App developers based in South Korea have spoken out after Apple took down several music-based applications from the App Store.
Three music streaming services had their apps removed, despite the fact that iPhone owners resident in the country were consistently pushing these apps to the top of the most-downloaded charts.
Developers believe that they will not be allowed to release any further apps as a result of their recent virtual extradition.
Apple's Korean arm has not offered any comment in relation to this story, refusing to explain why it approved these apps and then removed them without warning.
The firm behind one of the streaming apps, Neowiz, was rather more forthcoming, explaining that Apple's issue centres around the payment methods employed by its app.
"Apple says it doesn't have a problem with credit-card-based payment. However, developing a credit-card-payment option for smartphones is trickier and we will need some more time," a Neowiz official told the Korea Times.
The apps allowed users to pay for their streaming via their mobile phone bills, which meant that Apple was unable to get a slice of this particular revenue stream.
Neowiz has now resubmitted its app to Apple, although it is not confident that it will ever be approved for sale.
Other apps available in South Korea use a similar phone bill-based payment system and at the moment none of these have suffered a similar fate. Things become more confusing still given that one of the three banned music streaming services did not use this form of payment system in the first place.
Some have suggested that Apple's removal of the three apps is actually linked to its own plans for music streaming via iTunes. It could be eliminating the competition before it makes its own service an exclusive offering in South Korea.
"We have been doing some research of our own and Korea seems to be the only place where phone-based payment is conventional. Apple could be merely attempting to unify its payment standards across different markets,'' continued the Neowiz spokesperson.
Over 600,000 iPhones have shipped in South Korea after the November 2009 launch date. As in other regions around the world, the arrival of the iPhone has been the catalyst for smartphone market expansion and widespread app adoption amongst the general public.