In addition to the much ballyhooed changes Apple made to its developer license agreement last week regarding cross platform development tools and app review guidelines, Apple also made a point of clarifying its position on app name squatting.
As with any venture where vast sums of money change hands, the iTunes App Store is no stranger to shady developers looking to make a quick buck. In the past, thieving developers have purchased their own apps with fraudulent and/or stolen iTunes ids while others have resorted to giving their apps titles that are strikingly close to existent and popular apps (i.e the equivalent of registering www.yahooo.com).
One other way that developers have taken advantage of iTunes, up until now, has been to register an app title in iTunes Connect and simply not do anything with it. In other words, some folks were registering app names yet never actually got around, or had plans to, upload an actual program. With last week’s changes, Apple is clamping down on that behavior.
Under Apple’s new guidelines, developers have up to 90 days to upload a binary after creating an app title. Failing to do so, developers are then given a warning and notified that if they do not upload a binary in the next 30 days, all traces of their app will be removed from iTunes Connect and the app title will once again become available for another developer to use.
Below is an email Apple has been sending out to developers relaying to them the new rules (names changed to protect the innocent.)