What were the allegations against Apple
Eleftheriou accused Apple of rejecting his original FlickType Apple Watch keyboard app from the App Store. On the contrary, the tech giant has approved other competitor keyboard apps that use an integrated version of the FlickType keyboard to publish to the App Store, the lawsuit claims.
Moreover, Apple also seemed to have contradicted itself with the claim about the FlickType keyboard offering a “poor user experience,” while the company’s app review team was allowing the “same technology when integrated into other apps like Nano for Reddit, Chirp for Twitter, WatchChat for WhatsApp and Lens for Instagram,” the lawsuit added.
The lawsuit also mentions that when his keyboard app was finally approved for App Store, its early success made it a target for scammers to launch less usable rival apps that were “boosted by fake ratings and reviews.” This caused FlickType’s revenue to drop from $130,000 in its first month to just $20,000 as consumers started choosing the “better-rated” alternatives, the developer said.
As per the report, several developers are disappointed not only with the need to pay Apple commissions on their sales (something Epic Games has sued over) but also how the App Store model allows scammers to make profits on the original works of legitimate developers.
The report notes that Eleftheriou is not just an app developer, he has also reported some major App store scams which include –a crypto wallet app that scammed a user out of his life savings (~$600,000); a kids game that contained a hidden online casino and a VPN app that scammed users out of $5 million per year, among others.
How Apple is trying to stop the App Store scams
In 2021, Apple reintroduced the “Report a Problem” button on the App Store, which allows users to help the company fight against apps that are committing fraud. Moreover, Apple also updated its App Store Guidelines last year, which aims to end fraud and scams by removing scammers directly from the Apple Developer Program.