Give Alex Sokirynsky credit for courage: After Apple rejected his “Podcaster” app from the iPhone App Store — for supposedly duplicating an iTunes feature — he decided to sell the app anyway using Apple’s (AAPL) “ad-hoc” distribution method. And he’s reportedly made a nice wad of money doing so — perhaps $10,000 or more.
How? Send Sokirynsky your iPhone’s unique ID and a $9.99 PayPal donation, and he’ll send you an app file that you can install yourself, without going through the iTunes store. Apple designed this distribution technique for companies to use for beta testing their apps, but Sokirynsky is using it — probably against Apple’s terms — to sell his app commercially. And it looks like he’s still in business. Niall Kennedy, via Daring Fireball:
As of [Monday] afternoon Podcaster had provisioned 1130 devices for distribution across 12 different copies of the application hosted on Google Code. Each new uploaded build included up to new 100 authorised devices after the publisher received payment via PayPal. It’s stretching the Ad-Hoc distribution model a bit but the application may have collected approximately $11,000 over the weekend through suggested donations of $10 per handset. At the time of writing Apple has not pulled the application or developer certificates from their central certificate authority.
Important: Because this isn’t going through the App Store, Apple’s not collecting its 30% cut. This won’t please the company, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple bans Sokirynsky from the App Store, takes away his iPhone developer credentials, and/or yanks the “Podcaster” app off iPhones. So follow his footsteps at your own risk.
But Apple deserves this — they never should have blocked “Podcaster” in the first place, and they really need to step up their relations with developers.
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