When Apple booted discovery app AppGratis from its App Store in April, it was a sharp reminder to iOS developers: don’t mess with Apple’s rankings or suffer the consequences.
In this case, the app, which offered a free or discounted app each day on Apple’s App Store to 10 million users, reportedly gamed the system by pushing its partners’ apps to the top of Apple’s charts. Apple cried foul, complaining that the app violated two of its policies, including a newly-minted rule warning that any apps promoting other apps “in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected.”
For its part, AppGratis has said it was not doing anything nefarious, but Apple did not budge. AppGratis is no longer in the App Store (it ended up launching an Android app as a result) and the iPhone maker’s strict policy is forcing other discovery companies to change their tactics for surfacing apps.