It’s here! It’s here! The feature that nobody wants on the iPhone is here! I’m talking about Apple’s ability to determine if you have any apps you shouldn’t have on your iPhone followed by their (not your) removal of said application. Terry White bought the Netshare app that allows you to tether your iPhone for modem use and watched as the app was later removed right before his very eyes. He was issued an iTunes credit for his purchase (although he had to ask for it), so at least from a financial standpoint he was covered.
iPhoneAtlas says that Apple maintains a list of unauthorized applications and a string in the iPhone file system verifies that; if an app is added to that list, expect it to go "poof!" all by itself at some point in time. Some are saying that the iPhone "phones home to Cupertino" to keep this list updated, but I haven’t seen evidence of that. I suspect that the list of undesirable applications is updated with each firmware update or perhaps with each USB tether; just speculation on my part and I’m sure we’ll hear more about that in the future.
That issue aside, the colossal fail here is isn’t with the application blacklisting mechanism in my opinion. Isn’t Apple the gatekeeper for the apps in the App Store? That’s where app control should be: at the source, not at the end point. Then again, I’m not sure that having my phone silently calling Cupertino behind my back is highly desirable either. Thanks to Alan & Steve for the tip!