According to a UK-based app developer, Apple has ripped off his Wi-Fi Sync iOS app that was rejected a year ago. Apple announced the availability of its own Wi-Fi Sync in iOS 5 at WWDC 2011 this week.
The Register quoting Greg Hughes, the developer and a student at the University of Birmingham:
I’d been selling my app with that name and icon for at least a year. Apple knew that, as I’d submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that.
When Hughes’ app was rejected in May of last year he received a call from an Apple representative prior to the formal rejection letter stating that his app raised “unspecified security concerns” and used undocumented APIs.
They did say that the iPhone engineering team had looked at it and were impressed, they asked for my CV as well.
Fair enough that it was rejected due to undocumented APIs and “security concerns,” but Apple shouldn’t carbon-copy a developer’s app features, name and logo without attribution or compensation.
Hughes’ app has been for sale on Cydia, the app store for jailbroken iOS devices, for $9.99 and he has sold more than 50,000 copies. It’s safe to say he’s probably doing ok financially, but that does not excuse Apple from stealing his intellectual property.
I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of this story.