Did Apple Do the Right Thing by Rejecting an iPhone App Based on “Limited Utility”?

iPhone App Store

An iPhone App developer has sent the rejection letter that they received from Apple for their app called Pull My Finger to Mac Rumors.

This is the second iPhone application to have got rejected by Apple that I am aware of so far (I am sure there are many more), the last iPhone app to have got rejected was comic book app Murderdrome. 

The iPhone App seems to be based on the "Pull my finger" prank where the person playing the prank says "pull my finger" and then farts when it is pulled. You can checkout the YouTube video of the iPhone app below to get an overview of the app:

The iPhone App developer got the following letter from Apple:

"Hello Developer,

We’ve reviewed your application Pull My Finger. We have determined that this application is of limited utility to the broad iPhone and iPod touch user community, and will not be published to the App Store.

It may be very appropriate to share with friends and family, and we recommend you review the Ad Hoc method on the Distribution tab of the iPhone Developer Portal for details on distributing this application among a small group of people of your choosing.


Victor Wang
Worldwide Developer Relations
Apple, Inc."

Did Apple Do the Right Thing by Rejecting an iPhone App Based on "Limited Utility"?

Some folks have raised concerns regarding the "limited utility" reason provided by Apple for rejecting the app. Some have also questioned how iPhone apps like Koi Pond (which incidentally remains the #1 iPhone app on the App Store) or the in-famous "I am Rich" app can get approved while the "Pull My Finger" app got rejected.

Frankly I am not surprised, the iPhone app approval process is manual so its subjective. So while someone who reviewed the app found "limited utility" of the app there could have been someone else who would have found some utility of the iPhone app (though in case of some paid apps I am still clueless on how they made it to the App Store). I also don’t think this will be the last iPhone app to get rejected where people question Apple’s decision.

There are some who think that if an iPhone app meets the terms of Apple’s iPhone SDK then it should be left to iPhone users to download/buy the app while there are others who think that it would become unmanageable to allow useless apps to make it to the App Store.

Here are some of the iPhone apps that have either got removed from the App Store or rejected during the approval process due to various reasons:

In my opinion, if the iPhone app meets the terms of Apple’s iPhone SDK and also has a demo version (an important requirement in case of paid apps) so users can check it out before buying it, should be approved, irrespective of the utility of the iPhone app.

So what do you think?

[via Mac Rumors]

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