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Thursday, September 17, 2009, 12:50 pm PT (03:50 pm ET)

Apple expands App Store support for some; WSJ iPhone fees

One high-profile developer now has direct-line telephone access to Apple for App Store support; and The Wall Street Journal intends to charge iPhone users and others for access to mobile content soon.

Million dollar app gets direct support

After Apple was heavily criticized by some developers and pundits for its lack of communication regarding iPhone App Store policies, at least one developer reports that they have been given their own hotline to call when issues arise.

Mike Simon, CEO of LogMeIn, told The Register that his company was given a number by Apple that it can call when it has questions. The software is said to have earned more than $1 million in sales. Simon also said that he knows of at least one other company that has been given first-class treatment.

The report notes that both LogMeIn and the unnamed second application have been featured in TV and print ads from Apple touting the App Store. Simon said that his company's software was included in the advertisements and given the free publicity without any prior consultation. Apple has the right to do so within its developers agreement.

"When we opened up the Wall Street Journal and saw the ad, we were as surprised as anyone else to see our name there," Simon said.

In recent months, some developers have expressed discontent with Apple's App Store approval process. As the handset maker requires all software for the iPhone and iPod touch to be approved before it can be made available for download. Some who had their submissions rejected said the communication from Apple was not clear or fast enough for their liking. In response to some critics, Phil Schiller, the company's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, personally responded to explain the situation and resolve issues.

The situation came to a head when the Federal Communications Commission inquired about Apple's non-acceptance of the Google Voice application. The software is still not available for the iPhone.

Wall Street Journal fees starting Oct. 24

Subscribers to The Wall Street Journal will be able to continue reading the paper on the iPhone or other mobile device after Oct. 24, but those who do not subscribe will have to pay $2 per week to access the publication.

According to MarketWatch, that's a change from earlier this week, when News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said subscribers would have to pay $1 per week to read the publication online.

Those who download the WSJ iPhone app prior to Oct. 24 will receive 90 days of access for free. Murdoch recently said that News Corp. will charge for all of its online news sites, because online advertising supply far exceeds demand.

"Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting," Murdoch said.