Apple Bans Developer with 800+ Apps from App Store

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MobileCrunch has reported that Apple has banned developer Khalid Shaikh from the App Store and removed all 800+ of his apps that were being sold in the App Store. Apple's "Notice of Termination" e-mail to Shaikh describes that third-party intellectual property complaints are the impetus behind the banning:

Pursuant to Section 3.2(d) of the iDP Agreement, you agreed that "to the best of Your knowledge and belief, Your Application and Licensed Application Information do not and will not violate, misappropriate, or infringe any Apple or third party copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy and publicity, trade secrets, patents, or other proprietary or legal rights (e.g. musical composition or performance rights, video rights, photography or image rights, logo rights, third party data rights, etc. for content and materials that may be included in Your Application)." Apple has informed you of numerous third party intellectual property complaints concerning over 100 of your Applications and reminded you of your obligations to obtain the necessary rights prior to submission of your Applications. Nevertheless, we continue to receive the same or similar types of complaints regarding your Applications despite our repeated notices to you. The persistent nature of such complaints has led us to conclude that you are entering into the representations and warranties in the iDP Agreement in bad faith by misrepresenting that you have all the necessary rights for your submissions.

As the MobileCrunch article points out, a search at AppShopper.com shows 854 apps by Shaikh. The majority of Shaikh's apps seemed to be data on a specific subject simply pulled from the web without providing any other original or unique content. Most apps were priced at $4.99 and this banishment could represent lost sales of thousands of dollars per day. Shaikh reportedly has admitted that the goal was not to produce valuable apps but to focus on monetization instead. All of Shaikh's apps have already been removed from the App Store and can no longer be purchased.

The App Store policies and approval process have been under quite a bit of fire lately, most notably with the rejection of the official Google Voice app, as well as the removal of 3rd-party Google Voice apps from the App Store in recent weeks. Apple has been tight-lipped with the public about such rejections though some affected developers have publicized their communications with Apple and spoken openly of their opinions of App Store practices.

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144 months ago

certainly does show where his priorities were. Profit.

Oh my God! It's one of "them", Hon! It's a CAPITALIST!!!!!!!

What in the hell is wrong with making a profit and when, exactly, did Americans finally start drinking the socialism Kool-Aid?

Look people, if his apps were crap, they wouldn't be purchased and he would lose money and stop making them. If he was making money, then people were finding them useful. If Apple wants to pull the apps for terms of use violations then fine, those are their rules and everyone knew them going in, but I don't begrudge a small business owner who has committed no crime and whose sole motivation is making money. To anyone who does begrudge him of this I issue the following challenge: march straight into your boss' office and demand that they pay you less money. You know, since it's not about "profit".

I didn't think so.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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144 months ago

I don't begrudge a small business owner who has committed no crime and whose sole motivation is making money.

And I don't begrudge a retailer (Apple) for wanting to clear their shelves of inferior products that decrease public trust in their marketplace. This is one of the reasons why you choose a managed app store over the anarchy of the internet -- there's somebody out there to protect the curious consumer from applications that offer no real value.

Arguments to pure Capitalism fail when you realize this isn't a case of somebody offering an inferior product to a well informed populace with the ability to make cautious decisions. Since you can't evaluate apps before purchasing, every app purchase is an exercise in trust. It's like buying a car based solely on the dealer's description and the sticker price -- only while that is a stupid way to buy cars and there are laws to protect you even if you did, there is no other way to buy apps and your only protection is Apple.

In short: I support Khalid's right to make terrible applications. But even more, I support Apple's right to remove them. The threat of summary removal should be a cue to all developers: write good software, fix your bugs, define your space, service your market and charge a fair price if you want to do business on the iPhone. If you aren't comfortable doing good work for fair pay, this isn't a monopoly: there are many other cell phones you can write terrible software for.

To anyone who does begrudge him of this I issue the following challenge: march straight into your boss' office and demand that they pay you less money.

Lots of people leave high paying jobs that are no longer intellectually or morally rewarding. I myself have done this twice.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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144 months ago
I wonder how long it took for him to develop all those applications.:confused:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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117 months ago
I call B.S. on this ....

iSponge: Developing for smartphones is only as practical as your software concept. THAT is the real problem in almost every case I see where a developer whines and moans about not being able to make a decent profit on the platform! A whole LOT of people went crazy when the hype was at its peak for the iPhone and said, "I gotta get me a piece of THAT action!"

Fact is though, there's not really all THAT much you can create for a given smartphone that isn't just a rehash of stuff that's been done before, or is just plain useless junk for cheap laughs or thrills.

I'm a LONG time computer user and got on board with "smartphones" back when the best you had was a PalmOS based Kyocera phone with a greyscale screen and a stylus that crashed daily, requiring pulling the battery out to reset it.

The single BIGGEST reason the iPhone was successful in the first place was the fact it was finally a STABLE smartphone with a nice multitouch interface that even grandma could manipulate after a little practice. When it first came out, Apple wasn't even really interested in other people writing apps to run on the thing. They were emphasizing "web apps" where you just made an icon on the phone and sent it to some web site that served everything up!

Obviously, they gave in on that idea and slowly came around to an entire app ecosystem, and IMO, it's a pretty good one. Unlike Android, people don't have to worry that much about malware and other nonsense, and Apple rather wisely restricted some of the things you were allowed to access on the phones in your code. (Again, devs whine and moan -- but the iPhone remains the most stable of the smartphones on the market, and this is one reason why!)

If you don't have something that will really "wow" people on a smartphone and make them say, "I can use THAT app every day!", you don't have anything you should count on profiting from. That's just the way it is. The phone already comes with a good email app, a calendar/scheduler, and most importantly, a pretty good web browser. That covers a BIG chunk of what people demand out of a smartphone to begin with. So much other stuff people write is, honestly, useless "fluff". Tons of apps that are just pretty front-ends to the SAME services you can access over the web browser directly. (All fine and good, but not worth PAYING for 99% of the time.)

And if you honestly think what you wrote is "Pretty cool, but not something I might sell a lot of if I don't price it under $5."? Yeah, it's not really that cool after all, ok? It's just ok, and again, you shouldn't expect to make a living off the thing.




Developing for smart phones is as practical as relying on Vegas as a retirement plan. In my free time over the last year, I have submitted plenty of apps. I was not able to even break even after paying the tax penalty. In effect, I paid out of pocket to submit these apps. And I'm reminded weekly with customer concerns.

I address every concern. But why? I had prescribed to the vanity of smart phones. After the glamour wore off, I still feel an ethical obligation to take care of the people that I paid to provide apps for. This IS more the norm than the exception.


Here's what it boils down to:
A) When Apple comes up with a profitable model for developers you will see an increase in the quality of applications. This will not happen until Apple releases a product beyond the realm of shiny gadgets that fill the void. In the mean time, you will find me working on innovative technology that will actually solve real world problems.

B) After seeing how most posts indicate iOS users feel they've been taken advantage of, I refuse to continue to support you. If you really need to cast stones, start at the Apple-defined business model that programmers have to work within.

C) I applaud this guy for defining a sustainable business model where he didn't have to win the lottery to be successful.


Enjoy your void.

Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
144 months ago

Oh my God! It's one of "them", Hon! It's a CAPITALIST!!!!!!!

What in the hell is wrong with making a profit and when, exactly, did Americans finally start drinking the socialism Kool-Aid?

Look people, if his apps were crap, they wouldn't be purchased and he would lose money and stop making them. If he was making money, then people were finding them useful. If Apple wants to pull the apps for terms of use violations then fine, those are their rules and everyone knew them going in, but I don't begrudge a small business owner who has committed no crime and whose sole motivation is making money. To anyone who does begrudge him of this I issue the following challenge: march straight into your boss' office and demand that they pay you less money. You know, since it's not about "profit".

I didn't think so.

The damn point is that he was spamming the app store with 5 new apps a DAY. PER DAY. Thats an insanely high number of apps, with has a negative influence on the app store. In these extreme situations, Apple has every right to boot these kinds of developers, and I think its one of those cases where having this kind of control over the app store is actually a good things for users. This doesnt necessitate your OH NOES SOCIALISM!! spiel. Everything can be abused, and this is one of those cases of extreme abuse of the system. Everything has its limits and needs to have some level of control, including your precious capitalism.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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144 months ago
Capitalism

Well, I'd say by all means make a profit... I like money, it gives people choices. Just don't make money at the expense of someone else.

eg.

Apps that syphon off others sites.

Products that mislead as to their intentions and usefulness.

Giving credit to people who have no option but to eventually default.

BTW. What the hell is the stock market good for anyway?!:confused:
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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