Apr 12, 2010

Some comments on new iPhone OS 4 TOS

Well, for starters, I'm one of the very  pissed MonoTouch developers, that hated all the news (mostly speculative) on the restrictions Apple is possibly bringing to iPhone development.
I'm not sure that MonoTouch will be effectively prohibited as a development platform for iPhone/iPad, but the signs are very indicative of that.
Following the discussions on blogs (and comments) and Twitter, I'm impressed by how many people is on the same boat as me, and how heated is the criticism on Apple's move.
It is contrasting to see Miguel's or Unity's calmness, so far.
Anyway this post is about one item most discussions seem to neglect or are plainly wrong about:
  • Some arque that Apple can't simply prohibit some very successful apps from being further developed/distributed under the new agreement, because that would cost them money to reimburse customers that have bought those apps. That is partially false: the agreement I've been obliged to sign indeed says that Apple can, at any time, yank my app from the Apple Store and much worse they can uninstall it from all the iPhones/iPads out there which have it installed, and that any costs advent from angry customers are on my back. So they may lose on future sales if the app was very successfull, but leave all the other costs of their one-sided decision to the developers, so it is kind of an easier decision for them to make, at least in the USA.
Here in Brazil that clause is unlawful as with it Apple is abusing its stronger position to share the profits without sharing the risks, and worse transferring the costs of theirs decisions to someone else
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