Apple’s Latest App Store Rejection Technique: “Limited Audience”

I recently submitted the BestTechie for iPad app to the App Store along with an update for the already existing BestTechie for iPhone app.  There was nothing wrong with either application, both worked as advertised and did not crash.  I figured it would be a no-brainer submission.  After all, what could go wrong?  Apple approves 95% of all submitted applications and we weren’t breaking any policies or rules.  Well, yesterday, I received an email which stated that the BestTechie for iPhone app update had been approved and would appear in the App Store shortly.  Great.  I then received an email which stated that the iPad app was now under review. Great I thought, it should be approved today as well.

Well, it wasn’t.  Why wasn’t the BestTechie for iPad app approved?  The short answer (according to Apple or at least the person who reviewed it): “limited audience”.  I’ll paste a transcript of the email below.

Dear BestTechie Holdings Inc.,

We’ve reviewed your application BestTechie for iPad and have determined that this application is not appropriate for the App Store because it is intended for a limited audience.

If you would like to share it with friends and family, 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.

If you believe that you can add additional user functionality to BestTechie for iPad so that it can be accessible to a wider audience, we encourage you to do so and resubmit it for review.

Best Regards,

App Review Team
iPhone Developer Program

So I wrote back:

I would like to respectfully disagree with this app rejection and request that the approval is reconsidered.

The BestTechie for iPad application is no different then any other community oriented app. I would also like to make note that the BestTechie application has already been approved for the iPhone. In fact, an update for BestTechie for iPhone was approved just yesterday, the day which the iPad app was rejected.

This application does not violate any App Store policies or rules. You recommend that I use Ad-Hoc distribution, however, through that method I can only distribute to 100 devices. That’s unacceptable. The BestTechie community is constantly growing and receives thousands of visits every day.

Again to say my app is for a limited audience is completely relative and subjective. The same way Twitter apps are for Twitter which one could argue is a limited audience (when looking at the web as a whole, or even compared to Facebook). There is also a TWiT iPad app, which is limited to only the TWiT community. So I ask – what’s wrong with limiting the app to the BestTechie community?

Kindest Regards,

Jeff Weisbein

Update with Apple’s response below:

Dear BestTechie Holdings Inc.,

Thank you for your email. BestTechie for iPad does not provide any additional functionality to differentiate it from your iPhone-only version. It would be appropriate to incorporate significant iPad-specific functionality and/or create a Universal Application.

For additional information regarding Universal Applications, please see the Preparing Universal Applications document here:

-developer link removed-

Also, please see the SDK Compatibility Guide below as it provides detailed information on weak-linking and building code that would take advantage of different frameworks and APIs that are available on the current device.

-developer link removed-

In order for your application to be reconsidered for the App Store, please resolve this issue and upload your new binary to iTunes Connect.

Should you require technical assistance, you may use one of your Technical Support Incidents included in your iPhone Developer Program by sending an email to Apple Developer Technical Support at -email-removed-.

Best Regards,

App Review Team
iPhone Developer Program

I’ll continue to keep everyone updated on the situation as it progresses.

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  • iccaros
    Posted June 27, 2010 at 4:09 PM 0Likes

    Sorry Jeff
    I can see their point in the last email, that is you created to different apps that do the same thing.. Create a universal app and it will pass as a update to the iphone app. 

    Creating a universal app is simple, if you have the ipad layout (or else how could you submit it) done.. then create a new project and make it universal. Copy the ipod/iphone parts in and copy the interface for the ipad parts. Since I assume you wrote the code to be separate from display it should only be a matter of connecting interface to function, and it should work.. I see this as not more than a few hours to complete, test and submit. 

  • albert
    Posted August 9, 2010 at 9:40 PM 0Likes

    Hi Jeff, thanks for the sharing, how’s it going now?

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