App Store Review is broken

It's well known that there is a process of review that happens when a developer submits an application to the iPhone App Store. At the iPhone SDK launch, it was claimed that this was to prevent "bad" applications reaching users' phones. The problem was that "bad" was and remains loosely defined. Those pornographic applications, virii and "bandwidth hogs" were to be filtered out before unsuspecting users could download them. Fine. In theory.

The problem that I and others are having right now is that it doesn't scale. Apple requires that every single update to every app go through the same vetting process (although who knows exactly what this involves?). I submitted Exposure 1.0.1 to the App Store last Friday and, five days later, one version is "In Review". The other is still, mysteriously, "waiting for upload", even though I already did.

If Apple can't guarantee a maximum 24 hour review process, they should drop it. What would happen if I was trying to correct a data loss or security bug, and the update sits in App Store limbo for five or ten days? Fortunately I'm not facing that situation, but these are fixes for painful crashing bugs that are really affecting users of Exposure. All the while, users continue to comment negatively on these already-fixed-but-not-released bugs in Exposure's reviews on iTunes. Without demos, those reviews are an app's lifeblood.

I can understand Apple wanting to check new applications, but holding up bug fix releases for five days or more is both annoying to users and damaging to developers' reputations.