Shooting to Software Stardom on the iPhone

Mitchell Waite could think of only one reason that Apple’s legal department would leave a voice message last February asking him to call back: he was about to be sued. Mr. Waite has a tiny software company bearing his name-it has no full-time employees-whose principal product is a field guide to birds called iBird Explorer, which runs on the iPhone and the
iPod touch.

Mr. Waite said an Apple liaison told him, “We pick apps not for how well they’re selling-we pick apps that will sell more iPhones and iPod Touches because they show off the best features or are something you can’t get elsewhere.”

Fitting that bill is Mr. Waite’s iBird application, which turns the iPhone into an always-in-hand field guide replete with bird calls that a printed field guide cannot provide.

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