It's always an interesting Sunday when the front page of the New York Times business section features a mostly-glowing piece on the dynamics of the App Store, leading off with some facts and figures from Freeverse's Ian Lynch Smith (who also appeared in our own video visit to Freeverse last month). Smith let the Times know that one month of sales for chart-topper Skee-Ball, an app that took two months to develop, came to $181,000. Not bad at all.
The entire article is worth a read, and it at least gives a brief nod to the ongoing struggles between independent developers and Apple's review process than we're used to hearing about (including a mention of one unlucky VoIP shop with an 'in review' time measured by the year). The anecdotal evidence is starting to mount that Apple is thinking seriously about how the App Store's failings are effecting the ecosystem and driving quality developers from the platform: direct executive intervention to approve apps, responding to allegations of review fixing, and quick turnarounds on low-logic rejections all help matters. What would help more than those examples of good exception handling? More clarity, more transparency, and more equity -- assuming you're not in favor of my modest proposal to subvert app review entirely. Since there are now suggestions that even non-jailbroken phones might be vulnerable to data theft from malicious apps, it seems unlikely that Apple will let unreviewed apps through anytime soon.