Daring Fireball has posted an interesting article that focuses on trust-issues developers have with Apple's current App Store approval process. In a pod-shell, they can't depend on Apple not to reject Apps they've invested time and money on, hence they are reluctant to develop the kind of Apps that require time and money, which are typically just the kind of innovative, mind-blowing Apps we really, really want them to develop and Apple not to reject. While DF's solution is both simple and profound, it's an analysis of just why Apple may have rejected PodCaster and MailWrangler, the two Apps whose rejection made manifest this developer fear:

The theory is that there is an unpublished rule that Apple — and in this case, where by “Apple” I really mean “Steven P. Jobs” — will not publish third-party apps that compete with or replace any of the four apps in the iPhone’s default “dock”: Phone, Mail, Safari, and iPod.


And so my guess is that while there may not be any logic, there’s at least a notion, if only in Jobs’s mind, that these four apps are sacrosanct because they define the iPhone. Everything else, both from Apple and from App Store developers, is piffle, secondary to those four apps.

While I remember there being another issue stated for MailWrangler's rejection: that it didn't allow users to edit their account information, it's impossible to know at this point whether or not fixing that and resubmitting it to the App Store would have gotten the developer any further (though I hope he at least tried?)

What do you think? Could a lot of the current App-angst be traced back to Apple's (and Steve Jobs') holding the iPhone dock applications sacred? And if so, if they clearly stated in the SDK "Thou Shalt Place No Apps Before the Them", would that go anywhere towards calming developer fears, or only increasing their frustration?