back to article Apple bans iPhone app for changing version number

Apple has banned version 1.3 of return7's CastCatcher internet radio service from the iPhone App Store, complaining that it's "transferring excessive volumes of data over the cellular network." But you can still buy version 1.2, which transfers exactly the same amount of data over the network. In fact, when Apple complains …


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  1. Dave

    UK Unlimited?

    I see Apple have caught on to the UK definition of 'unlimited'.

  2. smeddy


    Apple. Suck. Balls.

    I don't mind the Mac but I avoid everything else they do for their Hitler-esque levels of tolerance.

  3. Andy Worth

    Re:UK Unlimited?

    You mean like "unlimited broadband" I assume? Which then they limit because you decide to actually use it?

    And banning this app makes no's almost like they caught the "censor" on a bad day.

  4. Donovan Hill

    Why are people buying this?

    Serious... I don't get why everyone is into the Jesus Phone when it seems like Steve the Father likes to ram his adherents up the keister....

    I must've really missed something because I wouldn't be caught dead buying some sort of crippled device like that.

    (The penguin because it's Open!)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think it's clear who's responsible for Opera Mini not appearing for the iPhone yet.

    This is how home computing would have been if Apple had won over Microsoft 25 years ago. I doubt we'd ever have had Web 1.0 let alone 2.0.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    It's Schrödinger's bandwidth. It's unlimited, until you actually try to use it.

    I kind of like this way of thinking about things, actually...I've actually got unlimited money, so long as I don't try to spend it. Awesome.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    This isn't really a story about Apple. Its the telephone operators who impose the restrictions on traffic. At the end of the day if the operators stood by their "unlimited" tariffs then there wouldn't be an issue and Apple would care less.

    But then any excuse to yet again slag the iPhone and Apple is happily pounced upon.

  8. Ralph B
    Jobs Horns


    It hurts me to say it, but things like this make me strangely grateful that Microsoft won the PC Wars rather than Apple. Sure, Gates has exploited his Windows monopoly somewhat, but I dread to think what Jobs would have done with a Mac monopoly.

  9. F Seiler


    >>Experimental AAC+ support

    Apple didn't like someone else having SBR on their devices before themselves ?

    Disclaimer: i have no clue what Apple's devices support today but something i really laughed at was when the (first) iPods came with low complexitiy profile AAC only.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Roll out the lawyers

    I hope Apple get sued for this anti competitive nonsense.

  11. Andy ORourke


    Too right, I just got "Unlimited ** " texts on my new orange contract

    ** Subject to a fair usage policy of a maximum of 3000 texts per month.

    Now I dont send anywhere near that amount of texts and I didnt even buy into the contract on the basis of unlimited texting but is it right that operators can sell an "unlimited" package which, is quite clearly, limited? I dont know but trading standards and OFCOM are going to come back to me shortly............

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    You just wait.

    People will start defending Apple's action here.

  13. Steen Hive

    The very reason

    That I suffer WM on my phone.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The phone that polices it's users.

  15. Richard Cartledge

    Fair enough

    I'm surprised they even submitted an app which uses the cellular network for streaming radio, that's just asking for trouble and I'm surprised Apple failed to refer it back in the first place. The cellular network isn't really suitable for this and I wouldn't want my prices to go up and performance to go down because of it.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    And Next Week

    Steve announces that the store will have a new Apple internet radio app featuring some of the features that castcatcher had. Please keep emptying your wallets for the pleasure of the uberlord.

    WTF does it have to do with Apple how much data is being carried anyway? What gives them the right to dictate how I use MY device on MY contract with a completely different company? Should Nokia have the right to ban apps because they cause too much traffic on O2? Or Samsung because of too much traffic for Vodafone?

    Remember fruity lovers - you are the ones who have been happy to let Steve keep dictating to you what to buy, what to use, how much it will cost and what you cannot do. With every year that goes by he becomes more draconian and you lot lap it up like he is the next Jesus. You have no-one to blame but yourselves.

  17. Lex
    Jobs Horns


    What a surprise. Yet another company realises (particuarly via the app store) than Apple aren't as good as they make themselves out to be. Annoyingly they make good hardware (ipods etc) but as a company they are shocking. How they get away with so many things that other companies would have been slapped for I dont know. Perhaps these in consistencies in handling things stem up to above management too for beating other companies down with things like 'you cant force media player onto people, you must make it available without that' but 'oh, its ok for you to push safari on any itunes user apple. Go ahead, make it a defaulted on tick box' and 'by all means make it so people can only use your batteries in your products and if they want it changing they have to send it back to you, rather than most other devices where users can change it themselves.'

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I always wondered ...

    .. if Apple got big enough, that they'd turn into as big b'stards as M$, guess I have an answer.

    Paris, because I'd prefer to be ..

  19. Tim Spence

    RE: UK Unlimited?

    While it's funny to laugh at Apple, to be fair, I don't think they ever mentioned the word "unlimited" in their T&Cs - that's going to be down to the data plan contracts AT&T, O2, etc have with their customers.

    For the record, I also think it should be left up to the operators to police data usage, and not Apple.

  20. Dan Wilkinson

    A title is needed

    Re: Unlimited - my O2 guy said the limit was 3Gb, but that they couldn't actually monitor it accurately enough to enforce it. Not sure how much of this was crap.

    Re: Excessive traffic - I'm not sure it's Apples job to ban an app because it will use loads of data. For a start, who's to say it will always be 3G data, and not your home WIFI while sat in the garden. And anyway, the users pay for it, if they use too much it's to the operators to enforce the "fair use policy", not the handset maker.

    Re: Version number - An update to the Google app has the following in the update description once "Lower emissions, Enhanced version number"....

  21. Eddie Edwards
    Jobs Halo

    Nice investigation

    So you guys have tested 1.3 and found there to be no difference in network traffic usage from 1.2?

    Coz I'm thinking Apple have done this and have found that there is a difference.

    In the absence of any investigation more thorough than printing the developer's "new features" list, I'm siding with Apple.

  22. Jessica Werkz


    I think we can assume that there is a great fat amount of misunderstanding here re not letting the new version of this software onto the iTunes store.

    If it is using no more bandwidth than the previous version of the same product or other similar products then there is really no need for version 1.3 to be stopped. Apple and the author make money by selling these products so there is a desire by both sides for the app to be available and to be bought.

    Maybe there is some way to configure v1.3 so that it does use too much bandwidth and then bust a whole load of agreements with telco's and maybe someone, who would prefer a nice big juicy iPhone bashing story, hasn't told us that bit yet. Jeez.

  23. Thomas Bottrill

    @Dan Wilkinson

    For Pay Monthly at least, there used to a 3GB limit, but they have removed all reference to it from the T&Cs. In fact, they don't even have any references to a fair use policy. The only real condition is:

    You may not use your SIM Card:

    in, or connected to, any other device including modems;

    to allow the continuous streaming of any audio / video content, enable Voice over Internet (Voip), P2P or file sharing; or

    in such a way that adversely impacts the service to other O2 customers.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Eat up Martha

    I think there's deeper conspiracies at work here. It's quite likely that there's a clause in the Apple <-> AT&T/O2 contracts that restricts them from allowing bandwidth hogs out there. Something Apple is contractually obliged to enforce on the App Store.

    However, I'm sure there's changes they could make to allow these. For example someone has mentioned that using Wifi would have been acceptable. Sounds like the BBC iPlayer set up to me - it only works over Wifi, not cellular networks.

    Presumably you could build a "feature" into the SDK that would allow you to specify that it's Wifi use only - shirley can't be that difficult?

  25. David Kelly


    A simple solution to this would be to allow bandwidth heavy apps to use wifi but not the cell network.

    I really wish Apple would stop this one-network nonsense and open up the iPhone to ALL networks.

  26. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Love this sort of thing!

    Companies crowing about "Come and live the 21st Century Dream! You can have the world at your finger tips, unlimited access to media anywhere, anytime!"

    ( Ooops sorry, our ad people put that in there sell the damn thing, you can't really it's just a phone/mp3 player/PC. No we never spoke to the comms people running the show, we knew wouldn't agree with us and anyway once you've bought the product you're locked in! )

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Sod the iphone, I want Japanese phones available over here, more features and smaller price tag.

    Apple probably got narked at the app becouse they realised it was popular and it threatened some of their own apps.

  28. Gulfie
    Thumb Down

    No defence here...

    I love my iPhone but hate Apple's Jobsian logic they use to decide what to approve and what to refuse.

    Allow everything, competition is good!

  29. Tim Cook


    The 1.3 update adds an "adjustable buffer" - isn't it likely that has an effect on the bandwidth demands? Could it not have tipped it over some invisible edge? Isn't that more likely than Apple just forgetting that 1.2 is still available? Or am I being too sensible here...

  30. Thomas

    @almost everyone

    @Donovan Hill

    I like to pretend that people are buying it because it has far and away the best browser. Probably they're buying it because it's pretty.


    Web 1.0 was developed on NextStep, i.e. the OS that is now known as Mac OS X. However...

    @Ralph B

    If Apple had been able to obtain a Mac monopoly, it's unlikely they'd have invited Jobs back.

    @And Next Week/AC

    Half right - radio of some sort is rumoured to be in the 2.2 firmware. So it'll be free, but this is probably really about Apple trying to kill off third-party implementations of the same functionality.

    Re: "WTF does it have to do with Apple how much data is being carried anyway? What gives them the right to dictate how I use MY device on MY contract with a completely different company?", the way that Apple and the carriers are intercontracted is not as straightforward as you seem to believe.


    I concur, but would add: has any company or could any company ever possibly be as good as Apple make themselves out to be?

    @Eddie Edwards

    Don't expect any actual investigation from The Register when it comes to a chance to knock Apple.

  31. Tom Richardson
    Thumb Down

    @Richard Cartledge

    The cellular network is not suitable for streaming relatively low bitrate audio?! Better tell that to all the people using Youtube on their phones then, oh and T-Mobile UK with the mobile IPTV streaming services. If it can't handle audio it definitely can't do video.

  32. Simon B
    Thumb Up

    Apple is fast showing its true colours

    What was once a respected name is very very fast becoming a name known for stupid legal actions, rules, lockdowns, restrictions and bollox.

    I'll stick with being a M$ fanboy, at least I know what I'm getting, and can build my own PC to use with their software.

  33. Mo

    I think you'll find…

    Apple just missed a trick when they approved this initially, that's all, and have belatedly pulled it when they should have to begin with.

    No conspiracy, really.

  34. Bassey

    Re: And Next Week

    > What gives them the right to dictate how I use MY device on MY contract

    Ha ha! I can't believe there are people out there who actually believe that, just because they dropped nearly £1000 on an iPhone, they actually own it.

    The naivety is almost touching.

  35. Peter Gold badge

    Like the products, hate the company

    It's a bit deja vu for me. I once was a Management Consultant and there too was the rather good and interesting work we did completely buried under the crap the company felt it had to expose customers to, up to and including fraudulent billing if they could get away with it.

    No "here was your problem and this is how we fixed it", no, it had to be grand presentations involving people who were (a) not even remotely involved, (b) were clueless enough to run for president if it wasn't the UK, (c) were singularly sopophoric in their delivery and (d) would claim the credit because the things we did could only have happened with "great leadership" (ignoring the fact that things usually happened the moment we managed to get them out of the way, and requiring peculiar definitions of both the word "great" and "leadership"). Needless to say, this was all very transparent to the customer.

    The result: good and sometimes excellent products (our work) pissed off customers regardless because they really liked us to do more, but were so put off by the constant added BS they eventually gave up. Oh, btw, no guessing who got the blame of the loss of contract..

    I see the same with Apple. They are part of that very limited group of tech companies who use design in their products, and most of the time rather effectively (although the iPod/iPhone touch interface and OS handling is IMHO immature, and I switched back to another phone that worked for me). However, the achievements are then so OVERjealously protected that the irritation and lockdown exceeds the pain threshold of anyone actually using the product and abandon it eventually. Abandonment is really worst case, because you have then properly lost a customer for quite some time (something that MS has started to discover with Vista) - a customer so lost will do a lot to avoid going back and will tell friends to avoid the product/service as well.

  36. vincent himpe

    please trademark or patent the word 'unlimited

    can someone please trademark the 'unlimited' stuff , and then sue all the crap comapnies that sell fake 'unlimited' stuff. Maybe it'll tie them up in litigation long enough so they disappear.

  37. Neurotic Nomad

    Naiveté and Myopia Abound.

    Part of the deal with the phone carriers is that Apple would be the face of the store - so it is up to them to do the banning, but if you think they didn't have a push in that decision then you are shockingly naive in matters of business partnership and primary corporate goals.

    Apple's primary goal is to sell hardware, and every action they do is to promote that goal.

    The Wireless Company's primary goal is to sell bits as they travel back and forth between devices and radio towers. Everything they do is to promote that goal.

    With this in mind, every decision that has ever come out about the iPhone makes perfect sense.

    (Many things still suck - but they make sense)

    It's amazing to me that not only the OP, but every commenter holds the belief that Apple cares how much bandwidth you use on the cellular network.

    Apple makes it's money selling you physical tangible objects. Restricting what you can do with that object is only done at the behest of partners. The RIAA imposes DRM in the iTunes stores, and the Wireless Companies impose bandwidth restrictions.

    The only thing that Apple digs it's claws into is the OS, and that's because they believe the OS belongs to the hardware - not to the end user. It's Mac OS X, not End User OS X. (That's why software is licensed but hardware is sold.) ...and doing so promotes the primary goal of selling hardware.

    Apple developed an OS to sell hardware, and they lock it down for the same reason.

    How much bandwidth you use on a cell network doesn't affect Apple's goal either way.

    Guess who's goal it DOES affect?

  38. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    It's a joke

    Traffic management has to be done in the network. Seeing as,at least in Germany, you can use the same SIM on the same contract connected to a PC with no download restriction this can only be a dead herring related to the fact that the network can't properly distinguish between internet "radio" and VoIP.

    I like Mac OS but some of the comments from the dullards on this are starting to make me feel ashamed.

  39. Scott Mckenzie

    Err... it's posted above from the T's&C's that you cannot use the device to continually stream audio/video over the cellular network, yet still people are complaining about this?

    Right. Just wanted to be clear on that.

  40. mark
    Thumb Down

    @ "O2 Unlimited" Contributors

    O2 can and do monitor bandwidth usage. I use my Sony Ericsson phone as a 3G modem (rather than buying a separate dongle). I managed to get myself a letter from their "Head of Risk Management" complete with a real signature (shock, horror), accusing me of using the service "excessively".

    Fun times.

  41. Daniel B.

    @Ralph B

    If Apple had won the PC wars back in the early-to-mid 90's, Steve Jobs would have *not* returned to Apple. He was brought back in a desperate move in a time when Apple was about to go down in flames.

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