Apple has in a statement defended its app review and in-app payment systems, claiming that it helped stop more than $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 11,021 crores) in potentially fraudulent transactions in 2020. The Cupertino company also detailed the number of apps it rejected from its App Store over hidden or undocumented features, circulating spam, and giving misleading experiences. The new move by Apple comes amid its legal clash with Fortnite maker Epic Games over alleged monopolistic actions that impact developers and suppress competition.
In an extensive statement released on its newsroom site, Apple said that its App Store in 2020 rejected more than 48,000 apps for containing hidden or undocumented features, 150,000 apps for being spam, copycats, or misleading to users, and over 215,000 apps for privacy violations. The company also claimed that it prevented over three million stolen cards from purchasing apps on the App Store and banned a million accounts from ever transacting again.
Apple additionally said it last year deactivated 244 million customer accounts and rejected 424 million account creations — all over fraudulent and abusive activities. The company also claimed that throughout the year, it terminated 470,000 developer accounts and rejected an additional 205,000 developer enrolments over fraud concerns.
Despite regular termination and rejection for additional enrolments, Apple said that it found and blocked nearly 110,000 illegitimate apps on pirate storefronts that resemble popular apps but distribute malicious software or modify known apps without their developers' authorisation. The App Store team also blocked 3.2 million apps distributed through its enterprise programme last year.
“Apple's goal is always to get new apps onto the store,” the company said in the statement. “In 2020, the team assisted more than 180,000 new developers in launching apps. Sometimes this takes a few tries.”
At the opening of the trial in Oakland, California last week, Epic Games accused Apple of building its App Store as a “walled garden” in which it squeezes money out of both developers and users. This wasn't, however, the first legal move against the iPhone maker.
In fact, Epic Games last year made a strong impact when it replaced Apple's in-app purchase system with its native solution on Fortnite. That was to restrict the commission that Apple gets from developers. However, in response to Epic Games' tough step, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store.
Alongside Epic Games, companies including Spotify have accused Apple of creating a monopoly with its App Store. But nonetheless, the Tim Cook-led company claims that it “works around the clock and behind the scenes to keep the App Store a safe and trusted place for users and developers alike.”
We dive into all things Apple — iPad Pro, iMac, Apple TV 4K, and AirTag — this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.