General Question

Buttonstc's avatar

Why would Apple do this? It makes no sense, business wise.

Asked by Buttonstc (27597points) April 16th, 2016 from iPhone

According to an App developer whom I emailed with a Q, Apple has blocked updates because they don’t like the type of service it offers.

It’s one of those Apps, among several, which keeps an updated list of which Apps are temporarily free or on sale.

One would think that that’s a good thing because it would increase downloads of Apps which someone might not ordinarily consider or be aware of. And the App store does the same thing by featuring apps which are free or reduced price. But their listings are far fewer and just not as comprehensive.

As a matter of fact, most of those featured by the App store are also included in the listings of these other Apps so, in essence, driving traffic to the App store. So how does Apple see that as a bad thing? I really don’t get it.

Were it not for these Apps, I would seldom, if ever, visit the App store and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

And if Apple finds these Apps highlighting those on sale so offensive, why not just ban them outright?

Doesn’t blocking updates seem like a pretty passive aggressive kind of move?

BTW: What prompted me to email the devs. was the eyestrain-inducing color combo of VERY VERY light pastels on white background. Oddly, the same two colors which Fluther uses to such great effect but washed out and pale almost to oblivion. In case anyone is interested, the name of it is Appiday and its FREE. If you’re of an age needing reading glasses, be prepared for a headache trying to read it.

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10 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

because they want you to pay full price, so the slice that apple gets is bigger.

filmfann's avatar

They do this because, despite their innovative and customer rights rep, they are just another money focused business.

Buttonstc's avatar

So why not just ban them outright? They certainly feel quite free to use this for other types of Apps.

And why would they themselves highlight Apps which are free or reduced price? No one is forcing them to.

Obviously customers like it, but since they apparently care little about that, why even allow any apps to reduce prices at all?

This whole issue seems pretty schizophrenic to me.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Can any of your friends get the app? Apple mat no longer offer the app to new people.

CWOTUS's avatar

Why not take your question to Apple?

So far, if I understand your question correctly – and that is by no means certain – it seems that an app developer you have spoken with has told you his understanding of an Apple policy regarding his app not being allowed to update via the Apply Play Store. Is that correct?

He may be lying, whether intentionally or not. He may be wrong. He may be leaving out important details of the Apple policy. He may have heard something from Apple and interpreted it to something that seems understandable to him. He may understand Apple’s policy correctly, but then misspoke in his email to you. Or you may have misunderstood him. Or it’s possible that he misunderstood or misheard a poor or incorrect explanation from an Apple rep who may also have been confused.

Or maybe there is something about the service being offered that Apple rightly objects to on its face. It’s also possible that Apple is developing the same thing themselves – which is common enough, even if their development is slow and even if their own app doesn’t work as well or as comprehensively – and doesn’t want competition from outside of the company.

Buttonstc's avatar


I have the App. That’s not the problem.

Buttonstc's avatar


Come Mon. I fully intend to ask Apple precisely what’s going on.

I guess it’s possible that the dev. is lying as an excuse for not making changes to render the app easier on the eyes. But, since he knows that wpuid be easily discoverable, that makes no sense to me.

Later on when I’m on a device which can do c/p, I’ll put in a direct quote and you can ascertain if I have misinterpreted his words.

I find the whole thing puzzling as well. I’ve also sent an email to the devs. at two competing apps which do essentially the same thing. I’m asking them if they are able to update their apps or not.

johnpowell's avatar

Apple hasn’t allowed apps that are just lists of other apps for years.

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

2.26 Apps may display and recommend apps other than your own only if the collection is designed for a specific approved need (e.g. health management, aviation, accessibility, etc.) or provides significant added value for a specific group of customers, or they will be rejected

jerv's avatar

You are asking why a company that has a profit margin over ten times the industry average might be against an app that reduces their profits? I would think that the answer would be obvious to anyone who actually knows anything about Apple. Or business. Or American Capitalism.

The thing is, the Apple brand is all about creativity, and it would be bad PR to outright ban an app that they can’t find a compelling reason to ban. That is why there are no porn apps. So they can’t ban your’ buddy’s app. However, they can get passive-aggressive and make it such a hassle that it’s almost like a ban only without the bad PR, so they went that route.

Now lets take a look at what you said:

“And the App store does the same thing by featuring apps which are free or reduced price. But their listings are far fewer and just not as comprehensive.

As a matter of fact, most of those featured by the App store are also included in the listings of these other Apps so, in essence, driving traffic to the App store.”

Does your buddy’s app give Apple that sort of kickback? From the sounds of it, the other similar apps highlight the things Apple allows to be highlighted while your buddy’s app goes further, which costs Apple more than they intended by allowing things to go on sale in the first place. It wouldn’t surprise me if Apple resolved the issue by sending large gentlemen with baseball bats to your friend’s place to have earnest discussions about app monetization.

You may not have noticed this, but Apple really, really, REALLY hates competition. Anyone they can’t buy out gets sued. They tried patenting the rectangle. They also hate losing control, which is why they have stormtroopers patrolling their walled garden. If your friend does the same thing Apple does only differently or (gawd forbid) better, it’s not going to end well for your friend.

TL:DR – I think you’re confusing “bad business decision” with just an old-fashioned dick move.

johnpowell's avatar

2.11 Apps that duplicate Apps already in the App Store may be rejected, particularly if there are many of them, such as fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra Apps

Maybe they just don’t want people to dig through a even bigger pile of shit.

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