By Fraser Speirs, developer of Exposure:
I will never write another iPhone application for the App Store as currently constituted.
He cites the recent rejection of two fart-sound-effect apps and the more serious rejection today of Podcaster, simply because it competes with iTunes’ built-in podcast functionality (despite Podcaster providing features that iTunes doesn’t have).
The biggest problem is that developers have absolutely no guarantee that their apps will be approved until after they’ve spent months making them. It’s hard to justify pouring tons of time and money into something that Apple can subsequently reject for any reason whatsoever with no possible recourse.
What would make me change my mind? Here are a few ideas:
His ideas are excellent, and I hope Apple implements at least some of them.
The most effective and realistic idea would be official app-idea preapproval. If you give Apple some prototype screenshots and an idea of what the app does, they should be able to tell you whether it’s likely to be approved (and what aspects might cause it to be rejected) before you’ve sunk a ton of time and money into developing it.