According to TheMacBox, the makers of some iPhone apps, the PhoneSaber has been voluntarily pulled from iTunes. Many of you will know the PhoneSaber application if you checked the top 25 free apps downloaded since Apple released the ability to download apps. The PhoneSaber has consistently been one of the most downloaded applications. Although the application doesn’t really do anything but provide brainless enjoyment, it was still a fun toy to show to someone for the first time. By using the accelerometer to recognize when you swing your iphone, the PhoneSaber application would make a noise that sounded identical to the light saber used in the Star Wars films.
The creatives behind the PhoneSaber app have said that THQ Wireless owns the rights for all Star Wars apps on mobile devices. Since the discussions were friendly between TheMacBox and THQ, TheMacBox decided to voluntarily pull the app from iTunes. They go on to state that since they pulled the app themselves, Apple is unlikely to “pull the kill switch”. Apparently THQ is going to do some sort of official, Star Wars branded version of the PhoneSaber, and will be working with TheMacBox organization. They seem to hint the newer version will be even better then the original, but haven’t clarified whether it will remain for free.
This seems to be a recent trend of iPhone apps getting pulled from the market. Prior to this, the I am rich app was pulled from the iTunes store. This app did absolutely nothing but give you a status icon on your phone, showing you paid $999.99 for it. Even though you might put dozens of hours in developement hours, Apple has the final say in whether or not the app will remain in iTunes. Being a top downloaded app doesn’t hold any bearing in their decision to keep you on iTunes. Could we possibly see Apple create their own apps in the future based upon the current success of the most downloaded apps? Would they overshadow the competitors? Facebook seemed to be taking this approach recently when they launched some of their apps. Guess we will have to wait and see.