Apple Putting The Squeeze On iPhone Developers [Updated]

The iPhone is a slick looking machine. More and more developers are starting to make iPhone games, and the platform could give the PSP and the DS a run for its money.

But, according to insiders, the phone itself might be developer friendly, but Apple is not. Apple is forcing a rather nasty contractual amendment to developers.

Under the amendment, there's a new contract provision of a 90 day refund policy that states for every refund, developers must pay back Apple's 30 percent royalty cut. What does that mean? That means Apple reimburses 100% of the cost of the refund to the user and the developer has to pay back Apple's cut with their own pocket money. Thus, Apple is not losing anything, but the developer who only receives 70 percent of the revenue from each download has to pay back 100 percent for every single refund.

If customers can claim refunds hassle-free (and there is a 90 day refund window) this means developers could actually face the prospect of going into debt as people download and play the game to completion and then claim a refund for whatever reason. Obviously good for consumers but not for developers.

Word has it that Apple is forcing devs to sign the new contract by the end of this week. Those who don't will be left with no ability to upload and upgrade existing applications. This contract is apparently being put in front of major game developers who are releasing iPhone titles.

Updated: As website Pocket Gamer has pointed out, this is technically wrong, but right in spirit. Read this link for more info.