VP of Marketing, has once again decided to respond to a developer’s criticisms of the App Store. It seems as if Phil Schiller is taking it upon himself to defend and rationalize the decisions that have been made concerning the App Store’s often silly approval process. It’s no open letter from Steve Jobs, but we will take what we can get.
Panic co-founder Steven Frank recently expressed his outrage over Apple’s rejection of Google Voice apps and other high-profile rejections on his personal blog. He may not be the developer of any of the rejected apps, but he is an Apple customer like the rest of us and he wanted to make his voice heard. Since he believed no progress was being made, he decided to boycott the iPhone:
I’ve reached a point where I can no longer just sit back and watch this. The iPhone ecosystem is toxic, and I can’t participate any more until it is fixed. As people have told me so many times: It’s Apple’s ballgame, and Apple gets to make the rules, and if I don’t like it, I can leave. So, I don’t like it, and I’m leaving.
Phil Schiller chose to personally respond to Frank to let him know that Apple is constantly listening to the communities’ feedback and that they are working on improving the App Store. He also decided that it would be a good time to respond to the rumors that all e-book readers were being rejected from the App Store.
I haven’t sought Phil’s explicit permission to republish the letter, so I won’t do so here. But to summarize, 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.
He went on to say that the rumors of widespread e-book app rejection I’d heard were false — that specifically one e-book app had been rejected because it facilitated iPhone-to-iPhone sharing of (potentially copyrighted) books. But that otherwise, there was no sweeping ban on e-book readers.
See what a little direct communication can do? It would have been much easier if Schiller and company would have been responding to these criticisms a long time ago instead of allowing the situation to boil over as it has recently. If there is another side to the story, as has been the case for the last three App Store controversies, we need to hear it.
Now if only Schiller would address the Google Voice issue…