Email shows that Apple manipulated App Store search results to favor its own app
But now it appears that Apple did boost App Store search results. Email that was released during the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit showed that the tech giant apparently admitted that it had boosted the placement of its own Files app above listings for the competition during a time period that lasted 11 months. Apple app search lead Debankur Naskar hinted that some hanky panky was going on at Apple when he wrote in an email “We are removing the manual boost and the search results should be more relevant now.”
Naskar was responding to an email from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney who was a major Apple partner at the time. Sweeney had “confronted” Apple after the latter’s Files app landed first in the App Store’s search results when he searched for Dropbox. While you might not be able to tell the executive’s tone from written words, you can imagine Sweeney sounding incredulous when he emailed Apple to say that “Dropbox wasn’t even visible on the first page [of search results].”
The late Steve Jobs wanted Dropbox dead after it turned down his offer to buy the firm for Apple
Dropbox has been a problem for Apple going back to 2009 when then Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that iCloud would help kill off Dropbox after Jobs could not convince Dropbox CEO Drew Houston to sell what was then a start up company to Apple.
After Spotify complained to European regulators, the results for April 2019 were much different with iTunes and Apple Music numbers 1-2, but with Spotify fourth and YouTube Music fifth. Apple had no other apps appearing under a search in the App Store under “music.”
Apple released a statement to The Verge that says, “We created the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. App Store Search has only one goal — to get customers what they are looking for. We do that in a way that is fair to all developers and we do not advantage our apps over those of any developer or competitor. Today, developers have many options for distributing their apps and that’s why we work hard to make it easy, fair and a great opportunity for them to develop apps for our customers around the world.”