Apple Bans Jailbreaks And Selling Apps Outside The App Store

Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has put some new clauses into the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, which governs what iPhone developers can and cannot do. The new rules restrict developers from developing and distributing jailbreaking applications (which unlock the iPhone from a carrier and allow unauthorised applications to be loaded), and also restricts distribution of applications to the App Store and “limited distribution on Registered Devices” reports Ars Technica. It cites the relevant clauses in the agreement as:
(e) You will not, through use of the Apple Software, services or otherwise, create any Application or other program that would disable, hack or otherwise interfere with the Security Solution, or any security, digital signing, digital rights management, verification or authentication mechanisms implemented in or by the iPhone operating system software, iPod touch operating system software, this Apple Software, any services or other Apple software or technology, or enable others to do so; and
(f) Applications developed using the Apple Software may only be distributed if selected by Apple (in its sole discretion) for distribution via the App Store or for limited distribution on Registered Devices (ad hoc distribution) as contemplated in this Agreement.
Exactly how big an effect this will have is unclear, but it’s likely some developers will decide to cease distributing applications via channels other than the App Store. Being restricted to a single app store with a single gatekeeper isn’t ideal for developers, but it’s thought that one of the reasons so many applications were sold for the iPhone compared to Windows handsets is that they were all in the same place. (One of the commentators on Ars Technica said that clause (e) isn’t new).