The iPhone App Store Rogues Gallery (AAPL)

Some 1,500 apps have made it into Apple’s iPhone App Store in its first month in business. And so far, at least five have gotten the boot, including the most recent, “I Am Rich,” a $999.99 gag with no features. UPDATE: The guy behind that one says he made about $6,000 selling 8 copies in less than a day.

Why were the apps killed, and by whom? It varies: Developer Tapulous proactively removed its contact-info-swapping Friend Book app last month after it found out the app was sending peoples’ contact info to strangers. But in the case of the other four apps, it seems that Apple had second thoughts and pulled the app itself. It’s not clear whether Apple has told the developers why it yanked the apps. The people behind seemingly harmless movie-listings app BoxOffice, for instance, say they never heard from the company.

The iPhone App store is supposed to be a walled garden — Apple is only letting consumers access programs that it’s vetted in advance. But these quick reversals make it seem as if Apple isn’t paying close attention to what it lets in and out of its real estate. And sometimes it reverses its reversal: Apple let in NetShare, which lets you hijack your iPhone’s 3G Internet connection and use it from a computer — a violation of AT&T’s terms of service — and then kicked it out. Then it let it back in again. Now it’s out once more.

We’ve asked Apple for comment about its app inclusion and removal policy. While we wait to hear from them (this might take a while) — please let us know if there are apps we should be adding to our rogues list.

The iPhone App Store Rogues Gallery

App Developer Added Removed Who Removed? Why Removed? I Am Rich Armin Heinrich Aug. 5 Aug. 6 Unknown Unknown NetShare Nullriver Jul. 31 Aug. 2 Apple Our guess: Violates AT&T’s terms of service; Can’t tether phone to computers. BoxOffice

Aug. 1
Developer has/had no idea. Aurora Feint Danielle Cassley and Jason Citron     Apple Security flaw: Game was sending contact list to servers, unencrypted; now back in store. Friend Book
Tapulous Jul. 18 Jul. 19 Tapulous Bug in app was sending peoples’ contact info to strangersSee Also:
Worthless, $1000 “I Am Rich” iPhone App Disappears
Apple’s iPhone-App-Approval Mouse Falls Off Treadmill: Buy The $1000 App That Does Nothing
iPhone Game ‘Tap Tap Revenge’: Popular With Humans, Birds

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