Apple Rushing “Last-Minute” Changes, Certifying Apps in Weeks Leading up to iPad

With only a few weeks until the iPad’s April 3rd launch, Apple is apparently making “last-minute” changes to its upcoming iBookstore along with certifying apps to run on the iPad. Per Forbes, San Francisco-based Busted Loop is said to have learned about the iBookstore categories while working on a project designed to make it easier for the public to find apps. The category infomation comes from data supplied to Apple enterprise partners.

There are now reported to be 20 top-level book categories, such as “Fiction and Literature,” “Reference,” “Romance,” “Cookbooks” and “Comics & Graphic Novels.” Within these are over 150 sub-categories, such as “Manga,” “Fantasy” and “Science Fiction & Literature.” In some cases shoppers will be able to browse sub-sub-categories, like “Historical” or “Paranormal.”

Under Fiction and Romance, Apple has reportedly inserted two “Erotica” sections, a move which stands in sharp contrast to the company’s removal of thousands of “overtly sexual” apps from the App Store.

The Busted Loop data reveals that Apple has changed categories multiple times. In late February Apple is reported to have been managing up to 35 top-level categories, which could have become unwieldy.

The company is meanwhile said to be coping with a relatively slow certification of apps for the iPad, a new process altogether for the company. Only about 16,700 titles are believed to have been certified so far out of a total of well over 100,000 iPhone/iPod apps. The iPad certification is thought to be happening in parallel with App Store approval, as developers are being given the option to test compatibility. Apple could potentially “bump up” approval of some apps to improve the situation before the iPad launch, suggests Busted Loop cofounder Josh Kastelein.

All applications are noted to be receiving “iPad Wi-Fi” and/or “iPad 3G” designations; while approximately 40 to date have been given the 3G flag exclusively.

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