The Sweetest Tweet of All

Have you been wondering how Apple selects which iPhone applications to feature its latest TV ads, and how a small third-party app developer gets Cupertino’s attention?
Great, so have I. Thankfully, The New York Times has some answers. In today’s Sunday Business, we meet Mitchell Waite and hear how his iBird Explorer went from relative obscurity to the top of the charts.

In April, Apple celebrated the one billionth download from the App Store in only nine months. For all of its success with the store, however, Apple remains most interested in using third-party software to sell its hardware. 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.

Apple does not accept money from companies whose products are placed in its commercials or in the other prime real estate, the “Featured” section of the App Store.
Damn, it’s good to see a meritocracy in full bloom.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. well that is an aperture opening when seen on that image plane.
    Reminds me of something in wikipedia I looked up once
    AND YOUR bird can sing…

    according to an unsourced claim by the author Jonathan Gould, in a 2007 book, Can’t Buy Me Love, “bird” was a popular term that Frank Sinatra used to describe himself or others, and that Lennon wrote the song in response to an official press release promoting a Sinatra TV special as a show for those who were “tired of kid singers wearing mops of hair thick enough to hide a crate of melons.” Without citing any source for his claim, Gould states that Lennon was also dismayed that Sinatra won Grammys for Best Album and Best Male Vocalist in 1965 over the Beatles’ Rubber Soul, or Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited. Gould asserts that Lennon’s lyrics Tell me that you’ve heard every sound there is, and your bird can swing. But you can’t hear me. You can’t hear me.” were a response. No Lennon biography or Lennon quotation is cited to substantiate Gould’s theory.

    I’ve added the bold emphasis.

  2. lydia douce says:

    Excuse me, but this was NOT a random pick. Steve Jobs knows Mitchell Waite from way back in 1979 when the two met, talked computers, and Waite wrote a book with Jobs and Woziak called “Computer Graphics Primer.” Jobs even gave Waite a computer. So much for the meritocracy…
    scroll down to 1979