Apple to crack down on apps with ‘Irrationally’ high prices to rid App Store of scam apps

Apple’s App Store gives developers a ton of control by allowing them to price their apps, as high as they want. Having said that, most apps are priced fairly since there is a ton of competition on the platform. Unfortunately, there are some apps that have unjustified high prices, mostly to scam users.

In that regard, 9to5Mac reports that the Cupertino tech giant will be cracking down on apps that have “irrationally’ high prices. This move seems to be a part of Apple’s strategy to reduce the number of scam apps that have made their way to the App Store.

App store

Apple cracks down on high-priced apps to reduce scam apps on the App Store

A rejection email, obtained by 9to5Mac, sent to a developer by Apple stated that the company rejected the developer’s app because the prices of the in-app purchases did not seem fair for the offered services. Apple went as far as to say that, “Charging irrationally high prices for content or services with limited value is a rip-off to customers and is not appropriate for the App Store.”

To resolve the issue, Apple recommends that developers revise their app or in-app purchase products to provide more value to users: “Choose a price for your app or in-app purchase products that accurately reflects the value being provided to the user.” Once a developer has made the required changes, they may resubmit their app for review.

The tech giant has had rules in place meant to protect users from scam apps. But it seems that the company is making a conscious step to actively enforce its own rules now. Apple’s Developer Code of Conduct states

“Apps should never prey on users or attempt to rip-off customers, trick them into making unwanted purchases, force them to share unnecessary data, raise prices in a tricky manner, charge for features or content that are not delivered, or engage in any other manipulative practices within or outside of the app.”

Apple’s latest app crackdown comes after the discovery of several scam apps on the App Store by the developer of FlickType, Kosta Eleftheriou. He found that recently discovered numerous non-functional apps on the App Store generated $2 million per year in revenue by publishing fake reviews. Detailing how non-functional apps scammed users for money, Eleftheriou wrote;

“But wait, you say. People will see it doesn’t work well & not give any money – surely! Well, this is the first screen you get upon launching the app: zero explanation, no close button, no price. Tap to “unlock”, and you’re now 1 step away from confirming a $416/year subscription.”

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About the Author

Mobile gaming editor for iThinkDifferent