In a classic slip, Apple accidently let an online music store app (kinda like iTunes, bit different) from HMV slip the through the Apple App Store approval process. The event ends up showing not only the conflict of interest for Apple in music apps, but also the risk in making a music app for the iPhone or iPad.
Apple soon realized that the app was breaching its terms with Apple by allowing direct music download. The app basically allowed users to browse through a huge variety of songs and even buy MP3s from HMV’s digital music store. Allowing users to download music directly meant that users were actually bypassing Apple’s iTunes store. Unlike other stores (Amazon and 7Digital), HMV was not synchronizing songs bought on other devices but was enabling people to directly download music from their own digital music store.
The HMV app had passed all the approval processes by Apple, but only lasted a week on the App Store before it was removed. Apple realized that they’d allowed a competitor of iTunes Store on the App Store, and a large online retailer at that. But why was it allowed to go as far as it did? And how can an app developer (or entire business) make an app if part of their audience is cut off the terms of Apple’s self-serving guidelines? Maybe it’s better to just to make your own app into a website instead, where you have complete control over your efforts.
HMV has said they’re working on its app and will launch a new version which will abide by the terms and conditions set by Apple. Users who downloaded the HMV Music app within the week it was available on the App Store can continue using it in the meantime. The HMV Android app is still out and running successfully worldwide.