Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone platform is white hot right now. Over 100,000 applications are available and numerous reports of apps making thousands of dollars a day.
It’s been a bonanza for offshore iPhone development firms, which build clients quality apps at lower prices.
But some of these firms are getting new business by outright lying — by taking credit for iPhone applications they did not build.
Ars Technica reports that one victim of this kind of fraud is TapBots, LLC, makers of iPhone hits ConvertBot and WeightBot.
TapBots partner Paul Haddad only found out about the lie when a client emailed him. The client wanted to confirm whether Trucid, an India-based developer that solicits work on Rentacoder.com, really did the coding for ConverBot.
Trucid had not. It also didn’t do the work for BillMinder, another popular iPhone application made by return7, LLC. But on its Web site, Trucid claimed it had and said it was willing to make similar applications for just $2,400.
And that’s not the only case.
Sugar Cube, Inc., an iPhone development company in San Francisco, sent out screesnhots of some of its work to other developer shops in hopes of beginning referral relationships. But even though Sugar Cube sent these screenshots under NDA, it soon found examples of its work in these other shops’ pitches to clients.
The lesson gained from all this is to be aware of the pilfering occurring and always double-check references. Big iPhone hits make for good targets but applications from two-man independent teams can also be victimized.