Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

UPDATE: Mr. iFart appeals to Steve Jobs

December 29, 2009: 7:00 AM ET

The developer of the iPhone's No. 1 flatulence app says Apple's policies stink

Joel Comm

UPDATE: Apple on Monday quietly approved Joel Comm's Ka-Ching Button app, one month after he posted his video appeal.

"We added a simple options button that lets people select what currency to display on their button," Comm writes. "I guess that was enough to put it over the edge."

You can download The Ka-Ching Button here. For Comm's account of the saga, click here.

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Another voice has been added to the chorus of iPhone developers complaining about Apple's (AAPL) App Store approval process.

The latest is that of author and Internet entrepreneur Joel Comm, whose iFart Mobile app is one of the iPhone's all-time best sellers (No. 1 last Christmas and still No. 16 on AppShopper's Entertainment list).

Comm has sent Steve Jobs an open appeal and the "Dear Steve" video posted below the fold. His complaint: his latest app, a simple green button that makes the cash register's "ka-ching" sound, has been rejected twice by App Store reviewers for containing "minimal user functionality."

The reviewers may be right. However Apple, as Comm demonstrates, has approved plenty of equally brainless apps, including some of his own creations.

Still, Comm makes a good point:

"On behalf of developers everywhere, we're looking for consistency in the app reviewal process," he says. "It's not asking much that the process be fair and more transparent so that we know what's going on. Remember, we're investing our time, money and resources into helping build your platform."

The video is clever, cleverer than Comm's latest app. And we hope Steve Jobs -- or at least Phil Schiller, the senior VP who supervises the App Store approval process -- gets to see it.

It may very well be that having reached 100,000 apps, Apple has decided to tighten its standards. But if that's the case, the company owes it to the developers working on the platform to let them know.

See also:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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