App Store Rejection Reasons

by RentTesters on June 22, 2011

I gathered some of the common rejection reasons. To make sure that you iphone app is not rejected use for iphone app testing.

Must have more than “minimal user functionality”

We get this a lot (thanks, Nick et al.):

We have determined that this application contains minimal user functionality and will not be appropriate for the App Store.

iphone app is not rejected use for iphone app testing.

Cannot transfer excessive data volumes over cellular network

[App] cannot be posted to the App Store because it is transferring excessive volumes of data over the cellular network, which as outlined in the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement section 3.3.20, is prohibited.

iphone app is not rejected use for iphone app testing.
Cannot simulate failures or errors

“You’re not allowed to have any kind of cracked or broken screen effect.” The rejection cites “simulating failures” as prohibited.

Your app also cannot, intentionally or not, do something that could be construed as an iPhone software or App Store error

iphone app is not rejected use for iphone app testing.

Cannot use PhoneGap
An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise. No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s).

The PhoneGap API implemented in your application is an external framework.

Cannot duplicate the functionality of a built-in app- Your app cannot substantially overlap or replace built-in functionality. You can’t make a phone-call app or an email client or an MP3 player or a podcast downloader.

Cannot collect personal data without permission- Please make it clear to the user that their personal user data is being uploaded to your server, and obtain their consent before submission.

Must notify the user on internet connection failures- When the device is not connected to a network and the user attempts to view additional details on the web, your application does not load its contents and stays blank. This behavior might lead to user confusion. It would be appropriate to display either a notification or an alert stating that internet connectivity is required.

This site is for less-obvious rejection rules, but this rule causes such a large volume of rejections that it’s worth including because it so frequently hits even the best developers.

Any network-access attempts:

* must show an error message if a network connection isn’t available
* must not show an error message if a connection is available

Keep in mind that the Reachability code is not reliable enough to be used as the sole source of connectivity information: sometimes it reports no connection when there is one, and sometimes it reports a connection when it’s not fully present or not usable for a complete connection. Always respond properly to UIWebView’s and NSURLConnection’s error-related delegate callbacks.

Cannot facilitate a checkout, transaction, or purchase- Apple will reject apps that allow you to purchase items from a third party.

Unfiltered internet access must be rated 17+

We’ve reviewed [App] and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store at this time because it is not appropriately rated. Our review indicates that the application content is not consistent with the current rating. [App] allows unfiltered access to the internet, where content with mature or suggestive themes can be accessed. Applications must be rated accordingly for the highest level of content that the user is able to access.

The definition of “unfiltered internet access” seems very broad and could include nearly every app with a user-controllable UIWebView or every app that fetches internet-based data, such as Twitter’s trending topics.

As this is a very new policy, it’s still unclear whether the only Ratings criterion necessary to select is “Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes”, or whether applications must also specify the other types of content that may be viewed with unfiltered internet access (nudity, horror/fear themes, drug references, etc.).

Free/Lite version can’t up-sell

Cannot go anywhere near Apple’s trademarks

We’ve reviewed [App] and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because of an Apple trademark image. We want to remind you of the importance of following Apple’s posted Guidelines for Using Apple’s Trademarks and Copyrights.

Apple applies this very broadly:

  • Your app can not include “iPhone” in its title, and its use in the title or description of any components or features is very strict (see App Rejected, first comment).
  • Your app can not include any photos or illustrations of the iPhone, including icons that resemble the iPhone, or any other Apple products (including the Apple logo itself).
  • Your app can not potentially infringe upon other non-Apple trademarks or product likenesses that the reviewer may know about. Some apps have been rejected for having an icon resembling Polaroid photos.

If you must refer to a user’s iPhone or iPod touch, it’s recommended to simply refer to the “device”.


Cannot mention prices in Description or app

We cannot post this version of [App] to the App Store because your application contains pricing information in the icon and/or marketing text (Application Description / Release Notes). Providing specific pricing information in these locations may lead to user confusion because of pricing differences in countries. It would be appropriate to remove pricing information from these locations.

iphone app is not rejected use for iphone app testing.

To the best of our knowledge, this rule hasn’t yet been enforced to metadata updates while the app is live—only to the metadata at the time of initial or update submission.

It is probably acceptable to mention that the price has been reduced for a sale if you avoid mentioning specific numbers or currencies.

This also applies to mentions of pricing within your app, according to iphone app is not rejected use for iphone app testing.

This app included a small ad on the About screen for another app by the same company, and the ad text included the other app’s price

App doesn’t work as advertised

iphone app is not rejected use for iphone app testing.

Your application, xxxxx cannot be posted to the App Store at this time because it does not achieve the functionality described in your marketing materials, or release notes.  Applications must adhere to the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines as outlined in iPhone SDK Agreement section 3.3.5.

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