Yes, U.S. iPhone Apps Are Legal For Business Use

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Published reports that iPhone applications are not licensed for business use appear to be untrue, at least for customers of Apple's U.S. App Store.

A blog site, "The Daily Tech," posted an item earlier today stating that iPhone apps sold in Sweden and the U.K. are licensed for "personal, non-commercial" use only. While I have not checked those countries' Apple Terms of Service, the U.S. version contains no such language in its App Store section.

To check, I went to Apple's "iTunes Store - Terms and Conditions" page. It is not a model of clarity and, indeed, "personal, non-commercial" use appears several times, but only related to iTunes purchases. The separate App Store TOS, which appears at the very end of the TOS page, contains no such exclusion.

The closest the App Store TOS comes is this statement: "All Products made available through the Service are licensed to end user customers only." That seems to place no limitation on the business use of iPhone/iPod apps by end user customers, like you and me.

It is possible that the Apple U.K. and Sweden TOS documents are being misinterpreted. It would be easy to miss the separate App Store section of the U.S. TOS and I wonder whether that happened here. Or maybe Apple doesn't have a separate App Store TOS in those countries.

To find out more, I have sent an e-mail to Apple asking about this issue and have yet to receive a reply. When I receive a response, I will post it as an addition to this story.

I think this is either a misunderstanding, some quirk in European law related to taxation, or a mere screw-up on Apple's part. Regardless, I am quite certain Apple doesn't intend to limit business use of App Store purchases.

David Coursey tweets as @techinciter .

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