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Apple has released its 2022 App Store Transparency Report, providing a comprehensive look at how the App Store has been instrumental in preventing fraud and safeguarding developers and customers. The report goes above and beyond the requirements set forth in Apple’s settlement with developers and shareholders, demonstrating the company’s commitment to transparency.
The report delves into various aspects of the App Store, including app rejections and removals, developer account terminations, government requests for app takedowns, and more. Let’s take a closer look at the key findings.
App rejections and removals are crucial to maintaining the integrity of the App Store. The report reveals that a staggering 1,679,694 app submissions were rejected. These rejections were primarily due to violations of the App Store Review Guidelines, with categories such as safety, performance, business, design, legal, and other factors playing a role.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost for developers whose apps are initially rejected. Out of the rejected submissions, 253,466 apps were eventually approved after addressing the issues raised during the review process. However, 186,195 apps were ultimately removed from the App Store. The report breaks down the removals by app category, highlighting the areas most affected by removals, including games, utilities, business, education, and lifestyle.
Digging deeper into the reasons behind app removals, violations of guidelines and the Developer Program License Agreement (DPLA) were the primary culprits. Guideline 4.0 on design violations topped the list, with a staggering 149,387 removals. Other notable violations included fraud, developer code of conduct, intellectual property infringement, and spam.
Government takedown demands also played a role in app removals, with China mainland leading the way with 1,435 requests. Other countries such as India, Pakistan, Russia, and Turkey also made requests, albeit to a lesser extent.
The report also sheds light on the appeals process for app removals. China mainland had the highest number of appeals, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom. While some apps were reinstated following appeals, the majority remained removed.
Turning our attention to developer accounts, the report reveals that 428,487 accounts were terminated. Fraudulent activities accounted for the vast majority of terminations, as reflected in violations of DPLA provisions. The report also provides details on terminated developer account appeals and restorations, with the majority of appeals related to fraud ultimately being rejected.
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In addition to developer accounts, customer accounts were also impacted, with 282,036,628 accounts terminated. Apple’s proactive measures resulted in preventing fraudulent transactions amounting to a staggering $2,090,195,480. The report also provides insights into the average weekly visitors to the App Store, app downloads, redownloads, and automatic/manual app updates.
Notably, terminated customer accounts encompass individuals with iCloud accounts, regardless of whether they own an Apple product. This includes anyone who creates an account on the iCloud website.
For those seeking a more detailed analysis, Apple has made the complete App Store Transparency Report available on its website. The report includes a supplemental CSV file with specific information on each data point, enabling a thorough examination of the findings.
Through the release of this transparency report, Apple reaffirms its commitment to openness and accountability. By providing detailed insights into the App Store’s operations, Apple aims to foster trust among developers and customers alike, setting a benchmark for transparency in the tech industry.