Technology 3 min read

Report Claims Apple May Be Boosting its Apps In App Store

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Wall Street Journal analysis suggests that Apple is placing its apps higher in search results in the App Store ahead of its competitors.

According to the report,  the tech company’s apps appeared at the top of the App Store during 60 percent of basic searches. Also, Apple apps with subscription fee or other forms of revenue model were at the top of the search result 95 percent of the time.

For example, a search for “maps” would show Apple’s Maps at the top of the list, even though Google Map – which comes in second – is far more popular. While Amazon’s Kindle app may be the most downloaded book app in the App Store, a search for “books” would place the Apple Books app in the number one spot.

Apple Denies Boosting its Apps in its App Store

Apple denies any wrongdoing. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the tech company said it ranks apps based on 42 factors, including user reviews and downloads.

Besides, pre-installed apps on Apple devices such as Maps and Books do not list reviews or ratings in the App Store. As a result, anyone outside the company cannot consider those factors.

Apple also added that when an iPhone, iPad, or iPod user looks for an Apple app using the device’s search bar, the app’s popularity increased in the App Store. And this leads to a higher ranking.

So, how exactly does Apple rank the apps in its App Store?

That’s still a mystery. According to the tech giant, such information could also be used to game the App Store so it will not disclose the algorithm. However, the company did admit that customer usage is a strong factor.

Speaking to the WSJ, an Apple spokesperson said:

“Apple customers have a very strong connection to our products, and many of them use search as a way to find and open their apps. This customer usage is the reason Apple has strong rankings in search, and it’s the same reason Uber, Microsoft, and so many others often have high rankings as well.”

Now more than ever, the United States and the European Union are scrutinizing major tech companies. Apple is currently facing an antitrust lawsuit as well as an EU investigation.

The WSJ analysis does not help the tech company’s case.

Read More: Spotify Lodges EU Antitrust Complaint to Combat Apple Tax

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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