GUESS WHAT'S NOT SURPRISING? Apple denying that it's favouring its own app over those of competitors in App Store search results.
Cupertino has come out with this denial in response to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, which claimed that popular Apple apps rank higher in search results than third-party apps that have been better reviewed.
The investigation found that Apple's apps ranked higher than competitors in 60 per cent of the categories in the App Store; pretty damming if you ask us.
An extraordinarily unscientific investigation on our side, using the App Store on an iPad mini, found that The WSJ's investigation is onto something. We typed in 'books', 'music', 'cloud', 'podcast' and a few other terms, and found that Apple's own apps were served up first, with the exception of apps that had an 'ad' tag.
But Apple isn't fessin' up to any such findings and said the rankings are down to the customer usage of its homegrown apps.
"Apple customers have a very strong connection to our products and many of them use search as a way to find and open their apps," Apple told The Wall Street journal. "This customer usage is the reason Apple has strong rankings in search, and it's the same reason Uber, Microsoft and so many others often have high rankings as well."
Given Apple devices ship with a load of its own apps installed by default, there's definitely some credence behind that statement.
Nevertheless, this is arguably a bit worrying for third-party developers who might work hard on a critically acclaimed app only to see it not get a good search rank in the App Store.
Apple has already faced lawsuits brought against it by developers who claim the App Store holds an illegal monopoly when it comes to app pricing and discovery.
Spotify had its own spat with Apple, arguing that the 30 per cent cut Apple takes from apps on the App Store gives Apple Music an unfair advantage when it comes to pricing. Spotify moaned to the European Union, which then launched a probe into Apple; that investigation is still ongoing and not likely to be concluded anytime soon.
We'll leave it up to you to decide whose side you're on. µ
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