Apple Needs to Restock the Virtual Store Shelves

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-11-29 Print this article Print

5. Get rid of AT&T

AT&T's influence on the approval process is causing more trouble than it's worth. The company stepped in when Apple evaluated Google Voice. It has also made it abundantly clear that no VOIP (voice over IP) applications can run over 3G. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. AT&T's role in the App Store should be eliminated-it's causing problems.

6. Secrecy

One of the main elements of the App Store approval process is secrecy. Apple doesn't divulge any more information than it's forced to. Worst of all, it makes no attempt to make its service more open to help both developers and users gain a better understanding of what to expect from the App Store and its approval process. It's a real problem.

7. Admit mistakes

When Apple mistakenly rejects an application and, after further review (usually when the media picks it up), allows the application into its store, the company should admit that it made a mistake, while reassuring users it will try to keep that from happening again. Unfortunately, it has done nothing of the sort. Instead, Apple continues to reject useful applications for no good reason. And when it gets caught, it quietly approves the application and moves on. That's a shame.

8. Categorization

One of the big problems with the App Store is finding apps. Unfortunately, users need to spend far too much time sifting through unwanted applications before they find the program they want. This not only causes frustration, but could limit downloads of viable apps.

9. Remember the user

Unfortunately, I just don't believe that Apple truly understands the App Store's users. Although the marketplace has a slew of applications that appeal to many, some of Apple's app rejections were ridiculous. Apple needs to do a better job of remembering who owns iPhones and base its decisions on that starting point.

10. A lack of competition

Perhaps one of the biggest issues facing the App Store is that it doesn't have stiff competition that makes Apple nervous. For now, Apple's App Store reigns supreme in the mobile application space and there's little chance of the Android Market or BlackBerry App World supplanting it any time soon. Until there's real competition in the marketplace, it's doubtful that Apple will be willing to change much  (if anything) about its policies in the App Store.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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