Of the highest 1,000 grossing apps on the App Store, nearly two percent are scams, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. And those apps have bilked consumers out of an estimated $48 million during the time they’ve been on the App Store, according to market research firm Appfigures. The scale of the problem has never before been reported. What’s more, Apple profits from these apps because it takes a cut of up to a 30 percent of all revenue generated through the App Store. Even more common, according to The Post’s analysis, are “fleeceware” apps that use inauthentic customer reviews to move up in the App Store rankings and give apps a sense of legitimacy to convince customers to pay higher prices for a service usually offered elsewhere with higher legitimate customer reviews.
Apple likes to claim the App Store is needed to keep people safe, but that simply is a flat-out lie. The App Store is filled to the brim not only with obvious scams, but also a whole boatload of gambling applications designed specifically to trick children into spending money. In fact, these “games” make up a huge proportion of the App Store’s revenue.
Apple earns top dollar from every scam or disturbing gambling app on the App Store, so there’s a huge conflict of interest here that in and of itself should be enough reason to take control over iOS away from Apple. iOS users should have the freedom to install and use an application store that does not prey on their children and promotes scams.