Both Apple and Google have opted out of participating in a new industry sponsored system to regularize mobile application ratings. Like video console games, mobile applications would be rated on a 5-point scale from ‘everyone’ to ‘adults only’ and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) would be doing the rating, just like they do video games.
Both Apple and Google have their own internal rating systems, so we’re not exactly sure what the ESRB would do for the companies that they’re not already doing themselves.
Google spokesman Christopher Katsaros on the move:
[quote]We’ve put a lot of effort into Android Market’s rating system, which now works well globally… While we support other systems, we think it’s best for Android users and developers to stick with Android’s existing ratings.[/quote]
With Apple and Google not participating in the program, who is left? RIM? It sounds like this CTIA-ESRB program is dead in the water before it even has a chance to leave the harbour. Their only hope would be to get developers on board before they release their applications, but with 500,000 applications already on the App Store, and another 300,000 on the Android Market, that’s unlikely to happen.