The company claims that search results depend on “user behavior data” and dozens of other factors.
According to the results of the investigation of The Wall Street Journal, it turned out that Apple’s branded applications are the first to be found in the App Store search, even if a general request has been set – for example, “books”. In this case, the first application appears to read books from Apple. According to WSJ, this happens even if the Apple application is far from being as popular as its counterparts from third-party manufacturers.
The WSJ also found that in 60 percent of cases, Apple applications occupy the first lines of the issue. This applies to the categories of “books”, “maps” and others – in which applications from Apple are much less popular than solutions from Amazon and Google, but occupy the first positions.
For example, the Apple Books application has neither a five-star rating, nor open information about the number of downloads; however, when a “book” is requested, it comes first in the American App Store.
It is noted that the results may change after a while, but The Verge confirms that such a problem remains in the UK – despite the fact that Apple Books ranks 168 in downloads.
For example, the Kindle application from Amazon, which has a rating of 4.8 (based on 1.2 million ratings), is in second place. The same applies to the “maps” category, where Apple’s solution is higher in payout than the much more popular Google Maps and Waze. This does not apply to those applications that are already loaded into iOS initially – they do not participate in the ranking.
It is reported that Apple in 2015 decided to remove from the App Store all applications rated below 2 stars, but then it turned out that its proprietary application for podcasts does not even have such a rating. Since then, Apple applications have no ratings of their own.
Apple deny that they deliberately raise their applications in return, pointing out that the results depend on “user behavior data” and other factors, a total of 42. At the same time, the algorithm that determines which application to display first is kept secret. – to prevent manipulation by other developers.
Apple users work very closely with our products, and many of them use search [in the App Store] as a way to find applications already installed on the device. Because branded Apple applications occupy such positions. For the same reason, high ratings are occupied by applications from Uber, Microsoft and others.From Apple’s comment for the Wall Street Journal
Earlier, Apple had already been accused of monopolization – now it looks particularly serious against the background of anti-monopoly sentiments that are brewing in Europe and the USA.
In June, a company filed a lawsuit against the company , which stated that Apple is violating the antitrust law, restricting on its platforms alternatives to allow applications to be distributed beyond the App Store. The basis of the claim was the fact that the App Store takes 30 percent of the commission.
Apple argues that the company is not a monopolist – after all, its market share is much inferior to Google and Android, which is full of alternatives.
Apple’s other problems are related to the fact that the company has banned many applications for parental control, arguing that third-party developers are thus gaining access to iOS tools. After that, Apple began to promote its own Screen Time application , which caused resentment of manufacturers of similar solutions that were removed from the service. Apple made concessions and restored some of its competitors’ applications.
Another problem is related to Spotify – company representatives say that because of Apple’s policy and the commission charged by third-party developers, it gives its Apple Music application a price advantage – it costs less money, but Spotify loses part of the revenue because of commissions. As a result, she needs to increase the price tag to stay afloat. This affects the price appeal to users.
Currently, Apple fully controls the ecosystem of iOS devices, but the above contradiction may well affect the reputation of Apple’s policies. Especially if it is proved that the company is doing wrong.