There are both pros and cons to the fact that Apple has so much control over iPhone application distribution. One area that they have control over which might be seen as both a pro and a con is the removal of “bad apps” from a phone. You read that right, Apple has the capability of disabling unauthorized or malicious applications from your phone.
According to the author of iPhone Open Application Development Jonathan Zdziraski, Apple has a “remote” URL which points to a page of unauthorized applications (found here). He suggests that iPhones are calling home to Apple on occasion to find out if there are any applications that should be removed from the phone. Zdziarski says, “At the moment, no apps have been blacklisted, but by all appearances, this has been added to disable applications that the user has already downloaded and paid for, if Apple so chooses to shut them down.”Depending on how Apple uses this remote URL, this really shouldn’t be a problem.
Our thought on this is, Apple has control over which apps appear in the App Store to begin with, shouldn’t they be making sure there aren’t any issues before they get released? On the other hand, sometimes it’s simply impossible to check everything. Well, it’s possible, but it would take so much time to clear every single app that developers would end-up frustrated with the process. It might be good, in most instances, that they have a system in place, to keep people protected from applications that may seem harmless, but have a malicious aspect to them.
Apple is already starting to get some slack over this with people not too keen on the idea that their phone is contacting Cupertino. If you happen to have an application disappear all of a sudden without warning in the future, you might know why.