When developers successfully get an app into the App Store, they are given a 1 year renewable contract from Apple. Now it seems that the earliest app developers may be left out in the cold because Apple could be facing a month-long backlog with regards to contract renewal. Doubled with this is the thousands of new developers waiting to receive their very first contract.
When the App Store first opened its doors for business, requests for an agreement only took as little as two days for Apple to handle. Now, with the App Store reporting to have hit the 25,000 app mark, coders are reporting delays of not days, but months, even for free apps, which require less work on Apple’s part.
One developer told Appleinsider, “Many developers are pulling their hair out by the roots, our corporate contract, submitted around December of last year, has yet to be approved after more than two months. And this is merely for a free app!”. Other sources have reported on responses from Apple regarding these ridiculous delays saying they are either receiving an automated response with apologies from Apple for the delay, or no response at all.
It is clear from all this that Apple was not prepared for such success, so quickly with the App Store, and the pressure is only going to increase to renew these contracts with developers new and old. Ars Technica’s Erica Sadun made a call to the Apple Developer Connection, which has not only discovered that the company knows there are many developers without contracts, and worse, facing expiry, but that they don’t even have a system in place to handle the renewal of it’s existing contracts.
If and when such a system will be put into place isn’t known yet, but Apple has promised that they will strive to avoid a crisis that would mean older apps start to disappear from the App Store. Reports indicate that any software already approved will keep it’s spot on the App Store even after their contract expires.
All this now casts doubt over Apples process and could discourage first-time developers from even attempting to get their creations on the store. Developers are even questioning whether to even continue to make iPhone apps, especially when Apple hasn’t shown any real sign of addressing the issue.