Step by Step: Apple's App Store Approval Process

To say Apple’s approval process for its iTunes App Store is a bit of a black box would be an understatement.

But today, I came across this Joy of Tech comic strip that clears up all the confusion. And I just had to post it to Mobile WorkHorse. It’s clearly satirical, yet the process detailed within the graphic seems to make about as much sense as any other explanation the iPhone- and iPod-maker has offered for why it seemingly rejects some apps for no reason, while letting other similar ones pass without question.

Illustration by Joy of Tech

CARTOON CREDIT: "The Joy of Tech™" by Nitrozac & Snaggy, Copyright © 2008 Geek Culture. Archived at

Additional mobile software store operators like Microsoft (Windows Marketplace for Mobile), Research In Motion (RIM, BlackBerry App World) and Nokia (Ovi Store) could learn a thing of two from Apple about how not to handle developer software submissions, lest they be similarly ridiculed in comic form.

Whether or not iPhone/iPod apps get approved, according to Joy of Tech, mostly comes down to whether or not Apple is feeling “evil” on any given day…which ironically doesn’t seem too off base from what little we actually know about the “official” process.

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