Apple to Ban Third-party iPhone Analytics?

David Murphy

Application developers are trying to get to the bottom of a change in Apples iPhone Developer Program License Agreement that seems to prohibit the use of third-party analytics tools such as Flurry and Distimo that monitor app usage.
The relevant part of Section 3.3.9 of the Developer Agreement reads:
You may only provide or disclose User Data to third parties as necessary for providing services or functionality for the Application that collected the User Data, and then only if You receive express user consent. For example, if Your Application would like to post a message from a user to a third party social networking site, then You may only share the message if the user has explicitly indicated an intention to share it by clicking or selecting a button or checking a box that clearly explains how the message will be shared.
Notwithstanding anything else in this Agreement, Device Data may not be provided or disclosed to a third party without Apples prior written consent. Accordingly, the use of third party software in Your Application to collect and send Device Data to a third party for processing or analysis is expressly prohibited.

That would seem to be a pretty clear line from Apple ruling out the use of third-party analytic software to monitor and report on app usage. It could also apply to analytics from ad networks such as AdMob.
The move has been covered on a couple of websites, including SiliconAngle and a blogger by the name of Eric Kerr.
Weve asked a few analytics companies and developers for their reaction to it. Well update this story once we get it.
Weve had word back from Distimo, who, first up, pointed out that VentureBeat  was the first site to cover the story. The company went on to tell us:
Distimo is not affected by the recent change in the Apple Developer agreement because Distimo offers analytics to developers without the need to insert any code into their application(s). The Distimo Monitor service does not rely on a third party API as outlined in the new iPhone developer agreement, so Distimo is not impacted by the change.
We do not expect Apple to ban analytics parties that in fact work with an API however, as long as Apple does not provide in-app analytics themselves. There is a strong market demand among developers for high quality analytics on their application's performance. We believe analytics services help developers improve the quality of their apps ,and are therefore valuable to parties like Apple as well.