Monday, Mar 01, 2021, 10:19 iOS: Software

Apple Rejects Overpriced Scam Apps In A New Policy Change

In the early days of the App Store in 2008, it was possible to purchase the App, "I am Rich" for a short period of time. The app didn't do anything but it would have set you back exactly US$999.99. As the app didn't have any features or offer any services, Apple removed it from the App Store. However, this provoked a first-of-its-kind discussion for the App Store: How strict should Apple be permitted to be in enforcing the rules of the young download store? Meanwhile, there have been plenty of other "scam apps" with even more skilful methods of deceit (which shouldn't be too hard to accomplish, given that the "I am Rich" app was an obvious satire). In more recent weeks, the discussion about scam apps has been renewed, with an increased focus on forgeries and imitations of popular titles which are often accompanied by horrendous subscription fees.

Scam Now Grounds For Rejection In App-Review
It appears as if Apple is now taking this issue seriously, with several reports detailing steps taken by Apple to curtail scam apps. According to a published rejection email, a developer's app was rejected in the review process due to exorbitant in-app-purchase subscription prices which didn't reflect the value of the services offered – with Apple going so far as to state that Apple Store customers expect a trustworthy and safe marketplace and, "Apps should never betray this trust by attempting to rip-off or cheat users in any way".



The Extent Of A Scam Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
Of course, it's somewhat of a subjective matter to determine at which point an app or its services cross the line from being "expensive" to a "scam". There's not always a clear distinction between overpriced and a scam. Overpriced or expensive might be considered acceptable to some, but a scam to others. However, when apps with minimal features charge US$50 every 3 days, it's an entirely different story. The same applies to apps with lower charges but almost no features. It's not currently known how often or how many apps are rejected by Apple.

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