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Why AppGratis Was Pulled From the App Store 146

RougeFemme writes "By now, you may know that AppGratis, a popular app discovery app, was recently pulled from the App store. Apple listed violations of the following guidelines: '2.25 Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected. ... 5.6 Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.' Now, the company's CEO, Simon Dawlat, has made a blog post with 'the rest of the story.'" As it turns out, AppGratis had been cleared by Apple for guideline 2.25 as recently as October, and its iPad version was approved less than a week ago. The brand new Apple review team member who contacted the company isn't able to explain what went into the decision to ban it now. Dalwat says the complaint about guideline 5.6 was 'another surprise for us since we only send one "system notification" a day to our users, coming in the form of a generic, opt-in only "Today’s deal is here!" message, which is precisely how Apple recommends developers to use its push notification service.'" However, the AllThingsD article cites sources claiming Apple was "more than a little troubled that AppGratis was pushing a business model that appeared to favor developers with the financial means to pay for exposure." Dalwat does not address this in his post.
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Why AppGratis Was Pulled From the App Store

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  • by Quantus347 ( 1220456 ) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @04:55PM (#43406057)
    Apple was "more than a little troubled that AppGratis was pushing a business model that appeared to favor developers with the financial means to pay for exposure."

    In other words they are disturbed by an advertising App whose business model is based on that of every other advertising firm on the planet?
  • Re:Plain-text EULA (Score:4, Informative)

    by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@ g m a> on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @05:06PM (#43406149)

    I've decrypted the Apple EULA. It says this:

    "Apple must make the majority of any profit to be had. Developers will be paid only a fraction of what their efforts are worth. Loyalty to the Furo--er, Brand is absolute. Apps which go against our brandalist(tm) propaganda are to be banned with immediate effect using one of the dozen or so vaguely-defined rules outlined below. Ka-Pla!"

    But more seriously guys... if you're developing for Apple, prepare to be raped. They don't give a flying fuck through a rolling doughnut about you, the developer. You should feel privileged to develop for the legacy of the Great Man Jobs. How dare you ask for a fair share of the profit! If you want that, go slink off and develop for (spits) that Anderzoid platform or whatever it's called. Apple is the future. Suck it up, cupcake.

    Interesting, given that the split on revenue is 70:30 in favour of the developer and for that 30% they handle all of the hosting, distribution, updates, credit card payments and billing etc and just give you the money, greatly simplifying the process of online distribution involving small transactions.

    The App Store itself has been an enormous cash cow for developers, large and small alike.

    Apple's financial statements tell you exactly how much profit they make on the store (hint: it's extremely low, but it is above zero), and if you think they're lying about that as has been often suggested then file a complaint over fraudulent financial reporting - it's a very serious crime.

    Developers, on the other hand, are making hay on the store. I'd be interested to see how you justify Apple making "the majority of any profit to be had" with some actual numbers, or if it's just more rampant, ill-informed Apple bashing as usual.

  • Re:Plain-text EULA (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @05:25PM (#43406341)

    A) You'll be surprised how you can mislead or completely lie. I mean, how many companies are saying most of their money from outside America for lower taxes? It's not illegal, but certainly "fraudulent"

    B) Hosting and distribution (on an electronic medium, this is the same): You can get 500GB for $100 from Dropbox, and this is a customer facing website (not a B2B). The cost of hosting a 100MB file (which is unusual for an application to be this large) would be about 2 cents. (2% of 99 cent application). --

    C) Purchasing a product and using PayPal to pay results in a less than 4% fee (less than 3% if you exclude international purchases) -- and they also handle payments, billing (isn't that the same thing?), etc --

    D) Every single advertisement and / or press release has lied or mislead. (See class action lawsuit regarding their voice assistant). Antennagate (our phones are just like everyone elses! except nobody else has an external, shortable antenna?) I would not be surprised if you found creative accounting that's perfectly legal.

    Add that up, and you get ... 6%? What are they doing with the remaining 24%?

  • Re:Plain-text EULA (Score:2, Informative)

    by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@ g m a> on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @07:33PM (#43407475)

    30% is far to much, and extremely in excess of any operation costs they may have.

    Does that apply to Google's store on Android too then?

    Can we have that on the record that if Apple's 30% cut is "extremely in excess of any operation costs they may have" that the 30% Google charges is also "extremely in excess" too?

  • by Vintermann ( 400722 ) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @04:21AM (#43410057) Homepage

    You got to see this in context of Apple's policies. They've been known to exclude journalists from events because they've said things Apple didn't like.

    It's not just that Apple has a reputation for being petty and vindictive. Apple wants that reputation in the industry, so people dependent on them (or dependent on writing about them) talk them up on their own initiative, or at least abstain from criticism.

    In that light "complaining about a rejection in public doesn't improve your chances of getting allowed back" must be understood as what it is: a threat. If the app approval process was merely a matter of objectively interpreting the rules, the converse statement ("complaining about a rejection in public doesn't hurt your chances of getting allowed back") would be just as true, and why would they bother to say it then?

    But the converse isn't true. The app store guidelines aren't interpreted objectively or fairly, they're interpreted with the customary Apple vindictiveness and jealousy. And they want app developers to know.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.