We’ve since had this rumour confirmed by an established iPhone games developer, and we’ve taken a look at the offending passage in the new contract. Here it is:
“6.3 In the event that Apple receives any notice or claim from any end-user that: (i) the end-user wishes to cancel its license to any of the Licensed Applications within (90) days of the date of download of that Licensed Application by that end-user; or (ii) a Licensed Application fails to conform to Your Specifications or Your Product warranty or the requirements of any applicable law, Apple may refund to the end-user the full amount of the price paid by the end-user for that Licensed Application. In the event that Apple refunds any such price to an end-user, You shall reimburse, or grant Apple a credit for, an amount equal to the price for that Licensed Application. Apple will have the right to retain its commission on the sale of that Licensed Application, notwithstanding the refund of the price to the end-user.”
But, with the help of our covert developer buddy and a bit more digging, we discovered this passage was always in the Apple developer’s contract - it’s just gone pretty much unnoticed until Android’s 24 hour returns policy brought it to light.
Presumably, then, it isn’t as simple for users to claim their money back from the App Store as it is from the Market, since we’ve not heard of anyone landing an iPhone application refund.
It’s very interesting to know that the option’s there, however, should any mis-sold or systemically faulty games make it onto the App Store (and there have been one or two lately).
But neither does it change the fact that the option to ‘cancel the license’ within 90 days could be potentially disastrous for developers. It’s also quite ludicrous that Apple should be allowed to retain its commission on a refund, leaving the developer to lose money on every returned product.
Your thoughts on a postcard.