On top of this, the complaint that Apple do not respond doesn't ring true with me. In my experience, at the very least in the past 6 months Apple have become very prompt in responding, especially to rejection issues, and have provided a contact phone number to further expedite the process.
To me this looks like some guy venting his frustration that Apple are calling his bluffs and is a good excuse for people to gratuitously bag on Apple.
If you distribute a web app using SSL, and let your Verisign certificate expire, are you going to complain that Verisign is unfair because now your customers are getting security warnings/errors in their browsers?
However, to me, it isn't clear that this was really the reason for his app being removed from sale.
My first two apps haven't been updated for a long time (the first was released in 2008 and the second in early 2009). The distribution provisioning profiles (and the certificates used for the profiles) expired a long time ago.
However, those two apps are still available for sale in the app-store (because my developer registration continues to be active)
It is unclear why the developer's app was removed from sale after being approved, but if the certificate/profile had been valid at approval time, that isn't the problem. If the profile had previously expired and the app had been approved in error, he should just try to resubmit it with a new provisioning profile.
Read this carefully:
Anyone doing mobile and wanting to bootstrap needs to do iPhone first.
You know what? We had the exact same issues when working on Mobile Colloquy. We managed to figure out a way to not get removed from the app store. And we're BSD! All he had to do was copy what we did (yet again; Rooms' core is based on Colloquy's Chat Core)!
Having said that, the rest of the story seems conflicting and with confusing back-and-forth.
And this comment: "It’s just not possible to tell them to hold the chatline, send a Push Message, and resend the text to the app when it comes online…"? That's arguably less of a limit, and more of a potential opportunity. Why not create the servers necessary to do that; to allow off-line IRC, and deliver via push? There are folks already using a similar scheme - bouncers - to do that with existing IRC clients and servers, after all. Package that and sell it, and (if your end-user agreements are clear about the potential for dual-use of the servers) package and sell the feed, too.
We considered running a service like this for Mobile Colloquy. We ultimately decided that it wasn't worth doing. Too many different IRC networks out there, too much potential for abuse. This page is slightly out of date, but explains our reasoning for not running a bouncer service on our own: http://colloquy.mobi/push.html
Instead, we host a push server and let people use a bouncer that they host on their own for push. There's support for ZNC, Colloquy and irssi. Plus an SDK-type thing, so any other bouncer with a plugin system can, in theory, work.
There's no way in hell I'd develop anything for iOS while the only way to distribute is via the app store.
I have some serious cognitive dissonance going on though; I have an iPad, and it's great. I'm glad people do run the app store gauntlet so I have nice apps to play with.
With the recent ruling reinforcing the legal standing of jail-breaking a device to load applications, does that mean that third party application market places are also legal? I know there has been some debate about that, would be an interesting spot for someone to consolidate a multi platform app store.