Lodsys seems to be hell-bent on ruining things not just for application developers but for Apple as well, and it seems owing to its new-found skill in patent trolling for the odd buck, the App Store’s approval process for in-app purchases has now been frozen.
Apple’s policies require iOS developers to test their own in-app purchases prior to the application’s approval with a test user account. Many developers are now reporting that this test account has been offline for approximately a week, with no word from Apple explaining the situation. While I’ll admit that I have jumped to the conclusion that Lodsys is to blame, you have to agree that something smells fishy.
TUAW also suggests that in-app purchase approvals have been suspended while Apple’s lawyers deal with Lodsys and investigate its patent claim, which is directly related to in-app purchases.
Would Apple back down so easily and temporarily cease application approvals that use in-app purchases until the issue is resolved, or is this merely a maintenance issue while Apple works its magic behind the scenes?
There is a thread regarding this issue currently running on Apple’s developer forums for any iOS developers who are interested.
UPDATE: TUAW have now been informed that the approval system is back up again. If you’re a developer who’s been waiting for the service, you may want to try it again.