iPhone Dev Program Broken?

Paul Kafasis, who along with his fellow Rogue Amoeba's raised some early concerns over the iPhone SDK, is back with a post WWDC status report, and his current opinion? Brokended.

After a month of waiting, with no contact from Apple save form letters that went out to all developers, we'd grown quite frustrated. We don't know if we should invest our time in a platform for which we may not even be allowed to release software. Finally on April 8th, one of our developers decided to apply to the program as an individual, to see what would happen. Shockingly, in under 24 hours he had a certificate which enabled him to work on actual hardware.

Kafasis thinks that Apple is handling individual applications separately from -- and for some reason much faster than -- company applications, which he finds confusing given the possible impact of large development houses and the only real (and critical) differentiator of the $99 program acceptance being the ability to tether and test actual hardware (rather than simulators) and, of course, the ability to sell through the App Store. Ultimately, he believes the problem lies in Apple's communications -- not only its lack of clarity, but its complete lacking (almost a trademark of the tight lipped company).

iPhone dev expert extraordinaire Erica Sadun follows up with some analysis of her own:

25000 applied; 4000 admitted. By any stretch of the calculator, thats only about a 16% acceptance rate. It's one that has left many independent OS X developers behind.

Was Apple overwhelmed by the sheer volume of applications? Have they botched the program from the get go? And what could they do now to help get developers (and their developments) back on track?