A new report from Finbold reveals that Apple “wiped” more than 540,000 apps from the App Store in the third quarter of 2022 and the drop of 24.7% from apps registered in the second quarter of 2022 took the number of apps to the lowest number in seven years.
On the other hand, Google Play Store ranked at the top with 3,553,050 apps in Q3, 2022.
The significant reduction in apps on the App Store is the result of Apple’s recent policy changes to maintain the quality of the service and improve users’ experience.
Apple to continue to remove apps in bulk to improve users’ App Store experience
In May this year, Apple notified developers of old apps that it would be removing outdated apps, which had not been updated for a long time, from the App store within 90 days. The company said that removing outdated apps would improve the discoverability of apps that are regularly updated.
The report explains that one of the reasons for the drop in apps on the App Store is the company’s policy to remove outdated apps which do not comply with its standards.
Previously, Apple had not set any timeline for removing apps, but the recent update stressed that cleaning the App Store is an ongoing process and will evaluate apps, removing apps that no longer function as planned, don’t adhere to reviewed guidelines, or need to be updated.
Overall, removing apps aligns with Apple’s long-standing policy of curating the App Store to eliminate apps that routinely fail to adhere to set standards.
Last month, a tech analyst at Morgan Stanley reported that App Store net revenue declined by 5% in September mainly in the U.S., Canada, and Japan markets which was the “steepest fall” since 2015. And the new report claims that App Store clean-up was correlated with a significant decline in App Store revenue.
However, the company would continue to remove apps to ensure users’ safety by removing potential scamming apps. Hundreds of scam apps are found on the App Store. Apple itself shared that it stopped $1.5 billion in fraudulent App Store transactions in 2021.
Thus, in spite of a significant drop in the number of apps and the decline in revenue, the report speculates that App Store would remove more apps in the future based on the new changes in App Store review guidelines.
In general, the number of apps removed from the App Store will likely increase, especially with the company targeting specific sectors. For instance, Apple recently clarified its rules for apps affecting cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). For crypto exchanges, Apple’s policy indicates that the apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on a regulated exchange. However, such apps can only be offered in regions with licensing and permission to operate a business.