In a news post on its developer website, Apple is warning iPhone developers who use geolocation services in their apps mainly for the purpose of providing location-aware ads that their software will be rejected during the dreaded approval process. However, applications that also use GPS information to “provide beneficial information” to its users may slide by.
The new policy concerns the use of the iPhone's Core Location services, which allow developers to access the iPhone's GPS, cell radio, and Wi-Fi systems to determine the current location of the handset. According to the news release, Apple is demanding that developers employ the technology only where doing so augments the functionality provided by their apps, rather than just to allow an ad provider to better target promotional messages.
This move is sure to cause ripples in the app marketplace, as many developers of free apps depend on advertising as a source of income to justify the fact that they give away their applications—and geolocation is a popular way for advertising providers to improve their click-through rates.
The news release comes at a time when Apple is making its own foray into the mobile advertising space; earlier this year, the Cupertino company purchased mobile advertising provider Quattro Wireless for $275 million dollars in cash, though the fruits of that acquisition have yet to be seen.