Update: Apple tells Business Insider that “apps won’t be denied on the grounds that they work with Pebble.”
With the Apple Watch debuting tomorrow with well over 1,000 WatchKit apps already on the App Store, Apple may now be rejecting app submissions and updates that mention support for the competing Pebble smartwatch. The developer of SeaNav US for iPhone shared on Pebble’s developer discussions forum that a recent update has been rejected by Apple as the app and description “declare support for thePebble Smartwatch.”
Specifically, the developer says that Apple cited rule 3.1, which says apps that name competing mobile platforms in their description will be rejected.
3.1 – Apps or metadata that mentions the name of any other mobile platform will be rejected
We noticed that your app or its metadata contains irrelevant platform information in the app. Providing future platform compatibility plans, or other platform references, is not appropriate for the App Store.”
Notably, the developer mentions that the app in question has existed on the App Store for almost 2 years without issue — before the Apple Watch was a thing — adding that the update doesn’t change anything related to its Pebble smartwatch support.
Apple’s guidance to resolve the issue, according to the developer, has been to remove all mentions of Pebble support from the app title, description, and other assets.
While the incident coincides with the launch of the Apple Watch and its platform for smartwatch apps, the rejection appears to be an isolated one that could be reversed similar to recent notable App Store rejections. Pebble’s own app remains unaffected and we have not heard of similar rejections. Apple has not yet replied to a request for clarification on the incident.