At the end of the last month, the FCC jumped all over the news that Apple (or was it AT&T?) had nixed Google Voice. It asked various questions of all three companies, to be replied to by return of post or thereabouts.
Apple have just posted their reply on their website (Apple Answers the FCC's Questions). It's well worth reading, apart from the fact it reads too much like marketing blurb in places.
Way down at the bottom, Apple reveal how the AppStore review process works (more marketing blurb, of course), and there's data. It seems there are "more than 40 full-time trained reviewers", and "at least two different reviewers study each application" to promote impartiality. Sounds good, impressive. Then two paragraphs later we read that this team of reviewers look at, and get this, 8500 applications a week.
Immediately my math hindbrain went into overdrive. Each reviewer will look at (8500 / 40) * 2 applications a week. That's 425 of them. For your usual 40 hour week, you'd be reviewing 10 applications an hour, no breaks. That's crazy. How on earth are you going to do a proper review without cutting corners? Agreed some apps are beyond simple and wouldn't take a minute to accept/reject, but others would be larger and presumably would require more testing. Also I assume they download them onto iPhones rather than test them under emulation (and that would take some time). Wouldn't you be tempted to reject some to get stuff out of the way, defer it until next time? Except rejections would "in many cases" require the reviewer "to provide specific guidance about how the developer can fix the application". More time taken. It just doesn't add up, especially as "roughly 20% of them are not approved as originally submitted".
No wonder that the AppStore acceptance process has such a bad name amongst developers.
Bowie, David - Oh! You Pretty Things
(from Hunky Dory)