Sometimes in the app world, success just doesn’t pay off. App makers say that once their apps become popular on Apple’s App Store, they are subjected to more intense scrutiny from Apple, and many times are dropped from the App Store for violating Apple’s reportedly arcane rules.
Case in point: SwayMarkets’ CarrierCompare app. CNN reports
the app rocketed into the Apple App Store’s Top 25 list shortly after it published a story on it
, and the app soon became the most downloaded app in the store’s utility app section. The newfound popularity, however, triggered further Apple scrutiny, uncovering unapproved usage of an iPhone API. Apple informed SwayMarkets of the violation and summarily removed the app from its store, although it did reinstate it once the offending functionality (the API collected signal strength from the iPhone) was removed. Prior to the CNN story, the app had been approved and was freely available on the App Store.
Yankee Group Senior Analyst Jason Armitage comments
“Developers have long raised questions over Apple's certification process for the App Store. Yankee Group recognizes transparent and seamless certification is a desirable goal for app storefront owners. But there is cause to consider the challenges facing Apple. A company that profits from an outlet with over half a billion products should have procedures in place to manage the process—even at this scale. The real difficulties for Apple—and other app storefront owners—are the shifting goal posts of what is acceptable to customers. As consumer concerns over the permissions and personal data collected by apps increase, we are likely to see more examples of new and current apps being pulled for modification.”