Apple appears to be taking aim at third-party app promotion services such as FreeAppADay with the latest update of its App Store Terms and Conditions.
The new Terms and Conditions state: “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.”
So what does this mean for developers?
PocketGamer suggests that the new clause gives Apple “carte blanche to put any app that promotes titles from a different developer out of action.”
“At the moment, we understand Apple’s likely prime targets are pure app promotion services, such as (but not necessarily including) FreeAppADay, AppoDay, AppGratis, Daily App Dream and AppShopper, amongst others,” reports PocketGamer. “However, the potential connotations are obviously far wider if this rule or further developments within the same spirit are applied towards cross-promotion/advertising plays sitting within apps.”
Apple is believed to be working to maintain the legitimacy of the App Store charts, so Apple’s new clause could be aiming to prevent services such as FreeAppADay from boosting apps up to the top of the charts.
The Next Web reports that several developers have said that they have had their apps rejected by Apple for offering outside apps for sale within their app, but some of them were able to get their apps approved on appeal.
“Note that apps which only offer a few links out to other apps as a promotional tool or as a service to users, you are not in danger here,” TNW says. “The “in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store” clause of that rule above is what Apple’s really after.”
“Apple isn’t going after those that offer a few apps for sale, it’s going after people that are offering an alternative to the App Store,” explains TNW. “Whether you think that’s anti-competitive, well that’s another story. With its acquisition of Chomp, Apple clearly indicated that it was going to do something with discoverability in its store, something many users have complained about for a long time."
Apple discontinued the Chomp iOS app this week, after incorporating some of its functionality into the iOS 6 App Storefront following Apple’s acquisition of the company earlier this year.
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