We're not sure who's throwing a bigger tantrum here, Apple or HMV, but it's a mess, overall.
On October 17, U.K. music store HMV's new music app for iOS was released on the App Store. Its features included scanning artwork and identifying music playing in the real world (an obvious Shazam rip-off), and the ability to browse and buy MP3 downloads from HMV's relaunched digital music store. After approving the app, Apple realized the download option could compete with iTunes, and HMV was given a 6 p.m. deadline on October 21—a mere four days and 5,000 downloads later—to remove the music-buying feature from its app.
Even as Paul McGowan, the chairman of HMV and chief executive of Hilco Capital, its parent company, lashed out at Cupertino on Twitter, the app was pulled from the App Store.
The twist in the tale? Apple approved this app over a month ago, according to a statement on Hilco Capital's website.
Apple is not exactly known for being the paragon of fairness when it comes to pulling apps from the App Store—it has a business to protect, after all. But we're not sure why HMV added the capability to buy music within its app in the first place when clause 11.13 in Apple's App Store guidelines is well-known: "Apps using IAP to purchase physical goods or goods and services used outside of the application will be rejected."