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Apple's new TV show trailer about apps gets panned by techies

Some in the software development community are unhappy with how Apple is promoting its new show, saying the program glosses over a difficult job.

The iPhone-maker released a trailer for "Planet of the Apps" this week, a show where app-makers pitch ideas to a panel of judges, including celebrities-turned-entrepreneurs Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow and Will.i.am.

The reality show seeks to portray app developers as modern-day rock stars. But Eli Schiff, a technology design consultant, tweeted that the show was a "huge slap in the face" to the "near-death" independent developer community.

Schiff wasn't alone — social media lit up with reactions to the trailer, posted on YouTube.

Steven Peterson, founder of transit app Routesy, said he auditioned for the show but wasn't ultimately selected — and now, he doesn't feel too bad about it.

"The 'mentors,' while they are successful, don't seem at first glance to have much app experience. I don't want to dismiss them outright," Peterson said. "I'd much rather get mentorship from experts in the field. Apple should certainly have enough credibility to have access to those people, but this is about television."

Peterson told CNBC that like the similar show, "Shark Tank," the core audience of "Planet of the Apps" doesn't seem to be entrepreneurs. Authenticity is key for Apple to make the show's premise exciting, Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover wrote last year.

"I think that everyone has apps on their phone, so that's something people can easily relate to, and this is trying to put a sexy shine on the 'sausage-making,'" Peterson said. "Also, I know from doing this for so long that every single person has an app idea."

Genady Okrain, the founder of GIF-sharing app Momento, said the show "makes a joke" of the hard work of founding an app. In a post, Facebook engineer Lee Byron compared the show to HBO's parody on the tech community, "Silicon Valley."

Not everyone was sour on the show, with many noting they'd be tuning in to Apple Music. CNBC reached out to Apple for comment.

Still, the show comes at a time when both original content and software developers are more important than ever to the company's future.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors in January that he hopes to double Apple's services revenue over the next four years, helped in part by selling and distributing content. He highlighted that the developer community has earned a total of $60 billion, as the company has provided new ways for developers to make money there.

But with 2 million apps and limited screen space, developers have told CNBC it can be hard for small developers to make a dent in the App Store. Giant publishers like Tencent, Google, Facebook and Alibaba dominated worldwide downloads on iOS in the first quarter, according to research by Sensor Tower.

"It's sad," Okrain said.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."