∞ Schiller's App Store approvals comparison to retail store makes sense

I’ve been a vocal critic of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch App Store approval process. I’m as frustrated with some of the decisions as anyone and tend to speak my mind, but recent comments from Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, Phil Schiller, have me rethinking my position. App StoreThe crux of the dissatisfaction comes from Apple making decisions that, on the surface, don’t make much sense to consumers. Apps that get rejected for no apparent reason or apps that get rejected when a similar app from another company is already in the store.

In an interview with BusinessWeek in late November, Schiller explains Apple’s position on the approval process and sheds some light on how Apple feels about it.

“Whatever your favorite retailer is, of course they care about the quality of products they offer,” said Schiller. “We review the applications to make sure they work as the customers expect them to work when they download them.”

Now that makes sense to me. If I walk into a retailer with my children, I expect the products on the shelves to be appropriate. I take it for granted that the buyers at the retailer are going to do that.

I also expect that when I buy something, it’s going to work. I don’t think it would be fair if I was charged two or three times for my purchase either.

Apple obviously spent a lot of time and money on the backend operations of the App Store and for the most part it works really well.

There are still some problems with the App Store approval process, especially when it comes to things like rejecting app updates when they have previously been approved, or rejecting an app when there is a similar one already in the store.

Schiller’s explanation doesn’t clear up all of the App Store problems, but it goes a long way to explaining the company’s position.