An anonymous reader sends in a new report on a not-so-new problem, one that has had little visibility so far. A quirk in the way Apple's iPhone App Store works has enabled squatters to move in
, and in fact has encouraged legimate developers to grab and squat on dozens of app names that they might use some time in the future. "It turns out you can exploit the registration process to gain ownership of as many app names as you like, without any intention of actually writing a single line of code. 'A developer can pretend to submit an app, but abandon their submission at the last moment, avoiding the need to actually create an application, but keeping hold of the app's name. In limbo. Maybe forever.' says iPhone app developer Atomic Antelope, who found that their app name 'Twitch' and its variations were stuck in limbo . 'Squatters have moved into the app store. They're worse than domain name squatters though, because you can't even enter into negotiation with them. You don't know who they are, or where they are.'"
The solution seems simple: for Apple to flush all the apps that have not submitted binaries, and to repeat periodically.