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Apple has booted Molinker and its products from the AppStore, following complaints that the developer was posting fake reviews.
The Chinese company had more than 1,000 apps in the store, mainly cheap travel guides for the iPhone. The products actually represent about one percent of the apps available in the app store.
Molinker was caught out by the iPhoneography blog, which noticed that a good 90 percent of reviews on Molinker products came from the same 50 or so people – most of whom shared pretty poor English too. Even more suspiciously, these users only seemed to use Molinker apps, as they never reviewed anything else.
The implication was that the reviews were being posted by staff at the company itself. The blog’s owners contacted Phil Schiller to draw Apple’s attention to the scam.
Apple moved quickly to remove all the apps from the store, and deleted all the reviews, most of which gave the products five stars.