Apple tweaks App Store results to show fewer of its own apps, report says

Some App Store searches apparently showed Apple apps as the first 14 results.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
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Apple iOS apps

Apple's App Store results face scrutiny.


Some iPhone and iPad users may have noticed that Apple apps often show up in the top spots in App Store searches. They're not alone. Apple apps frequently rank first over other relevant apps in search results in the App Store, according to a report Monday in The New York Times. 

Searches dating from 2013 show the proliferation of the company's software, with some results showing as many as 14 Apple apps before an app from another publisher appears, according to the Times. Apple told the publication that the company sees no problems with App Store search results but did acknowledge to altering its algorithm in July so that fewer of its own apps appear. 

"There's nothing about the way we run search in the App Store that's designed or intended to drive Apple's downloads of our own apps," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president who oversees the App Store, told the Times. "We'll present results based on what we think the user wants."

Before the algorithm changed, Apple apps were the first search results for keywords such as "card," "cloud," "money" and "debit."

This is not the first time Apple has been called out for its App Store practices. In May, streaming music rival Spotify accused the company of "irresponsible" store policies. That same month, Apple launched an explainer page about the App Store and said it welcomes competition. 

The company will reveal its next phone and possibly news apps at its iPhone 11 event on Tuesday. 

Apple didn't immediately respond to a CNET request for comment. 

Originally published on Sept. 9 at 6:59 a.m. PT.
Update, 7:29 a.m. PT: Adds background details.