Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Apple to Thousands: No iPhone Developer Program for You…Yet

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When Apple said in a recent press release that only “a limited number of developers will be accepted into Apple’s new iPhone Developer Program,” it wasn’t kidding. Apple Friday sent out a mass e-mail to reject – at least for now – the majority of those who applied to take part in the beta of the iPhone Developer Program.

Over 100,000 have downloaded the iPhone software developer kit (SDK) since its introduction last week, Apple reported a couple of days ago.

The rejection e-mail from Apple reads:

Thank you for expressing interest in the iPhone Developer Program. We have received your enrollment request. As this time, the iPhone Developer Program is available to a limited number of developers and we plan to expand during the beta period. We will contact you again regarding your enrollment status at the appropriate time.

Just because you’ve been rejected from the iPhone Developer Program, it doesn’t mean you can’t still mess around with the SDK and create iPhone software. You just might not want to devote too much time to it until you’ve (hopefully) eventually been accepted.

As the letter says, the rejection means you’re not entitled to shell out the $99 ($299 for enterprises) to take part in the iPhone Developer Program yet. Those accepted into the iPhone Developer Program receive much more in the way of development resources and support from Apple than they get through SDK itself and, perhaps more importantly, reserves them a place in the iPhone App Store—with direct access to millions of iPhone and iPod touch users.

Accepted developers also receive a signing certificate to enable them to run and test their applications on an actual iPhone with the beta of the iPhone 2.0 software update installed and not just through the SDK’s Aspen iPhone simulator. Another electronic certificate enables Apple to track an application back to a particular developer should a bad or malicious iPhone program surface.

Developer of all stripes, individual and corporate, have been rejected, according to tuaw. Those who applied from outside the US received the following message from Apple:

At this time, the iPhone Developer Program is only available in the US, and will expand to other countries during the beta period. We will contact you again regarding your enrollment status at the appropriate time.

Tuaw accurately calls the mass rejection e-mailing more of “limbogram,” as it is “less about ‘rejection’ than it is about developers being unable to commit resources when Apple won’t give a firm go-ahead.” You’d think Apple would eventually accept most of the developers who want to enhance the iPhone platform by developing software for it and, possibly, earning some money in the process.

However you look at Apple’s e-mail, whether it places a developer in limbo or rejects them outright, it is yet another reason to bet the unofficial third-party market for iPhone software will continue to thrive for the foreseeable future, even after the iPhone App Store opens for business this June.

This article was first published on

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