Apple isn't the only application middleman for the ubiquitous iPhone. Increasingly, “rogue” iPhone App stores are starting to appear
, primarily with developers who want a straight channel in selling their software to iPhone users. Requiring a jailbroken iPhone, these rogue stores might have a limited audience compared to the official store, but have an advantage in that they can sell absolutely whatever they want, such as tethering software to use the iPhone for Internet access. It's not just lone developers carrying out plans for their own stores, either, with some companies backing their own App stores.
Whether their reasons are motivated by greater profit, malicious intent or simply in response to Apple's draconian policies for the store, moves like these were predictable. Apple filters a lot of software on the App store, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes for questionable ones. As these unauthorized stores begin to appear, what will Apple's reaction be? That's probably another predictable move, as it seems likely that the company will try to take some sort of legal action against them. This becomes more likely when we recall that Apple has declared jailbreaking illegal
, and attempts to maintain strict control over what sort of applications are sanctioned on the iPhone.