Apple is certainly seeing the fruits of its labors with its popular iPhone, but some believe there is something profoundly rotten with the firm’s app store, and that if the problem isn’t remedied, people could begin losing patience and switching to other devices.
According to CIO.com, punters sifting through a sea of over 150,000 apps have little else to guide them that Apple’s Top 25 lists and customer reviews, both of which are apparently highly succeptible to fraud and favoritism, resulting in an often poor user experience.
Claims that some developers use their ties with Apple to get onto the featured list are not uncommon, nor are claims that others hire minimum wage earning students to write plethoras of positive reviews for their employers’ app whilst trashing the competition, by means of negative reviewing.
To make matters worse, it seems that even legitimate ways of making it onto a top 25 list – via the number of downloads for a particular app – can be manipulated, with many developers simply buying up thousands of their own apps and writing off Apple’s app store charges as marketing money well spent.
Some, according to Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group, even buy the app and then return it right away, which can apparently fool the system.
Of course, there are always some apps that do indeed make it onto the lists owing to their own success and popularity, but some, like an app called Postcard Express by Frog Design, get a little helping hand from friendly Apple execs who pushed it onto an “editorial staff pick” list.
Mike Goos, director of product management at Frog Design told CIO this without any shame whatsoever, it appears.
But as our very own Enderle noted to CIO’s Tom Kaneshige, “competition is increasing, and if people lose faith in the stores, they’re not only likely to stop buying, they are more likely to switch phones.”