A few days ago, Apple pulled an application from the App Store that showed how the developer perceives the production of everyone's favourite smartphone.
The app conveys what could be seen as immoral industrial techniques and employment of under-age workers. It allows the user to follow each and every piece of their iPhone, through "the coltan extraction in Congo, outsourced labor in China, e-waste in Pakistan" and eventually to an Apple Store near you!
The people behind the application do seem to be developing for a good cause- much of the money made from the app will go towards charities. They genuinely appear to be trying to help the vulnerable people tied to the manufacturing of Apple devices. Have a look at their website for more information.
The developer has released the following statement which explains Apple's reasoning.
15.2 Apps that depict violence or abuse of children will be rejected
16.1 Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected
21.1 Apps that include the ability to make donations to recognized charitable organizations must be free
21.2 The collection of donations must be done via a web site in Safari or an SMS
We contest the violation 21.1 and 21.2 since it's not possible to make donations through Phone Story. Molleindustria simply pledged to redirect the revenues to no-profit organizations, acting independently.
I personally found this rather amusing as it seems Apple are saying that their own production- if what the application depicts is accurate- involves the abuse or violence of children and other crude methods. Perhaps Apple could further explain this matter - until they do, I believe many people with be suspicious of their motives to remove this application.
© Graham Macphee 2011