It took much longer than I expected to actually sign up for the Apple iOS Developer Program. Two weeks ago after starting the process I found myself searching on Google for “How long does the Apple Developer Signup Take?” And much to my disappointment it seemed to take anywhere from 10 minutes to a month.
It took me over 2 weeks to get through the process. Though that was partially my fault.
Signing up as a company requires faxing (Who uses fax machines anymore?) corporate documents to prove the address and ownership of the business back to Apple. Unfortunately I missed this part in the email Apple sent (my friend got the same email and also missed it) so I sat waiting for an email that I had already received for a few days.
One of the problems I ran into was that the Apple fax line is busy pretty much all day. Even with the fax machine auto re-dialing and multiple attempts to transmit I ultimately had to wait until the weekend to get through.
After sending the first fax which was a copy of my certificate of incorporation, I got a reply back to confirm they received it. Several days later and I hadn’t heard anything else from them.
So I decided to use the contact us form to try and nudge the process. Early the following day I got a call from Apple – I sent the wrong documents!
Now I had to send another fax, and again I had trouble getting through on the weekdays. Finally got the documents faxed on Saturday. Monday and Tuesday passed without even getting confirmation that they received the fax so I got back onto the contact us form to prod the application along.
9am Wednesday morning I got the call, they got the fax, everything looked good, and they were finally ready to take my money for the Developer program.
Now fully paid for there’s still more process to go through. The application gets passed up through various groups within Apple who check and setup the Account and it takes up to another 24 hours before I get access to iTunes connect.
There is a stark contrast between the consumer facing side of Apple and it’s backend business processes. Apple stores are known for being simple, sparse, clean and new. For a company that is trying to obsolete the cdrom to be still only accepting faxed documents, and having a signup process that seems to be highly manual with lots of people on the phones and can take weeks feels like a bit of a disconnect.
The takeaway here is that if you’re applying to Apple’s developer program:
- Carefully read all the emails they send you
- Use the contact us form to push your application to the top of the stack.