iPhone developers claim Apple not paying up

iPhone app developers are making claims that Apple is not paying them for sales in the iTunes App Store from as far back as the Fall of 2008.

David Martin
David Martin has more than 20 years of experience in the industry as a programmer, systems and business analyst, author, and consultant.
David Martin

May isn't shaping up as one of the best months for iPhone developers. A number of complaints have surfaced over the last week, from the usual App Store rejections (as in the SlingPlayer case), to developers claiming that Apple isn't paying them.

According to a TechCrunch report, a vocal group of developers is considering suing Apple for breach of contract after claiming to have not received payment for downloads of their applications.

You can see examples of complaints on developer forums at iphonedevsdk.com, where the posts indicate that some developers have not been paid for App Store sales from as far back as Fall 2008. In one instance, there are examples of e-mail between a developer and Apple. The developer's attempts to repeatedly contact Apple's finance department to complain resulted in a response from Apple claiming that the complaints "border on harassment."

It remains to be seen whether lawsuits will be filed by developers against Apple. But given Apple's outstanding revenue performance in a bad economy for the last quarter, the hugely successful iTunes App Store, and Apple's estimated $29 billion in cash reserves, we wouldn't be surprised if some developers find it hard to believe that Apple shouldn't pay them. Do you agree? Tell us what you think in the comments.