In past years Apple has said it’s cracking down on the manipulation of App Store rankings through bot programs, but a recent image from Chinese social media site Weibo suggests the trade is alive and well using actual iPhones. The photo is captioned “hardworking App Store ranking manipulation employee,” and shows a young woman sat in front of a bank of around 50 iPhone 5cs, all hooked up with a nest of cables. There’s an identical bank of iPhones on her right and what looks like two more smartphone-laden desks facing away from her on the other side of the room.
On some sites, the photo is being paired with an alleged price list for the services (above), with Tech in Asia reporting that it will cost customers RMB 70,000 ($11,200) to get into the top ten free apps (that’s the option at the top), while keeping it there will cost RMB 405,000 ($65,000) each week. The third column reportedly shows the monthly price for these services, while the fourth gives potential customers a contact number on QQ – a popular messaging app run by Chinese internet giant Tencent.
Wait, you mean to tell me the popularity contest that is the application store rewards quantity, not quality?
Say it isn’t so.