Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for world-wide marketing, has come out of the closet and defended the App Store’s controversial approval process. In an interview with Business Week, Schiller said that the process is very much like any retailer that picks and chooses the products that line their shelves.
“Whatever your favorite retailer is, of course they care about the quality of products they offer…We review the applications to make sure they work as the customers expect them to work when they download them,” Schiller was quoted as saying.
Schiller said that 90 percent of Apple’s rejections are for technical reasons, such as bugs in the application. He said that only 10 percent of those apps that are rejected are because they are deemed inappropriate.
Additionally, Schiller said that security, trademark infringement and providing suitable content for children all factor into the approval or rejection of an app. The company has had inquires from governments and political leaders asking what it was doing to protect children from inappropriate content.
Apple has taken a lot of criticism for its handling of the approval process for iPhone apps. It was perhaps Apple’s purported rejection of the Google Voice App, and subsequent inquiry from the FCC, that brought the criticism to a crescendo. Most recently, Facebook’s lead iPhone developer, Joe Hewitt, quit, saying that he was philosophically opposed to the way Apple handled the vetting of apps at the App Store.